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Asia Pacific: Regulators and Opex Pressures Push Mobile Operators into Infrastructure Sharing

Asia Pacific: Regulators and Opex Pressures Push Mobile Operators into Infrastructure Sharing


‘Asia-Pacific: Regulators and Opex Pressures Push Mobile Operators into Infrastructure Sharing,’ a Telecom Insider Report by Pyramid Research, analyzes the different types of infrastructure sharing setups prevalent in the Asia-Pacific region. It examines the factors driving telecom operators to share infrastructure, the obstacles to doing so and the threat of anticompetitive outcomes, and a brief comparison of Asia-Pacific with other regions. The report offers information on the prevalent forms infrastructure sharing takes, on recent deals involving passive and active sharing, on deals involving tower offloading by operators, and on the major tower companies in the region. The Insider provides three case studies to illustrate the various drivers and benefits involved in infrastructure sharing.

Key Findings

  • Mobile infrastructure sharing can help telecom operators reduce their operating expenses by 20-30% and capital expenditures by as much as 40%. However, factors such as the physical landscape and the stage of mobile network deployment can make it difficult to forecast savings in absolute terms.
  • In Asia-Pacific, most infrastructure sharing deals have been voluntary, although there are a few countries such as China where the regulator, aiming to optimize use of scarce resources, has made the sharing of passive infrastructure mandatory. In other countries – Hong Kong, Singapore – the regulator intervenes by directing operators to share infrastructure if overall it benefits citizens or the environment.
  • Passive infrastructure sharing has remained more common in Asia-Pacific mainly because of its cost benefits, its relatively lower complexity and the unwillingness of bigger players to share their networks with smaller players.
  • Active sharing is gaining momentum, driven by the need of LTE deployments for huge investments and the obligations, mainly pertaining to coverage, that governments impose through spectrum licenses.
  • Tower offloading is a growing trend in Asia-Pacific: operators are selling or spinning off their tower assets to focus on their core businesses and to reduce costs.

‘Asia-Pacific: Regulators and Opex Pressures Push Mobile Operators into Infrastructure Sharing,’ a Telecom Insider Report by Pyramid Research, analyzes the various types of infrastructure sharing, the operational and economic benefits as well as the risks and concerns of operators around sharing their infrastructure assets. The report also explains the factors supporting and hindering infrastructure sharing, with examples from several markets.

The report is organized as follows:
  • Introduction: This section explains infrastructure sharing and the forms it takes.
  • Operational and economic benefits of mobile infrastructure sharing: This section analyzes the value proposition of infrastructure sharing, looking at benefits such as opex and capex efficiencies and coverage expansion.
  • Obstacles to mobile infrastructure sharing, and the threat to competition: This section analyzes the potential obstacles to infrastructure sharing and the possibility of anticompetitive effects.
  • Mobile infrastructure sharing in Asia-Pacific: This section provides a regional overview of Asia-Pacific, explaining the region in a global context, the regulatory environment in select countries, recent active and passive infrastructure sharing agreements and tower offloading deals.
  • Case studies: This section comprises three case studies explaining the factors that drive infrastructure sharing.
  • Key findings and recommendations: This section provides the report’s findings on the infrastructure sharing markets in Asia-Pacific along with Pyramid Research’s recommendations for operators, tower companies, regulators and equipment vendors.
Reasons To Buy
  • The Telecom Insider report ‘Asia-Pacific: Regulators and Opex Pressures Push Mobile Operators into Infrastructure Sharing’ investigates the factors driving infrastructure sharing based on a comprehensive, detailed understanding of the mobile telecommunications markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The report’s survey of local developments in mobile network deployment, management and outsourcing provides a resource for more detailed planning, while its actionable analysis of current trends offers a wider perspective.
  • The report lists recent agreements for active and passive infrastructure sharing as well as tower offloading deals by operators, helping executives understand the markets where infrastructure sharing arrangements are more keenly pursued.
  • The report’s key findings allow operators, tower companies, vendors and regulators to extract the crucial trends in network sharing in Asia-Pacific, while its forward-looking recommendations help them develop effective longer-term strategies for their networks."

Introduction: Defining infrastructure sharing
Defining infrastructure sharing
Defining passive infrastructure sharing
Defining active infrastructure sharing
Infrastructure sharing joint ventures
Operational and economic benefits of mobile infrastructure
Value proposition of infrastructure sharing
Opex savings – site rationalization
Capex efficiencies – network deployment
Capex and opex savings – tower offloading and
Coverage improvements
Obstacles to mobile infrastructure sharing, and the threat to
Obstacles for mobile infrastructure sharing
Anticompetitive behaviors
Mobile Infrastructure sharing in Asia-Pacific
Mobile infrastructure sharing – global context
Operator willingness to share infrastructure in Asia-Pacific
Infrastructure sharing regulation in Asia-Pacific
Voluntary sharing agreements in Asia-Pacific
Tower offloading and outsourcing in Asia-Pacific
Major independent tower operators in Asia-Pacific
Market detail: Case studies
Case study: China Mobile, China Networks and China
Unicom in China
Case study: Reliance Jio in India
Case study: Redtone in Malaysia
Key findings and recommendations
Key findings
Appendix: Acronyms and definitions
Definitions – Developed and emerging markets in Asia-
Acronyms and definitions
About Pyramid Research
Meet us in person
List of Figures
Exhibit 1: Key factors directly affecting MNO profitability
Exhibit 2: Passive network sharing elements (non-exhaustive list)
Exhibit 3: Compound and tower sharing example
Exhibit 4: Active network sharing elements (non-exhaustive list)
Exhibit 5: Example of full RAN sharing
Exhibit 6: Common structure and objectives of mobile infrastructure sharing joint ventures
Exhibit 7: Value delivered by infrastructure sharing based on geographic setting and stage of network deployment
Exhibit 8: Typical structure of network costs in emerging markets (self-provided backhaul)
Exhibit 9: Capex efficiencies of infrastructure sharing
Exhibit 10: Risks and long-term effects of tower offloading and outsourcing
Exhibit 11: Key factors affecting mobile operators’ willingness to share infrastructure
Exhibit 12: Potential anticompetitive behaviors resulting from infrastructure sharing
Exhibit 13: Mobile infrastructure sharing level of activity by region, 2015
Exhibit 14: Infrastructure sharing matrix, selected mobile operators, Asia-Pacific, 2015
Exhibit 15: Regulations on infrastructure sharing, selected markets, Asia-Pacific, 2015
Exhibit 16: Examples of recent voluntary mobile infrastructure sharing agreements, Asia-Pacific, 2010-2014
Exhibit 17: Major tower offloading deals, Asia-Pacific, 2010- 2014
Exhibit 18: Percentage of towers owned by tower companies versus operators, 2014
Exhibit 19: Major tower operators, Asia-Pacific, 2015
Exhibit 20: Operators in China pool towers in JV
Exhibit 21: Capex and capex-to-revenue ratios for China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom
Exhibit 22: Details of infrastructure sharing deals by Reliance JIO in India, 2013-2014
Exhibit 23: Details of tower sharing deals by Reliance JIO in India, 2013-2014

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