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Too Many Networks, Not Enough Sharing


At the LTE World Summit, Orange Spain CTO Eduardo Duato said that Europe has too many mobile networks and not enough network sharing:

Network sharing is the only way forward for European operators, he said, comparing Europe – with more than 100 operators – to the US, which is a comparable size and has only a handful of carriers with nationwide network deployments. “It doesn’t make sense to have this many networks [in Europe]” he said “we have to move to LTE network sharing.”

via Orange Spain CTO makes plea for network sharing » – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion.

Shocking? It shouldn’t be. Europe lags the U. S. in the deployment and adoption of LTE (the 4G mobile technology that makes Internet Protocol a key element of the network) is regulatory restrictions on the use of spectrum only for specific technologies such as 2G and 3G GSM. When the same pool of spectrum is divided into too many pieces, none of the pieces is big enough to support a high-performance network technology such as LTE. This leads to a slower rate of adoption of newer and better technologies, and to higher prices and lower speeds.

While some policy advocates want the U. S. regulatory system to be more like Europe’s, the technical people on the ground in Europe enbvy the U. S. system with its ability to move quickly to bring benefits to consumers.

Who’s right?

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About the author

Richard Bennett is an ITIF Senior Research Fellow specializing in broadband networking and Internet policy. He has a 30 year background in network engineering and standards. He was vice-chair of the IEEE 802.3 task group that devised the original Ethernet over Twisted Pair standard, and has contributed to Wi-Fi standards for fifteen years. He was active in OSI, the instigator of RFC 1001, and founder, along with Bob Metcalfe, of the Open Token Foundation, the first network industry alliance to operate an interoperability lab. He has worked for leading applied research labs, where portions of his work were underwritten by DARPA. Richard is also the inventor of four networking patents and a member of the BITAG Technical Working Group.