Competition in Wireless Telecommunications: The Role of MVNOs and Cable’s Entry into Wireless
Michelle Connolly, Ph.D.; Duke University
Prof. Connolly’s research demonstrates that cable companies are competing aggressively in the mobile broadband market as a new class of operators: hybrid mobile network operators (HMNOs). HMNOs deploy a novel approach that both resells service from wireless players and uses the cable companies’ high-capacity network facilities and their expansive WiFi hotspot networks to deliver high-quality service to potentially tens of millions of customers nationwide. Amid the deployment of 5G and with the ability to offer connectivity in bundled packages to consumers, cable’s unique approach to wireless is changing the competitive dynamics of the market. Prof. Connolly argues that regulators need to recognize these new wireless operators when defining the wireless market and evaluating marketplace transactions.
Future of Broadband Competition in a 5G World
William Lehr, Ph.D.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Lehr’s research finds that the considerable financial, technical and operational resources necessary to build next-generation 5G networks will require smaller mobile network operators (MNOs) to add significant scale in order to compete in 5G. Drawing on decades of experience researching competition and regulation in the telecommunications industry, Dr. Lehr analyzes how the move toward 5G is driving the convergence of fixed and mobile broadband and creating new avenues for competition between fixed and mobile providers. Dr. Lehr argues that three balanced MNOs of comparable size, as opposed to four unbalanced MNOs, is the best path forward as stronger MNOs will more effectively promote innovation and competition across the broadband ecosystem.