5G neutral host - revenue opportunities for local authorities

Published on 21/09/2018


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Perform Green, a supplier on our Consultancy Services framework (664), discuss 5G neutral host revenue opportunities for local authorities.


In the face of growing demand for services coupled with significant shortfall in budgets due to austerity, Local Authorities must consider every opportunity to generate income that can be re-invested in frontline services to redress the balance.  

The next generation of mobile telecommunications, known as ‘5G’, is an opportunity that may not be self-evident at first glance.

Based on a shared services model of network deployment called ‘Neutral Host’.  5G is a technological step-change requiring a new infrastructure to sustain it much of which will be deployed using LA Assets potentially triggering a transformation in market incentives and driving new revenue opportunities.

Simply put, a network built using 5G technologies has a number of characteristics that will make it valuable to Local Authorities seeking new revenue streams, as well as providing opportunities to improve services for citizens and attract new businesses.

This is because one of the key requirements of a 5G network is the significant increase in the density of network access points (antenna), when compared to the current networks. That density means site acquisition and civil works are the most dominant costs in deployment.  In national terms it will be prohibitive for a competitive network landscape to emerge where each mobile operator would build their own infrastructure. This is likely to lead to a landscape of locally operated 5G networks on which the Mobile Network Operators (MNO) will lease capacity, rather than establishing their own national infrastructure. 

This is a game changer in terms of how networks are implemented and used where the principle of a Neutral Host is gaining favour.

perform-green.pngThis diagram shows how the Neutral Host Service Provider (middle) provides services to the mobile network operators (top) who in turn are providing services for their customers. The shared network is not perceptible to customers; they continue to receive the service they pay for, and MNOs pay the Neutral Host Provider for an agreed Service Level which they deem fit for their customers. The network itself, the hardware, is based on Local Authority assets.


Example: Street Lighting
Take the humble streetlight. Many would just see a street light, others a column with a luminaire on top. We see a valuable piece of real estate with power supplied. A mobile network operator might see the same thing and wonder how to get it at the best price possible to maximise margin … they might offer you public WiFi free of charge to gain access (and lock out their competitors). But beware – there is no such thing as a free lunch. The value to these commercial operators is much greater than what they are offering. So, by adopting the Neutral Host model, you can get more than free WiFi; indeed there are commercial models that could get significant revenues in return.

Neutral Host Essential Guide for Local Government
Perform Green have produced an essential guide that explains how a network built using 5G technologies and architecture has a number of characteristics, that will make it valuable to Local Authorities seeking new revenue streams, as well as providing opportunities to improve services for citizens and attract new businesses. They aim to provide senior officials and council leaders with a high level understanding of the principles, opportunity and potential barriers involved in the provision of a new model of mobile networks provision and commercialisation.

This new approach, highlighted in the recently published DCMS Future of Telecoms Infrastructure Review, has the proven potential to generate millions of pounds in new revenue for a Local Authority, create the digital infrastructure in support of public service transformation, and increase local economic output through digital enterprise.

You can download the guide from Perform Green’s website here.
 
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Perform Green can be found on Lot 1: Business Services and Lot 6b: Strategic IT of our Consultancy Services framework (664). For more information please click here.
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