No ‘magic number’ of mobile operators

“There is no ‘magic number’ of mobile operators”.

That statement appeared, almost as a non-sequitur, in a press release from the UK Department for Science, Innovation & Technology. The department announced funding and support for the next evolution of 5G and “a national mission to connect all communities.”

But it then continued to say:

To help the mass adoption of 5G across the country, the strategy sets out a clear pro-investment framework for mobile network operators by driving down deployment costs and improving demand. The government has also reconfirmed that there is no ‘magic number’ of mobile operators, whilst noting all decisions on consolidation are for the Competition and Markets Authority.

The release noted that the UK expects to have gigabit broadband available to 75% of the population and expects to deliver 99% by 2030.

(According to figures from the CRTC, Canada had already reached 75% gigabit broadband coverage by year-end 2020, nearly two and a half years ahead of the UK.)

The UK announcement seems to be recognizing the importance of a developing a government policy environment to support investment in digital infrastructure. And as part of that, the government said there is no ‘magic number’ of operators, almost inviting consolidation if it will promote investment.

Promoting investment in high-quality networks is a key element of the Canadian Government’s Direction to the CRTC on a Renewed Approach to Telecommunications Policy.

It is an important factor as the new CRTC begins its review of a number of files.

Canada’s future depends on connectivity. And, connectivity depends on investment.

1 thought on “No ‘magic number’ of mobile operators”

  1. I recall a reading a tongue-in-cheek comment on this subject in a piece about the various countries and the varying numbers of mobile operators.

    The fellow said that after in-depth study of government policy in a large number of countries he had concluded that the optimum number of mobile operators is N+1 where N is the current number of operators in the country.

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