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2G / 3G retirement: what is the correct timing?

It is time for Network Operators to start cleaning up their assets and focus on the things that matter to be sustainable in the future. More and more Network Operators are facing the trade-off between their declining net margins, while facing significant network investments to stay competitive and leading edge. An extensive investigation / analysis of Detecon, by taking all developments and trends within the Telecommunications Market into account, has resulted in the following guideline.

1. Let go of things to focus resources for things that matter

The development and evolution of mobile technologies is causing a rapid changing environment, in which Network Operators shall find their way.

Mobile network operators have built their networks to be competitive, and have invested a huge amount of time and financials. The logical development path of starting with 2G and then 3G and currently 4G as a standard technology. 5G is on horizon but Network Operators shall now start the preparations to ensure that they are in-time to keep the competitive advantage.

2. Keep only the things that spark your organization

Declining net margins of the traditional Telecommunication providers combined with the fierce competition of OTT – players requires a re-thinking and re-focusing of the traditional way of working.

Spark your organizations by making clear and bold decisions to achieve highly optimized resource utilization.

3. Your organization reflects your state of mind

A successful Network Operator has defined his strategy along the business landscape, in close relation with its technological capabilities. Clear focus on Market Segments, customer needs and business continuity shall be the driver to steer and focus its organization.

As Leadership team of a Network Operator, you should be in a position to make well informed decisions, however you should not be afraid to make them either. Clear steering and focus of your organization will release the true power of your workforce.

4. Continuous measurement of your belongings will make you successful

The Network Operators shall implement a clear and transparent allocation of where they are spending their resources, and compare this continuously within the changing landscape. At the moment many Network Operators are making their decisions on outdated subscriber behavior, non-transparent cost allocations and backward analysis.

Our changing society, in order for a Network Operator to be successful, they shall continuously adopt / change at the same pace as the technology progress, social – and economical changes.

5. Don’t be a victim, but drive your own destiny

Network Operators shall start to drive and develop their market themselves. Decision making to switch off 2G or 3G as a Radio Network technology is a typical example of Network Operators trying to hold on to some parts of their business without understanding the full costs associated to it.

To be a winner a mobile network operator shall drive the active retirement of 2G and 3G Radio Networks, allowing them to free up resources (capital – and human resources) to focus on securing your business strategy. Network Operators who will be losing the game will be those not able to master the change of the upcoming complexity and implement this in a cost efficient way. Where the winners are those Network Operators making decisions, aligned with their strategy and focus, based on full transparent and measurable information.

Conclusion

Retiring the 2G network and 3G network is a decision which shall be made fast. In the following figure, the different considerations related to making these decisions should give a line of thought.

Want to know more?

The decision making of retiring 2G or 3G, and what is the best strategy for a Network Operator, requires detailed analyses, discussions and finally a translation into technology, marketing and business strategy. Detecon is there to help you in this topic and to assist in making the right decisions!