BhartiCEO of world #3 Bharti, says, "You build one massive network from which everyone is served." Billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal has 340M million customers across Asia and Africa. "The current system of building networks for each operator needs to be completely dismantled," he tells Economic Times. "Far too much wastage is happening. Netcos and mobile companies should separate themselves. Spectrum should be pooled in a netco. Your spectrum efficiency rises significantly. The need for base stations is halved immediately. The time for a license and 500,000 base stations creating a value is over."

With wireless no longer growing explosively, most countries can't afford to build so many networks. “The density of expenses in terms of capex, spectrum is going up, whereas revenue is tapering off." Vodafone's Vittorio Colao and Stéphane Richard of France Telecom/Orange both are demanding the EU get rid of some competitors - preferably all of them. Colao thinks all but one or two mobile companies can't survive. Every executive at U.S. telcos believes either Sprint or T-Mobile need to disappear. 

One network is much cheaper than two; two cheaper than the four to seven usually needed for strong competition. 

dave askFeb 2018 Verizon $20B 5G build is on for adding customers in 2018. Gigabit LTE, 5G Massive MIMO became real in 2017. China, Japan, Korea, and Verizon U.S. 5G are firm, with heavy investment expected 2019-2021. The goal: Closer to the truth. 

Being a reporter is a great job for a geek. I'm not an engineer but I've learned from some of the best, including the primary inventors of DSL, cable modems, MIMO, Massive MIMO, and now 5G mmWave. Since 1999, I've done my best to get closer to the truth about broadband.

Send questions and news to Dave Burstein, Editor. I always want to hear from you, especially if I make a mistake.