China Unicom investors demonstrate new 5G model for the Western markets
China Unicom’s new 2I2C strategy combines close commercial partnerships with minority investments by internet companies and by industry vertical providers. Strategy Analytics’ new Insight – ‘China Unicom: A new internet partnership model for 5G?’ – explores the reality of China Unicom’s new approach and its implications for Western markets.
The report from Strategy Analytics’ Service Provider Group examines the impact of telecom service providers teaming closely with internet partners to offer privileged access to selected internet content and services, including with additional payment, and the bundling of telecom and internet service packages.
Richard Guppy, director Strategic Competitor Intelligence and main author commented: ‘China Unicom’s 2I2C strategy was born from the urgent need to turn the company around through their ‘Reboot’ program, and do things differently ahead of 5G. It tears up the Western rulebook for net neutrality and may lead Western regulators to switch from ‘we don’t do that’ to ‘we may have to do some of that’.
Phil Kendall, head of Strategy Analytics’ Service Provider Group added: ‘Governments need to review how they expect 5G to succeed, with the EU expecting uninterrupted 5G coverage in all urban areas and major roads and railways by 2025. A 1980s regulatory model of 4-5 competing network operators lacking cooperation with key verticals in the service layer is not going to deliver that.’
‘These investments could improve China Unicom’s competitiveness in the 4G market. We expect to see more collaboration between other telecom operators and Internet companies in China also.’ added Guang Yang, director of Service Provider Group.
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