In March 2014 the European Commission published a call for tender for a study to support the Commission building up its knowledge base on the technological and economic models of network sharing in the context of possible EU policy initiatives on the issue. The study was supposed to address the following tasks:
- Estimate the cost synergies in deployment and operation of fast wireless broadband networks in different network sharing scenarios;
- Identify and quantify potential benefits from mobile network sharing for consumers and for society as a whole and explore possible framing conditions that would be needed for their accrual;
- Identify and quantify potential negative effects arising through mobile network sharing, assess their potential impact on consumers and businesses and explore possible framing conditions that would prevent them;
- Assess for typical scenarios the overall effect of potential benefits and potentially arising negative effects;
- Identify existing and potential barriers that prevent operators from entering into network sharing agreements provided that potential synergies are substantial.
The tender specifications (Tender specifications of the study on the socio-economic benefits of network sharing) and tender documents were available online here.
The contract to carry out the study was awarded to TNO, the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research. As part of its work related to the study, TNO organised a workshop. The contract to carry out this study has recently been terminated, upon TNO's request. TNO cited the complications to quantify the direct and indirect effects of network amongst the reasons for their request to terminate the contract. At this point in time, the Commission does not plan to re-launch the study on network sharing.