Rural connectivity using 5G neutral host networks : game theory framework

K A, Shruthi and Stewart, Robert and Crawford, David (2021) Rural connectivity using 5G neutral host networks : game theory framework. In: Doctoral School Multidisciplinary Symposium 2021, 2021-06-01 - 2021-06-04, Online.

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The purpose of this research is to study the feasibility of using 5G network slicing to improve rural internet connectivity in the UK. Rural areas generally have poor or no network coverage due to high cost for running the network and low return on investment (RoI). To overcome this issue, we propose using 5G network slicing that would support multi-tenancy which is also know as neutral host networks (NHN) in improving rural connectivity. In this research, we try to answer questions related to the techno-economic feasibility of the proposed solutions as well as develop business models for it. Furthermore, we also model the proposed solution using Game Theory to understand the possible revenue models in the proposed scenario. These help in understanding the business viability of a long-term investment of 5G networks in rural areas for the key stakeholders in rural connectivity. The joint collaborations of different stakeholders towards sustainable network sharing are key to improve rural areas. The research has shown that network reuse greatly reduces the cost for the infrastructure. Extending the concept of 5G network slicing to rural areas, in this research we study the business models using the scenario modelling, value network configuration, swot analysis, business canvas models and game theory framework. Next to perform the techno-economic assessment for the network feasibility, we perform cost analysis for different possible rural scenarios by varying parameters like population, network take-up, existing infrastructure, distance from nearest point of presence (PoP), investment per user towards the network (also known as average revenue per user – ARPU), investment duration of the network, customer growth rate and network depreciation. Finally, the game theory is used to model the possible revenue streams for the network depending on the risk, competition and possible RoI. The main findings of the research is that 5G network slicing is definitely going to open the untapped rural market to world wide network. The total cost of ownership of the network is relatively lower in 5G network slicing compared to the network deployed in traditional methods. The rural community can benefit from different revenue streams depending on their key stakeholders' joint decision. The research helps in solving the rural community issues in terms of internet connectivity. The telecommunication industry is trying different ways to improve rural connectivity as affordable pricing and decent RoI. The proposed solution will help in understanding the possibility of using 5G network slicing in rural areas. The people living in rural areas will enjoy the benefits of better infrastructure, online education, e-healthcare, e-governance, mobile banking, mobile broadband, video, and voice calling, e-commerce, opportunity for local businesses to enter the global market and similarly, an opportunity for big businesses to enter the local market. In today's world only 50% of the world's population is connected to the internet. There is another half of world's population that is yet to be connected. This solution has a potential to connect the other half and enhance the sustainable growth of the rural community and businesses.


K A, Shruthi ORCID logoORCID:, Stewart, Robert ORCID logoORCID: and Crawford, David ORCID logoORCID:;