Business Models for Local 5G Micro Operators

Petri Ahokangas, Marja Matinmikko-Blue, Seppo Yrjola, Veikko Seppanen, Heikki Hammainen, Risto Jurva, Matti Latva-aho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


5G will change the mobile communication business ecosystem by introducing location specific high-quality wireless networks that can be operated by different stakeholders. This development will change the traditional business models and ecosystem roles, as well as open the market for new local mobile network operators. These operators, such as recently introduced micro operators, can target specific customers in different vertical sectors with closed 5G networks, serve mobile network operator’s (MNO) customers in high-demand areas on behalf of the MNO as a neutral host with open 5G networks, or mix different types of customers and offerings through various hybrid platform business models. This paper discusses business model options for local 5G micro operators, addressing also the different network deployment options and ecosystem constellations. Three generic 5G business models and respective value ecosystems are presented: Vertical business model and ecosystem, Horizontal business model and ecosystem, and Oblique business model and ecosystem. These business models are compared against the opportunities they address, drivers and boundaries of value they may generate, and sources and sustainability of advantages they represent. Finally, scalability, adaptability and sustainability of the business models and ecosystems are examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-740
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 5G
  • 5G mobile communication
  • Adaptation models
  • Biological system modeling
  • Context modeling
  • Ecosystems
  • micro operator
  • mobile network operator.
  • Stakeholders


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