Common Business Models

Common business models adopted by infrastructure owners for cross-sector infrastructure sharing

The common business models adopted by infrastructure owners for cross-sector infrastructure sharing take many forms and can be designed around the unique circumstances and needs of participating infrastructure owners and network operators. These business models are not mutually exclusive, nor is every model appropriate for every infrastructure owner.


The toolkit describes five types of common business models:

  • Joint development business model is the most efficient form of sharing where infrastructure owners and network operators coordinate in planning and constructing or refurbishing infrastructure.
  • Hosting business model allows the infrastructure owner to host third-party telecommunications equipment by authorizing a network operator to install its own telecommunications facilities on the infrastructure. It is the oldest and most common form of cross-sector infrastructure sharing between the telecommunications sector and other network sectors.
  • Dark fiber business model involves the provision of dark fiber by an infrastructure owner to network operators, either on a long-term IRU basis or short-term lease basis.
  • Joint venture business model necessitates the infrastructure owner to provide a network operator partner with use of existing infrastructure, including excess existing fiber, to provide commercial telecommunications services on a profit-sharing basis.
  • Wholesale telecommunications services business model requires the infrastructure owner to provide wholesale telecommunications services to network operators. This business model involves much higher risk, in relation to potential rewards, for the utility than other business models. 


Reference and Resources:

1. Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, Mandate (undated). http://www.upc.gov.ae/about-us/mandate.aspx?lang=en-US (last visited 9 Feb 2017).

2. In re American Telephone & Telegraph Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 37 F.C.C. 1151, 1161 (1964).