Cloud-native 5G upstarts like Dish and Rakuten have already collected a massive entourage of suckerfish, dedicated to serving their every need, Counterpoint Research reveals.

The research firm just put out this Venn diagram detailing the overlapping businesses that serve cloud-native carriers Dish and Rakuten. It is going to be issued as part of a report on both operators’ ecosystems sometime after Easter, according to the analysts.

(Source: Counterpoint Research)

(Source: Counterpoint Research)

In a recent Silverlinings story, we revealed how a Dish exec felt about being beholden to the telco hardware mafia. The new flesh  — carriers like Dish and Rakuten — instead use a large number of vendors, from big fish like Cisco, Intel, and Nokia to smaller fry such as Mavenir and various startups. Such a massive ecosystem, however, presents its own problems.

“As with most industries, an ecosystem of 38+ players is not usually sustainable,” Gareth Owen, Associate Research Director at Counterpoint, wrote on LinkedIn. “Traditionally, mobile operators prefer to deal with a small number of very big, multinational suppliers rather than a multitude of small players. Apart from the cost of dealing with many vendors, a major challenge for operators is deciding who/which technology will still be around in 5+ years or so. Inevitably, there will be consolidation – some vendors will be acquired, others will disappear or move on.” So, who will be left after the 5G cloud-native shake-out inevitably occurs, and who will be sleeping with the fishes? Stay tuned and find out! 

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