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Enabling efficient wireless communications: The role of secondary spectrum markets

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  • Mayo, John W.
  • Wallsten, Scott

Abstract

Despite the potentially critical nature of secondary markets in maintaining efficient spectrum and wireless markets, research has to date has focused primarily on the Federal Communication Commission's rules for initial distribution of spectrum. To redress this lacuna, we first examine the evolution of conceptual and policy developments directed toward secondary spectrum markets. Then, we seek to move beyond those efforts to empirically document the development of secondary spectrum activity in the United States and the relationship of that development to the evolving policy toward such markets. We categorize and explore different types of secondary spectrum markets. Then, by drawing on a database of every spectrum license transaction since 1994, we explore the depth and breadth of spectrum trading in secondary markets. We find that the FCC has radically reduced the time it takes to approve trades, making the system more akin to notification than to approval. We also find that a large amount of spectrum changes hands each year. While these conclusions do not necessarily imply that secondary markets work efficiently, they do show that policy efforts to facilitate and energize the growth of secondary spectrum markets are bearing considerable fruit.

Suggested Citation

  • Mayo, John W. & Wallsten, Scott, 2010. "Enabling efficient wireless communications: The role of secondary spectrum markets," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-72, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:22:y:2010:i:1:p:61-72
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michelle Connolly & Evan Kwerel, 2007. "Economics at the Federal Communications Commission: 2006–2007," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 31(2), pages 107-120, September.
    2. Thomas W. Hazlett, 2008. "Property Rights and Wireless License Values," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 563-598, August.
    3. Mayo John W, 2008. "It's No Time to Regulate Wireless Telephony," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-4, February.
    4. Bykowsky, Mark, 2003. "A secondary market for the trading of spectrum: promoting market liquidity," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 533-541, August.
    5. Shelanski, Howard A & Huber, Peter W, 1998. "Administrative Creation of Property Rights to Radio Spectrum," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 581-607, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Grønnevet, Gorm A. & Hansen, Bjørn & Reme, Bjørn-Atle, 2016. "Spectrum policy and competition in mobile data," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 34-41.
    2. Forde, Tim & Doyle, Linda, 2013. "Cellular clouds," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 194-207.
    3. Rosston, Gregory L. & Topper, Michael D., 2010. "An antitrust analysis of the case for wireless network neutrality," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 103-119, March.
    4. Gregory Rosston & Michael Topper, 2009. "An Antitrust Analysis of the Case for Wireless Network Neutrality," Discussion Papers 08-040, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    5. Arturo Basaure & Varadharajan Sridhar & Heikki Hämmäinen, 2016. "Adoption of dynamic spectrum access technologies: a system dynamics approach," Telecommunication Systems: Modelling, Analysis, Design and Management, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 169-190, October.

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    Keywords

    Spectrum Secondary markets;

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