IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Increasing Wireless Value: Technology, Spectrum, and Incentives


  • Gregory L. Rosston

    () (Stanford Institute of Economy Policy Research)


Demand for wireless service has been growing rapidly. But while quantity of wireless service (measured in terms of bytes or minutes) has increased dramatically, price has increased little, if at all. This paper examines how supply of wireless capacity has increased and how it can continue to increase in the future. Given that there is little prospect for finding currently unused spectrum, the government should institute policies that promote the economically efficient use of spectrum currently in use, which in turn could make spectrum available for alternative uses. The best way for the government to promote spectrum efficiency is to ensure that users have flexibility and that they realize the opportunity cost of their use of spectrum. Two areas where users do not realize the opportunity cost of their use of spectrum are broadcasting and government and rules regarding those uses can be revised. In addition, the government should adopt market mechanisms to determine the opportunity cost of spectrum designated for unlicensed use.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory L. Rosston, 2013. "Increasing Wireless Value: Technology, Spectrum, and Incentives," Discussion Papers 12-015, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:12-015

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas W. Hazlett, 2008. "Optimal Abolition of FCC Spectrum Allocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 103-128, Winter.
    2. 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.
    3. Paul Milgrom & Jonathan Levin & Assaf Eilat, 2011. "The Case for Unlicensed Spectrum," Discussion Papers 11-002, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Spectrum; Broadcasting; Regulation;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:12-015. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Shor). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.