In most countries, spectrum access and use is still managed by a conventional regulatory regime inherited from the early days of broadcasting. However, a quarter of a century ago, a few countries implemented market-oriented reforms to achieve efficient allocation and use of spectrum through new instruments (flexible licensing mechanism). In the intervening time, technology and infrastructure have changed considerably. In this paper, we revisit the adequacy of these reforms for the future 5G environment, which will be characterised by (i) demand for wide-channel spectrum, (ii) technology convergence, and (iii) new temporal dimensions to spectrum access. These characteristics should prompt further regulatory advances in the flexibility and certainty of spectrum access and use. Consequently, dynamic efficiency should become the overarching goal of spectrum policy. It is best achieved by further - but careful - devolution of regulatory functions to market operations. This article discusses the main attributes of a staged transition from the current mixed-instruments regulatory regime to a system independent of government planning in which allocation and pricing of units of spectrum is decided by market forces.
Freyens, B. P., & Alexander, S. (2015). Policy objectives and spectrum rights for future network developments. In 2015 IEEE International Symposium on Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks, DySPAN 2015 (pp. 229–240). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. https://doi.org/10.1109/DySPAN.2015.7343906