EU radio spectrum legislation: four stages of development
Paper in proceeding, 2015
Exponential growth of mobile data traffic is setting the stage for the next generation of radio spectrum management. New spectrum sharing arrangements have been identified as effective ways to satisfy emerging spectrum needs. Among several forms of spectrum sharing, the so-called Licensed Shared Access (LSA) has been under scrutiny, in particular in the European Union (EU). The LSA regulatory regime would allow for radio spectrum shared access on a licensed-basis between incumbents and new users. In particular, new users would be granted access to already assigned, but underused frequency bands. According to the EU, the resulting denser use of radio spectrum would be instrumental in promoting dynamic efficiency in the telecommunications sector. In this context, the aim of this paper is to assess the extent to which implementing the LSA regulatory regime would promote dynamic efficiency. Dynamic efficiency is intended as the capability of the LSA regulatory regime to provide mobile operators with incentives to invest in advanced broadband networks. Policy documents, academic papers, position papers and analysis reports from consulting companies are scrutinised to gather information on technical and regulatory aspects of the LSA regulatory regime and the state-of-the-art of the research on static and dynamic efficiency. The assessment conducted in this paper concludes that the LSA regime can provide important stimuli for investment in advanced network deployment. However, some regulatory aspects still need to be refined, in particular with regard to enforcement mechanisms. Enforcement mechanisms are necessary to ensure that incumbents and new users comply with agreed frequency, location and time sharing conditions, by providing incentives for compliance and/or punishments for non-compliance. Furthermore, enforcement mechanisms to safeguard privacy and security of sensitive information regarding spectrum usage of both incumbents and LSA users should be put in place.
Licensed Shared Access
mobile broadband services.