Regulation and innovation in 5G markets
Journal article, 2021
This article examines the roles and consequences of different approaches to 5G market design for innovation. The analysis is grounded in a conceptual framework that explicitly considers the complementarities among networks, applications, and services. Good policy arrangements align the legal and regulatory framework with the technical and economic characteristics of the sector and the broader, social visions for new technologies. Because the future development of 5G technology and markets is open-ended, policy has to be developed with incomplete knowledge and under conditions of uncertainty. These circumstances call for adaptive forms of policy and a focus on the creation of guardrails for market players, backed up by regulatory powers to intervene more directly if necessary. In the technologically dynamic 5G system, multiple stable policy constellations are feasible, but they likely will result in divergent outcomes and performance characteristics. Monitoring of the experience with different national and international developments will facilitate global learning and the incremental improvement of policy frameworks.