The Spectrum as Commons

RIETI Discussion Paper No. 02-E-002

16 Pages Posted: 14 May 2002

See all articles by Nobuo Ikeda

Nobuo Ikeda

Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)

Date Written: November, 2002


The shortage of radio spectrum is the major roadblock to the development of wireless communications. This problem is usually attributed to the scarcity of spectrum, but in fact it is due to the inefficiency of spectrum management through government licensing. To improve the situation, spectrum auctions were held, with mixed results. Now such fragmentation of spectrum is harmful, because wireless LAN technologies that share a wide band enabled much more efficient communications than cellular telephones. Therefore it is better to open the spectrum as commons, instead of dividing it into narrow bands. Here I will propose new mechanism spectrum buyouts by which governments buy back spectrum from incumbents and then open it without license.

Note: Previously titled: The Spectrum as Commons: Digital Wireless Technologies and the Radio Policy

Keywords: spectrum, commons, auction, regulation, communication, property rights

JEL Classification: L51

Suggested Citation

Ikeda, Nobuo, The Spectrum as Commons (November, 2002). RIETI Discussion Paper No. 02-E-002. Available at SSRN: or

Nobuo Ikeda (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) ( email )

1-3-1 Kasumigaseki
Tokyo 100-8901
+81 3 3501 8286 (Phone)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics