Roles and Effects of Access Regulation in 5G Markets

57 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2018

See all articles by Johannes M. Bauer

Johannes M. Bauer

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information

Erik Bohlin

Chalmers University of Technology

Date Written: September 4, 2018


5G wireless services will constitute an integral part of the future gigabit communication network infrastructure. Policy makers worldwide are striving to design legal and regulatory frameworks that best support 5G services. There is wide agreement that a competitive sector organization is superior, but the emerging models differ in the specific roles assigned to policy and regulation. This study explores the implications of alternative policy scenarios for innovation and investment in 5G networks and services. Before the backdrop of the policy discussions in Europe and in the United States, we examine the likely effects of regulatory instruments within a framework of complementary innovation. To assess the joint effect of regulation on the 5G value system, we develop three scenarios (entrepreneurship, regulated competition, policy-push) and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. A key challenge for 5G is the exploration of the tremendous innovation opportunities space. Regulatory interventions affect players in this value system differently so that the overall effects on innovation and investment are contingent on the relative strength of partial effects. Given the importance of innovation and the unique characteristics of the 5G value system, we conclude that the entrepreneurship model with safeguards to protect the competitive process and desirable forms of non-discrimination is the most promising approach. Ex post regulation and competition policy are better aligned with these goals than traditional forms of ex ante regulation.

Keywords: Complementary Innovation, 5G Wireless, Access Regulation, Europe, United States, Entrepreneurship, Regulated Competition, Policy-Push

JEL Classification: L5, L86, L96, O38

Suggested Citation

Bauer, Johannes M. and Bohlin, Erik, Roles and Effects of Access Regulation in 5G Markets (September 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Johannes M. Bauer (Contact Author)

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information ( email )

409 Communication Arts Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
United States
517-355-8372 (Phone)
517-355-1292 (Fax)


Erik Bohlin

Chalmers University of Technology ( email )

SE-412 96 Goteborg

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