Analysis of Spectrum Valuation Elements for Local 5G Networks
Radio spectrum is a scarce natural resource, whose efficient management calls for a thorough understanding of its value. A number of spectrum valuation approaches has emerged considering different elements, some with potentially high uncertainty as future profits, total cost of ownership and societal benefits. Spectrum valuation is important in regulators’ 5G spectrum decisions and will face a new situation, where location specific services and higher carrier frequencies give rise to local network operator models. This paper analyzes the existing spectrum management and spectrum valuation approaches and identifies key elements to consider, when defining and assessing the value of spectrum especially in the context of future local 5G networks. The growing pressure to open the mobile market for location and vertical specific 5G networks promotes new sharing-based spectrum access models, to allow the emergence of local 5G operators. We characterize the identified spectrum valuation elements in the context of these new local 5G networks from the perspectives of the different stakeholder roles including regulators, mobile network operators (MNOs) and entrant local 5G operators. We further present a spectrum valuation case study of the recent 5G spectrum decisions in the 3.5-GHz band in different countries.