This paper aims to provide an analysis of the UK's experience with spectrum trading using data from Ofcom's transfer notice registry and the UK statutory instrument on spectrum trading.
The legal framework for spectrum trading is outlined and the data from Ofcom's transfer notice registry is subjected to three analytical techniques: descriptive statistical analysis, a binary logistic regression and volitional pragmatism.
A descriptive account of the empirical observations associated with spectrum trading shows that most trades (however defined) occur in business radio. A binary logistic regression of the transfer notice registry data demonstrates that trading is more likely to occur where the buyer and seller of a radio license are in the same service/industry. This analysis is inconclusive however due to lack of data. A third analytical technique, volitional pragmatism, suggests that the interdependency inherent in radio communications makes the scope of spectrum trading less workable as a mechanism of co‐ordinating spectrum use and users than previously assumed.
An approach to evaluating the real‐world efficacy of spectrum trading given the operational goals of a national regulatory authority is provided.
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