Network sharing is widely accepted as a cost effective approach for mobile network deployment. It remains uncertain, however, how regulators will evaluate network sharing agreements (NSA) for future networks in the context of the current competition law. For example, 5G mobile network operators (MNOs) seeking to enter NSAs may risk legal challenges, as regulators have not given MNOs sufficient guidance for self-evaluation of their NSAs. One way for MNOs to reduce the risk of legal challenge is to avoid sharing variable costs in the NSA. However, constraining costs to be non-variable (i.e., fixed) rules out the use of most pricing mechanisms that have been widely adopted for dynamic resource trading between MNOs. In this article, we propose a network sharing framework to allow dynamic resource sharing without the use of resource pricing. To incentivize sharing without pricing, our framework presents sharing as a means for MNOs to differentiate services and better compete in the service market for profit. We evaluate our framework in a duopoly market model and demonstrate the economic and regulatory viability of our framework.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- beyond 5G
- network economics
- Network sharing