A Game-Theoretic Framework to Regulate Freeriding in Inter-Provider Spectrum Sharing

Document Type


Publication Date



Primary-secondary spectrum sharing is limited in terms of design space, and may not be sufficient to meet the ever-increasing demand of connectivity and high signal quality. The next step to increase spectrum sharing efficiency is to design markets where sharing takes place among primary providers rather than leaving it to the limited case where the primary licensee is idle. Attaining contractual spectrum sharing among primary providers, a.k.a. co-primary or inter-provider sharing, involves additional costs for the users, e.g., roaming fee. Co-primary spectrum sharing without additional charge to the users poses two major challenges: a) regulatory approaches must be introduced to incentivize providers to share spectrum resources, and b) small providers in co-primary spectrum sharing markets may freeride on large providers’ networks as the customers of the small providers may be using the spectrum and infrastructure resources of large providers. Such freeriding opportunities must be minimized to realize the benefits of primary-level sharing. We consider a subsidy-based spectrum sharing (SBSS) market to facilitate co-primary spectrum sharing where providers are explicitly incentivized to share spectrum resources. We focus on minimizing freeriding in SBSS markets and introduce a game-theoretic model to regulate the freeriding. We use the model to explore operational regimes with minimal freeriding.


Copyright 2021 IEEE - All rights reserved.

Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications