Economic efficiency of using the radio frequency spectrum in the evolving digital innovative economy

Digital economy: theory and practice

Transition of economy to the digital model in the 21st century requires consistent and targeted modernization of the state management system with a view of reorienting it to a market environment and the growing problem of resource scarcity. As humankind evolves, it discovers new natural resources, exploiting them as an integral part of daily production and life. In this regard, data transmission by means of electromagnetic waves provides boundless opportunities for deploying technological innovations in all spheres of state and society to improve their quality and efficiency. Developing the digital economy also requires collecting, transmitting and processing huge volumes of different kinds of information. This means that the radio frequency spectrum (RFS) is a very valuable natural resource. Analysis of the current demand for RFS revealed a growing shortage problem, due to widespread introduction of new technologies, both for general and specialized use. Lack of RFS makes it difficult for new users to exploit a resource, increasing transaction costs, making it problematic to stimulate economic growth. In order to perform economic analysis of exploiting RFS, we propose a criterion for the efficiency of its use. Study of negative externalities of using RFS has revealed the existing direct and indirect limitations. We have formulated suggestions for applying economic methods allowing to use the resource rationally, in particular, changing the form of ownership, imposing fees for using the resource, delegating certain rights to manage RFS to the private sector, and making decisions on resource allocation based on economic criteria. We have considered the main conditions and advantages of introducing collective ownership for using RFS for broadband access network operators, providing opportunities for combined use of the resource and the infrastructure. We have also proposed introducing economic criteria into the practice of the state management system when making decisions on prospective use of RFS. As indirect restrictions, we have considered the problem of e-waste, in particular, in space, and the potentially harmful effects of electromagnetic waves on human health if the resource is used with increased intensity. To solve this problem, we propose to impose an annual fee on satellite network operators for using the orbital frequency resource. Thus, a source of funding is created for space cleaning programs.