Evolution and Market Share of Wireless Community Networks
Wireless community networks that operate in the unlicensed spectrum have emerged as a low-cost alternative for providing high-speed wireless data services. By using WiFi access points that are provided and managed by community members, wireless community networks can offer high-speed data services at a much lower cost compared with traditional licensed band operators. However, depending on the number of members, the quality-of-service in terms of coverage and data rates provided by wireless community networks can be significantly lower compared with traditional licensed band operators. As a result, it is not clear whether wireless community networks will be able to capture a significant share of the market for wireless data services. In this paper we use a game-theoretic approach to model and study the evolution, and potential market share, of wireless community networks. We also study whether it is profitable for a licensed band provider to complement its licensed band data service with a low-cost service based on a wireless community network.