Co-primary inter-operator spectrum sharing over a limited spectrum pool using repeated games

Bikramjit Singh, Konstantinos Koufos, Olav Tirkkonen, Randall Berry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


We consider two small cell operators deployed in the same geographical area, sharing spectrum resources from a common pool. A method is investigated to coordinate the utilization of the spectrum pool without monetary transactions and without revealing operator-specific information to other parties. For this, we construct a protocol based on asking and receiving spectrum usage favors by the operators, and keeping a book of the favors. A spectrum usage favor is exchanged between the operators if one is asking for a permission to use some of the resources from the pool on an exclusive basis, and the other is willing to accept that. As a result, the proposed method does not force an operator to take action. An operator with a high load may take spectrum usage favors from an operator that has few users to serve, and it is likely to return these favors in the future to show a cooperative spirit and maintain reciprocity. We formulate the interactions between the operators as a repeated game and determine rules to decide whether to ask or grant a favor at each stage game. We illustrate that under frequent network load variations, which are expected to be prominent in small cell deployments, both operators can attain higher user rates as compared to the case of no coordination of the resource utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781467364324
StatePublished - Sep 9 2015
EventIEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2015 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 8 2015Jun 12 2015

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Communications
ISSN (Print)1550-3607


OtherIEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2015
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Co-primary spectrum sharing
  • repeated games
  • spectrum pooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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