The provision of services by more than one operator over a common network infrastructure, as enabled by 5G network slicing, is analyzed. Two business models to be implemented by a network operator, who owns the network, and a virtual operator, who does not, are proposed. In one business model, named strategic, the network operator provides service to its user base and the virtual operator provides service to its user base and pays a per-subscriber fee to the network operator. In the other business model, named monopolistic, the network operator provides service to both user bases. The two proposals are analyzed by means of a model that captures both system and economic features. As regards the systems features, the slicing of the network is modeled by means of a Discriminatory Processor Sharing queue. As regards the economic features, the incentives are modeled by means of the user utilities and the operators’ revenues; and game theory is used to model the strategic interaction between the users’ subscription decision and the operators’ pricing decision. In both business models, it is shown that the network operator can be provided with the appropriate economic incentives so that it acquiesces in serving the virtual operator's user base (monopolistic model) and in allowing the virtual operator to provide service over the network operator's infrastructure (strategic model). From the point of view of the users, the strategic model results in a higher subscription rate than the monopolistic model.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank the collaboration of Angel Sanchis-Cano in the early stages of this work. This work has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MCIU/AEI) and the European Union (FEDER/UE) through Grant PGC2018-094151-B-I00. And by the Salesian Polytechnic University of Ecuador through a Ph.D. scholarship granted to the first author.
This work has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MCIU/AEI) and the European Union (FEDER/UE) through Grant PGC2018-094151-B-I00 . And by the Salesian Polytechnic University of Ecuador through a Ph.D. scholarship granted to the first author.
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.
- Discriminatory processor sharing
- Game theory
- Network slicing
- Virtual operators