A review of radio spectrum combinatorial clock auctions Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2017

start page

  • 303

end page

  • 324


  • 5-6


  • 41

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0308-5961

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-3258


  • This paper surveys a decade of Combinatorial Clock Auctions (CCAs) to allocate radio spectrum licenses from their inception to 2016. Although all CCAs share a common structure (first an allocation stage and then, an assignment stage), regulators have tailored key variables depending on their spectrum policies and market structures. We identify these variables, such as. spectrum packaging policy, reserve price, demand limit, activity rule, transparency and pricing rule. We also analyze the different ways in which regulators can design them along with their implications. This theoretical work is accompanied by a review of the practical implementation decisions in each actual auction and final outcomes. Although all the information is public, it is not easy to find because it is highly disaggregated. Finally, after having identified advantages and disadvantages in this auction model, we present some proposals to improve the actual mechanism.


  • Computer Science


  • combinatorial clock auction (cca); spectrum auction; spectrum packaging policy; reserve price; demand limit; activity rules; transparency; pricing rule