it should be obvious that treating spectrum as property is just wrong, since unlike, say, a toll road, there's no technical reason a device can't switch among 100 different providers and/or frequencies in the space of a minute. suppose phones simply conducted a reverse action when they needed service. (let the government tax the transaction, rather than obtain an inherently less efficient one-time payment for spectrum.) in other words, whoever uses the spectrum pays for it. can you imagine how customer-friendly this would be? it wouldn't necessarily preclude long-term service plans, but would inherently lessen the reliance on lockin. it would also improve coverage, literally exponentially, since your chances of getting service from _someone_ would the product of the probability of single-carrier coverage. this would also be much friendlier to the internet-of-things concept, since devices could obtain coverage without significant overheads. it would also create vast and numerous incentives for coverage where the big carriers do a poor job - perhaps there would even be arbitrage-like enterprises that simply provided patchwork-like coverage in the weak spots of bigger carriers. absurdities like arguing about micro-sim formats would disappear, since identities would simply be tied to billing, rather than requiring a separately maintained uniqueid.
Dear markhahn there was a peer to peer group called the Poisoned Project that did something like that, - they hooked up all their members so each one having a particular song contributed proportionally the data for that song to a downloader, - fantastic download times, but unfortunately sabotaged by a deep packet inspection program from the rich boys called Sandmine.
Whatever your own feelings about that, from another side the Broadband Rollout in Australia, with it's huge capacities, may also be a way for overcoming the frequencies jam?
Should we reuse the old spectrum using newer technologies after some a certain period of time?? ie. now 2G/3G/4G devices co exists. and within a few years 5G will be coming. If at any point of time, we decide we will stop using/making only 2G devices anymore, then after a few years(say 5), we can reuse the spectrum using newer technologies. The 5 years will be enough time for everyone to dispose their legacy devices :)