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It has been suggested that light regulation in the form of etiquette protocols, device design and bargaining amongst users will suffice to mitigate a tragedy of the commons in unlicensed spectrum. In this paper, the authors propose a game theoretic model to examine this claim. In this game, each user decides whether or not to set up an access point, which operates on a particular (single) band. The effect of regulation is modeled in reduced form through transfers. A user, who sets up an access point, provides payments to each neighbor who does not and suffers a disutility depending on the number of interfering access points. A user, who does not set up an access point, receives payments from each neighbor that does.
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