The continuous growth in ubiquitous and mobile network connectivity, together with the increasing number of networked computational devices populating our everyday environments (e.g., PDAs, sensor networks, tags, etc.), call for a deep rethinking of traditional communication and service architectures. The emerging area of autonomic communication addresses such challenging issues by trying to identify novel flexible network architectures, and by conceiving novel conceptual and practical tools for the design, development, and execution of “autonomic” (i.e., self-organizing, selfadaptive and context-aware) communication services. In this paper, after having introduced the general concepts behind autonomic communications and autonomic communication services, we analyze the key issues related to the identification of suitable “component” models for autonomic communication services, and discuss the strict relation between such models and agent models. On this basis, we try to synthesize the key desirable characteristics that one should expect from a general-purpose agent model for autonomic communication services.