Traditionally, network operators have used simple flat-rate broadband data plans for both wired and wireless network access. But today, with the popularity of mobile devices and exponential growth of apps, videos, and clouds, service providers are gradually moving toward more sophisticated pricing schemes. This decade will therefore likely witness a major change in the ways in which network resources are managed, and the role of economics in allocating these resources. This survey reviews some of the well-known past broadband pricing proposals (both static and dynamic), including their current realizations in various consumer data plans around the world, and discusses several research problems and open questions. By exploring the benefits and challenges of pricing data, this article attempts to facilitate both the industrial and the academic communities' efforts in understanding the existing literature, recognizing new trends, and shaping an appropriate and timely research agenda.
- Broadband pricing
- Data plans