Sponsored data: Smarter data pricing in the age of data cap

Xiaowei Mei, Hsing Kenneth Cheng, Subhajyoti Bandyopadhyay, Liangfei Qiu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As the amount of online content explodes, consumers have to make a choice: either cut down their mobile data consumption or pay high overage fees. We investigate a recent phenomenon whereby network service providers are encouraging content providers to sponsor data for consumers. We analyze this phenomenon using game theory within a setting of one monopoly mobile network operator (MNO) and two competing content providers (CPs). Consumers are heterogeneous in both data usage and in their preference for the CPs. We find that the MNO’s optimal profit decreases as the consumers’ data cap becomes larger, and the optimal pricing scheme is a two-part tariff without any data caps.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternetworked World - 15th Workshop on e- Business, WeB 2016, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsHan Zhang, Jukka Heikkila, Hongxiu Li, Ming Fan, Michael J. Shaw
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783319696430
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event15th Annual Workshop on e-Business, WeB 2016 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 10 Dec 201610 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
ISSN (Print)1865-1348


Conference15th Annual Workshop on e-Business, WeB 2016


  • Data cap
  • Sponsored data
  • Two-part tariff
  • Zero rating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Business and International Management
  • Information Systems
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Information Systems and Management


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