Time dependent pricing in wireless data networks: Flat-rate vs. usage-based schemes

Liang Zhang, Weijie Wu, Dan Wang

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

59 Citations (Scopus)


With the advances of bandwidth-intensive mobile devices, we see severe congestion problems in wireless data networks. Recently, research emerges to solve this problem from a pricing point of view. Time dependent pricing has been introduced, and initial investigations have shown its advantages over the conventional time independent pricing. Nevertheless, much is unknown in how a practical and effective time dependent pricing scheme can be designed. In this paper, we explore the design space of time dependent pricing. In particular, we focus on a number of schemes, e.g., the usage-based scheme, the flat-rate scheme, and a mixture of them which we called a cap scheme. Our findings include: 1) the ISP obtains a higher profit with usage-based (or flat-rate) scheme if the capacity is insufficient (or sufficient); 2) the usage-based scheme usually achieves a higher consumer surplus and more efficient traffic utilization than the flat-rate scheme; and 3) the cap scheme is strongly preferred by the ISP to further increase its revenue. We believe our findings provide important insights for ISPs to design effective pricing schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE INFOCOM 2014 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781479933600
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event33rd IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, IEEE INFOCOM 2014 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: 27 Apr 20142 May 2014


Conference33rd IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, IEEE INFOCOM 2014
CityToronto, ON

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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