Last updated: February 4, 2010 - 3:06pm
Wireless carriers are facing a conundrum: They have invested billions of dollars into improving network capacity, but only a small number of users are responsible for the majority of the network's total data traffic. And while there has been some discussion about usage-based pricing as a solution, there are a range of roadblocks facing operators that chose to travel down that path.
Metered pricing is a simple-sounding solution that has many complex parts. It's technically possible, but how carriers implement the service will depend on their individual business situations. "I think that it is inevitable for the industry to move toward this, otherwise the business model is not sustainable," said Rafi Kretchmer product marketing manager for revenue management at billing systems vendor Amdocs. He noted that low-volume data users are essentially subsidizing heavy data customers. "In order to address this conflict, they realize that to not leave money on the table, they must differentiate the pricing." Others agree.
- Analyst: Carriers set to introduce usage-based mobile data pricing
- Rep Eshoo Seeks GAO Study of Usage-Based Pricing
- Usage-based pricing gets FCC support
- What the Google-Verizon deal really means for the wireless future
- Usage-Based Pricing Plans Are Essential to Bridging the Digital Divide
- Usage-Based Broadband Billing vs "Channels"
- Is broadband metering really so bad?
- AT&T Wireless Shift Promises Boon to Cable
- AT&T CEO revisits usage-based 3G pricing
- Internet Pricing: The Next Policy Frontier
- Data by the Bucket
- NCTA's Powell: Usage-Based Pricing About Fairness, Not Capacity
- Why bandwidth caps could be a threat to competition
- A Most Egregious Act? The Impact on Consumers of Usage-Based Pricing
- Credit Suisse report: U.S. wireless networks running at 80% of total capacity