Chapter 6Human Factors in Smart Data Pricing

SOUMYA SEN, CARLEE JOE-WONG, SANGTAE HA, and MUNG CHIANG

6.1 Introduction

Smart data pricing (SDP) explores mechanisms beyond traditional flat-rate or usage-based pricing models to alleviate network congestion, monetize bandwidth, and help consumers save on their monthly bills. But realizing such mechanisms requires the creation of the right economic incentives and tools to understand and modify consumer behavior in a desired manner. The need for such a holistic approach makes SDP a truly interdisciplinary research topic that draws on principles from network engineering, economics, and human–computer interaction (HCI). Therefore, understanding how to enable consumers to respond to SDP incentives remains the most important factor in the successful adoption of such data pricing plans. HCI researchers have explored related issues in the context of computer networks and electricity markets, and in this chapter, we introduce these earlier findings and build on them to address the needs of mobile networks. In mobile networks, the feasibility of SDP is particularly promising because of the variance in users’ content consumption behaviors, varying degrees of elasticity of demand of different content types, and the richness of capabilities afforded by smart devices to make them a part of the network congestion management infrastructure.

Past research has shown that consumers prefer simplicity in billing, predictability in their expense, and ...

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