Smart Data Pricing

"Can smarter pricing lead to better network management?"

What is SDP?

Smart data pricing (SDP) is a research initiative that uses pricing incentives to improve network management. Over the past five years, many Internet service providers have tried to limit surging user demand for wired and wireless data by capping users’ monthly data usage and charging hefty overage fees or throttling data rates above the cap. SDP argues that in order to handle this growing demand, service providers need to stop looking at demand growth as a problem to be solved by penalizing users and start seeing it as an opportunity to better manage their network capacity by creating the right economic incentives for their users.

SDP research has been going on for decades: even in 1997, some network providers and networking researchers proposed using pricing to manage network congestion and align users’ and providers’ economic incentives. Fifteen years later, the growing demand for data has lent a new urgency to these ideas in industry as well as in academia. Current SDP research thus focuses on not just proposing new data pricing plans but also demonstrating their viability with fully functional prototypes and field trials. This website provides an overview of current SDP research directions and a more general survey of recent and not-so-recent research papers.