A survey of smart data pricing: Past proposals, current plans, and future trends

Soumya Sen, Carlee Joe-Wong, Sangtae Ha, Mung Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Traditionally, network operators have used simple flat-rate broadband data plans for both wired and wireless network access. But today, with the popularity of mobile devices and exponential growth of apps, videos, and clouds, service providers are gradually moving toward more sophisticated pricing schemes. This decade will therefore likely witness a major change in the ways in which network resources are managed, and the role of economics in allocating these resources. This survey reviews some of the well-known past broadband pricing proposals (both static and dynamic), including their current realizations in various consumer data plans around the world, and discusses several research problems and open questions. By exploring the benefits and challenges of pricing data, this article attempts to facilitate both the industrial and the academic communities' efforts in understanding the existing literature, recognizing new trends, and shaping an appropriate and timely research agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
JournalACM Computing Surveys
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


  • Broadband pricing
  • Congestion
  • Data plans
  • Economics


Dive into the research topics of 'A survey of smart data pricing: Past proposals, current plans, and future trends'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this