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Monday, April 15, 2013

Managing Cellular Congestion Using Incentives

Smartphones are increasingly used to access multimedia-enabled services on the web. Most of the wireless data traffic from smartphones today is in the form of audio (e.g., Pandora) or video (e.g., YouTube, CNN Live, and Netflix), and the demand for these applications is projected to grow exponentially. Many network providers have modified their cellular data pricing plans in response to congestion. AT&T was one of the first to switch from a flat fee for unlimited data access to a tiered wireless data pricing plan ($15 for 200 Mbytes/mo, $25 plan for 2 Gbytes, etc.). 

Verizon followed suit soon afterward. Furthermore, the network providers have started to throttle the speed of service for people using the network excessively.

In light of this, this article provides insights to user behavior when the incentives vary a
bit more “dynamically.”

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