User-provided connectivity (UPC) services: A basic model and pricing strategies
Speaker: Roch Guerin, Univeristy of Pennsylvania
Department: Electrical Engineering
Location: B 205 E-Quad
Date/Time: Thursday, April 26, 2012, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
User-provided connectivity (UPC) services offer a possible alternative, or complement, to existing infrastructure-based connectivity. A user allows other users to occasionally connect through its ``home base'' in exchange for reciprocation, or possibly compensation. This service model exhibits strong positive and negative externalities. A large user base makes the service more attractive, as it offers more connectivity options to roaming users, but it also implies a greater volume of (roaming) traffic passing through a user's home base, which can increase congestion. These interactions make it difficult to predict the eventual success of such a service offering, and how to effectively price it. This work introduces a simple model that captures the main features of such a service, and uses it to investigate if and when it might succeed. The model is also used to develop insight and guidelines for pricing such a service. The robustness of the findings is tested numerically across a broad range of configurations that relax the model's many simplifying assumptions.
Joint work with M. H. Afrasiabi