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Subject: Re: IP-tel
From: Gordon Lennox <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Network management discussion for Nordic region <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 24 Jan 2003 10:07:01 +0100
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On billing for communications services...

It is worth reading

http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/history.communications0.pdf

The basic messaage is that there are big advantages in flat-rate in
communications, the historical trend always goes that way. Among other
things there is some evidence that people are even willing to pay a premium
to get some certainty in how much they will be billed, to avoid nasty
surprises.

I do not think this is in contradiction to some of what is being said. But I
think it shows some of the medium or long term limits.

Micro-billing for communications is probably a bad idea in the end. As David
Cleevely of www.analysys.com said some time back: we are on the second half
of the chess-board.  I am still amazed how many companies each want a bit of
the money when you send a twenty character SMS between two roaming phones.
And they also include companies like Mach who do mobile clearing. The
control and business overheads that that involves... On the other hand I
think I saw the beginning of flat-rate mobile in the US last time I was
there.

Having various flat-rate tariff levels with warning indicators when
exceeding global (or some kind of smoothed) consumption is probably the way
to go. Hey, what am I saying: that is roughly what I see around me.<g>

Except some of the control measures (like giving customers damaged goods
such as an always-on but dynamic address) are probably not that friendly.
They even discourage innovation and increased usage! But we have been there
before.

Gordon

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