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Pricing the Internet Geoff Huston

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1 Pricing the Internet Geoff Huston

2 Issues Covered Cost Identification Cost Identification Pricing Policies Pricing Policies

3 Cost Identification Cost elements for an Internet Service Cost elements for an Internet Service technical staff technical staff operational and support staff operational and support staff administrative overheads administrative overheads capital equipment capital equipment data transmission costs data transmission costs domestic line leases domestic line leases international line leases international line leases ISP transit costs ISP transit costs

4 Cost Profile Typical recurrent costs - non US profile - national backbone carrier Typical recurrent costs - non US profile - national backbone carrier staff & admin 10% staff & admin 10% domestic leases 30% domestic leases 30% international leases 60% international leases 60% international transit <1% international transit <1%

5 Cost Profile

6 US profile has proportionally US profile has proportionally lower international lease cost lower international lease cost lower domestic lease cost lower domestic lease cost higher support staff cost higher support staff cost Non-US profile used in this presentation Non-US profile used in this presentation

7 Cost Profile typical recurrent costs - non-national backbone carrier, non-US profile typical recurrent costs - non-national backbone carrier, non-US profile staff & admin - 20% staff & admin - 20% domestic leases and backbone services - 80% domestic leases and backbone services - 80%

8 Cost Profile Determining the unit cost of passing traffic over the network Determining the unit cost of passing traffic over the network sum of unit costs for passing traffic over each circuit sum of unit costs for passing traffic over each circuit normalised by average end to end traffic flow profile normalised by average end to end traffic flow profile

9 Cost Profile determining the unit cost of passing traffic over a circuit determining the unit cost of passing traffic over a circuit bidirectional or unidirectional? bidirectional or unidirectional? line occupancy pattern (peak to average) line occupancy pattern (peak to average) average sustainable line occupancy average sustainable line occupancy Dial server usage pattern Businessl usage pattern

10 Cost Strategy avoid congestion on the circuit as a priority avoid congestion on the circuit as a priority (actual unit cost of delivered data) (actual unit cost of delivered data) Average Traffic Level Unit Cost 10% 30% 20% 40%

11 Cost Strategy leased circuit cost leased circuit cost circuit lease cost must be fully defrayed at average circuit occupancy of 35% for a stable operating network. circuit lease cost must be fully defrayed at average circuit occupancy of 35% for a stable operating network. higher average occupancy is possible at the cost of peak load inefficiency higher average occupancy is possible at the cost of peak load inefficiency lower average occupancy is under subscription of the circuit resource. lower average occupancy is under subscription of the circuit resource.

12 Cost Profile Example TypeProportionunit cost%total trans cost recoverable Intnl % Dom % Local %

13 Cost Strategy minimise International Lease costs minimise International Lease costs tariff structure of decreasing unit cost with tariff structure of decreasing unit cost with longer lease commitment longer lease commitment higher volume circuit higher volume circuit Note that the Minimum Investment Unit (MIU) of international cable systemsis an E1 bearer Note that the Minimum Investment Unit (MIU) of international cable systemsis an E1 bearer major cost break leading to E1 size major cost break leading to E1 size reduced cost break thereafter reduced cost break thereafter

14 Cost Strategy quantity over quality quantity over quality Frame Relay for lower speeds Frame Relay for lower speeds quantity over diversity quantity over diversity

15 Cost Strategy terminate at the cheapest useful full circuit location terminate at the cheapest useful full circuit location high volume termination locations are cheaper high volume termination locations are cheaper distance is not a significant factor distance is not a significant factor maximise useful circuit capacity maximise useful circuit capacity secondary goal secondary goal avoid the long delay pipe protocol behaviour avoid the long delay pipe protocol behaviour use cable if marginal premium over satellite is small use cable if marginal premium over satellite is small tend to cable for higher bandwidths tend to cable for higher bandwidths

16 Cost Strategy Minimising International Lease cost is the most significant cost factor Minimising International Lease cost is the most significant cost factor Domestic lease cost can be significant Domestic lease cost can be significant similar factors apply here as with International leases similar factors apply here as with International leases

17 International Access Costs Connection Options Connection Options Connect to upstream ISP Connect to upstream ISP Import default route Import default route Contract ISP to advertise your routes to Internet Contract ISP to advertise your routes to Internet Cost highly variable Cost highly variable Quality of default can be variable Quality of default can be variable Purchase carefully! Purchase carefully!

18 International Access Costs Connect to an exchange point Connect to an exchange point Can advertise your routes to all exchange peers Can advertise your routes to all exchange peers Can import all announced routes to your network Can import all announced routes to your network This is not the same as importation of default This is not the same as importation of default You need to purchase transit at the exchange point in order to reach other exchange points You need to purchase transit at the exchange point in order to reach other exchange points same conditions apply same conditions apply

19 Costs and Revenue This is a growth industry This is a growth industry Cost containment is subsiduary to revenue growth Cost containment is subsiduary to revenue growth Effective marketing leads to Effective marketing leads to higher revenue higher revenue greater purchasing power greater purchasing power lower unit costs lower unit costs

20 Client Pricing Objectives Objectives service provision service provision cover costs? cover costs? generate revenue? generate revenue? constrain / encourage use? constrain / encourage use? competitive positioning competitive positioning

21 Revenue Generation constrained by policy objective of the network constrained by policy objective of the network initial revenue levels need to be offet against future growth potential within competitive environment initial revenue levels need to be offet against future growth potential within competitive environment maintain revenue levels in line with investor expectation maintain revenue levels in line with investor expectation

22 Constrain / Encourage Use Must constrain use within a fixed funded or subsidised environment Must constrain use within a fixed funded or subsidised environment unrestricted growth of subsidised environment implies fundamental business failure within a cross-subsidised environment unrestricted growth of subsidised environment implies fundamental business failure within a cross-subsidised environment Must constrain use if increased use does not generate increased funding and / or revenue Must constrain use if increased use does not generate increased funding and / or revenue Should encourage use within parameters of constant or improving Should encourage use within parameters of constant or improving income income delivered quality of service delivered quality of service unit cost of service provision unit cost of service provision

23 Competitive Pricing Must set pricing at a level which is Must set pricing at a level which is comparable to competitive networks comparable to competitive networks modulo: modulo: delivered service profile delivered service profile quality of delivered service quality of delivered service Opportunity pricing is inherantly unsafe as a longer term strategy Opportunity pricing is inherantly unsafe as a longer term strategy

24 Internet Service Pricing Unit pricing is variable against target congestion level Unit pricing is variable against target congestion level The discriminant is quality The discriminant is quality Variable perception of value of quality Variable perception of value of quality price of services Congestion level

25 Pricing Elements Access Access Time Time Volume Volume Distance Distance Price = f(Access) + g(Time) + h(Volume) + j(Distance) Price = f(Access) + g(Time) + h(Volume) + j(Distance)

26 Access Price Normally varied by bandwidth Normally varied by bandwidth If used as sole price parameter then the provider relies on averaging across the client base If used as sole price parameter then the provider relies on averaging across the client base Sophistication of client base implies increased usage at constant price Sophistication of client base implies increased usage at constant price Must be offset by constant growth Must be offset by constant growth ie acces pricing must be offset by increased marketing costs and / or access to lower unit costs of bandwidth ie acces pricing must be offset by increased marketing costs and / or access to lower unit costs of bandwidth

27 Access Pricing flat fee based on bandwidth flat fee based on bandwidth widely used widely used predictable billing predictable billing low administrative overhead low administrative overhead increased marketing costs increased marketing costs no traffic shaping no traffic shaping no incentive for shared caching to offset intnl lease costs no incentive for shared caching to offset intnl lease costs

28 Time Pricing only applicable to dial-up operation only applicable to dial-up operation scales with growth in dial-up market scales with growth in dial-up market widely used widely used

29 Volume Pricing cannot measure calls cannot measure calls Sent or Received traffic? Sent or Received traffic? Sent Volume Sent Volume reduces incentive to populate network with services (information provider pays to pass information to receiver) reduces incentive to populate network with services (information provider pays to pass information to receiver) Received Volume Received Volume matches ftp & html usage matches ftp & html usage poor match for & telnet poor match for & telnet low incentive for cooperative infrastucture low incentive for cooperative infrastucture provider undertakes all dns, named, caches, etc provider undertakes all dns, named, caches, etc

30 Volume Pricing Decision on Volume unit Decision on Volume unit tens of gigabytes (virtual access bandwidth) tens of gigabytes (virtual access bandwidth) megabytes (high sensitivity) megabytes (high sensitivity) Traffic shaping by time of day Traffic shaping by time of day peak / off peak pricing peak / off peak pricing reflects congestion price premium reflects congestion price premium

31 Volume Pricing Unit price on received tens of gigabytes per quarter Unit price on received tens of gigabytes per quarter Off Peak volume discount Off Peak volume discount increasing adoption within the Internet increasing adoption within the Internet scaleability scaleability allows increasing revenue with increasing use to ensure constant delivered quality allows increasing revenue with increasing use to ensure constant delivered quality i.e. allows constant service integrity i.e. allows constant service integrity

32 Distance Pricing Typically applied to volumes Typically applied to volumes unit cost for local switching unit cost for local switching unit cost for intercity switching unit cost for intercity switching unit cost for international switching unit cost for international switching requires traffic sniffing requires traffic sniffing poorly understood within the client environment poorly understood within the client environment

33 Pricing Conclusions No pricing (funding by external agencies or by multilateral client agreement) is typical starting position, but No pricing (funding by external agencies or by multilateral client agreement) is typical starting position, but requires long lead times to set up! requires long lead times to set up! Access Pricing is effective starting position, but Access Pricing is effective starting position, but is difficult to produce a stable outcome under growth pressure is difficult to produce a stable outcome under growth pressure Volume Pricing is stable, but Volume Pricing is stable, but requires careful positioning within current / future competitive market requires careful positioning within current / future competitive market

34 Discussion Marketing Internet Services Marketing Internet Services Cost containment vs revenue growth Cost containment vs revenue growth marketing as a measure to support pricing strategy marketing as a measure to support pricing strategy plan ahead on demand levels, revenue and expenditure plan ahead on demand levels, revenue and expenditure Issues of marketing content vs marketing data switching services Issues of marketing content vs marketing data switching services


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