Some of these ideas are already in use by carriers in different markets, such as bundling fixed and mobile broadband (eg, BT, UK), allowing two devices on one subscription (telenor, Norway) offering an increased data quota at a relatively lower price (Telecom NZ) or unmetered access at weekends and during school holidays (Orange France). The latter is a special case of charging by time of day and day of the week, which is designed to encourage use at times when the network is lightly loaded.
Others include 'day pass' top-ups for people who have already hit their monthly limit but require full speed for a particular project, user-initiated reset of the billing cycle (ie, to start a new month's quota at any time), reductions in the effective charge per megabyte within individual sessions (this could be implemented by actually applying a lower tariff or - for 'bucket' plans - by discounting the metered amount of data), or allowing users to draw on a single bucket of data from their dongle and smartphone accounts.
Ericsson also sees 'bolt-ons' as part of the future of mobile broadband. Existing examples include TeliaSonera's (Sweden) 99 SEK (approx $A15) per month unlimited music service, or Optus's (Australia) offer of unlimited Facebook use on certain mobile plans.
Some carriers are looking at ways of improving the user experience at a given price. For example, Telkomsel (Indonesia) has moved away from throttling after a user's quota is exceeded to deprioritisation - over-quota users get full-speed operation if there is spare network capacity after under-quota users have been serviced. An approach that has proved popular in South Africa, Ericsson strategic marketing manager Warren Chaisatien said, is offering users in lightly-loaded cells heavy discounts on top-ups that only last for a short period.
Quality of service (QoS) rules can be applied in a variety of ways. Chaisatien noted that an unnamed European operator has observed that iPhone owners are high ARPU (average revenue per user) customers, and so prioritises traffic to iPhones. The company doesn't mention the practice in its marketing materials, relying instead on good word of mouth.
What other strategies may be used? See page 3.