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The pricing and charging mechanisms used in Next Generation Network (NGN) deployments will influence the profitability of network operators. NGNs present an opportunity for the success of service delivery platforms designed for IP multimedia communications, like the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). Moreover, they present a platform for the delivery of a multitude of applications and services to users with different expectations and budgets. Although usage-based charging schemes are more meaningful, some recent successful Internet-based applications and services have attracted widespread usage due to enforcement of flat-rate pricing. The choice of a pricing scheme often has a one-to-one relation to the access network technology and the quality of service guarantee. Flat-rate pricing may easily be associated with best effort transport. This implies that some users opt for services without QoS guarantee when favoured by the pricing methodology. This paper explores scenarios where services with different QoS requirements available to users with varying pricing preferences can be provided over a set of IP connection access networks (IP-CANs) of the IMS. We explore the use of different pricing schemes for different IP-CANs of the IMS. We perform testbed evaluations and present results depicting the income patterns of networks enforcing different pricing and charging schemes for VoIP and IPTV services. Moreover, we emphasize the use of simplified pricing schemes on communication networks.
Date of Conference: 13-16 Sept. 2009