Is there a business case for differential pricing within IMS and are there lessons to be learnt from Japan and Korea?

As discussed in my last blog on this theme .. Person to Person IMS applications – will they take off or will there be only Web applications

I explore the question here: Is there a business case for differential pricing with IMS?

And the related questions:

a) Do we see any instances of differential pricing in mature markets like Japan and Korea and

b) Do users adopt differential priced services in Japan and Korea?

c) How is that differential pricing implemented? I.e. on the network, in the device, as a service level agreement in advance etc etc?

My proposition is:

If we don’t see customer adoption of differentially priced services in Japan and Korea, why do we expect that we will see them in the West? And the counter argument – if we do see such services, what can we learn from them?

To give some context to this discussion,

One of the key IMS motivations for many Operators is the ability to price a service differently .

On one hand, we have the principles of net neutrality (all packets are created equal). On the other hand, we have a situation where closed/private networks do not follow the principles of net neutrality.

Tim Wu explains this best(and I do follow Tim’s thinking) .. When he says explores the idea of what is neutral in context of net neutrality

I think the best, although still not ideal way to think about this problem is with the help of a private/public distinction. Private networks in this sense of the word are networks that aren’t interconnected with others. The cable TV network, described above, is a good example. On a private network, discrimination part of what gives the network its utility. By definition it is closed to outsiders, and that’s what makes it useful. The main point is that discrimination on a private network does have effects on the broader network – it doesn’t spill over.

So, there are instances of private networks which are exempt from the ideas of net neutrality. We see this on the fixed network as well with VPNs

Question is:

a) Does this idea(private networks) flow through to mobile operators? Note that if it did – it would coexist with the ideas of net neutrality

b) How will it be implemented?

c) Is there a precedence in Japan and Korea for such a service(a mobile private network or a mobile network with a guaranteed QOS and differentially charged)

d) If so, how is it implemented in Japan and Korea?

Note that I am speaking of mobile private business networks (not consumer scenarios).

If indeed such scenarios could be identified in Japan and Korea – we have the precedence of similar services potentially taking up in the West.


Because consumer scenarios may differ but I expect business scenarios to be the same between Japan/Korea and Europe/North America

Hence, it is an interesting question ..