Saturday, January 03, 2004
Internet pricing paper
This paper analyses the issues surrounding the future of Internet pricing. It is unnecessarily long, but worth a browse. The key points, imho, are:
- Internet infrastructure companies are trying to apply discriminatory pricing of the kind used by railroads (first class, second class, third class fares), by airlines (yield management) or by wireless carriers (pay to download ringtones)
- They are unlikely to succeed, because unlike the railroads etc, the cost of infrastructure is very low for the Internet - the infrastructure is dumb and most of the intelligence is "at the edges"; a single strand of fiber can carry all the transatlantic Internet traffic - several terabytes/sec - and costs like $10 million/a year to maintain
- Telcos should stick with flat pricing, and should make money by providing ever-faster data rates and hope for innovation to increase their revenues, since flat pricing will promote innovation - okay, this point is not completely convincing
- Content is not the king
There's some interesting history in this paper regarding railroad, highway, canal, lighthouse pricing.
Another interesting argument is in favor of open architecture on the Internet. The paper pretty much says that the telcos were dumb to spend so much money on QoS, ATM etc. since that's not going to bring them additional revenues - IP will win and the pipes will just keep growing larger.
The authors state confidently that while streaming video is the Holy Grail of telcos, what users are really looking for is ever faster file transfer. They also slam the asymmetric nature of DSL/cable-modem services.
What I did not understand was how the authors explain the cell phone companies who have continued to innovate (WAP, SMS, 3G, Blackberry) while sticking mostly to closed architecture and discriminatory pricing.
Foreign coaches for foreign matches, Indian coaches for Indian matches?
If the last couple of test series for India, the away series against Australia and the home series against New Zealand, are anything to go by, it seems that Indians are doing better than ever away from home, and worse than ever at home.
Could Bedi and others be at least partially right? Or are teams like the New Zealanders just improving rapidly? Or do we just not have any world-class spinners in the side? Who are the top spinners in the game today? Murlidharan, Saqlain, Vettori, Warne (when he comes back)...
Will 705 be enough?
Watching how easily the Indians batted on day 2 of the final Ind-Aus test match at SCG - scoring at 3.71 runs per over, I'd be surprised if the Aussies don't get going at a 5+ runs per over scoring pace. There are still 260 overs left in this match (at the end of India's first innings). At 5 runs per over, the Aussies can still score 900 runs, with 80 overs left to bowl India out.
That's the tough part - even at Melbourne, the Indians batted for 99.5 overs in the second innings before being bowled out. With Gillespie in the side, the Aussies have a slightly better chance, but not things aren't going to be all that different.
To provide the Indians with a 300 run second innings target, and to give themselves 100 overs to bowl the Indians out, the Aussies would need to score 1000 runs in 160 overs, at a 6+ runs/over pace. That sounds like a tall order for the world champs, and it would be a first of sorts. But it doesn't sound totally impossible to me, considering how pedestrian the Indian bowling attack for the match is.
It seems, though, that the Aussies will probably try to bat for 200 overs and score about 1000 runs.