Economic Feasibility of Wireless Sensor Network-Based Service Provision in a Duopoly Setting with a Monopolist Operator

Sensors (Basel). 2017 Nov 25;17(12):2727. doi: 10.3390/s17122727.


We analyze the feasibility of providing Wireless Sensor Network-data-based services in an Internet of Things scenario from an economical point of view. The scenario has two competing service providers with their own private sensor networks, a network operator and final users. The scenario is analyzed as two games using game theory. In the first game, sensors decide to subscribe or not to the network operator to upload the collected sensing-data, based on a utility function related to the mean service time and the price charged by the operator. In the second game, users decide to subscribe or not to the sensor-data-based service of the service providers based on a Logit discrete choice model related to the quality of the data collected and the subscription price. The sinks and users subscription stages are analyzed using population games and discrete choice models, while network operator and service providers pricing stages are analyzed using optimization and Nash equilibrium concepts respectively. The model is shown feasible from an economic point of view for all the actors if there are enough interested final users and opens the possibility of developing more efficient models with different types of services.

Keywords: Nash equilibrium; discrete choice model; game theory; internet of things service provider; network economics; population games; pricing; users subscription; wireless sensor networks.