Abolish mobile phone texting price gouging


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Campaign: Best Practices/Big Ideas

Abolish mobile phone texting price gouging! The cost to handle the data transfer of a few characters from phone to phone is minimal in comparison to voice. It must end!


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(latest 20 votes)

Similar Ideas [ 5 ]


  1. Comment
    Michael Sullivan

    Have you considered moving to a monthly bucket of text messages? They become quite inexpensive that way. You can even set the marginal cost of messages to zero by subscribing to an unlimited txt plan.

    Remember that text messages aren't just using bandwidth that would otherwise be unused. The system operator needs to have servers, store messages until they are delivered, notify the recipient when a message that's stored is delivered, etc.

  2. Comment

    I definitely agree that text messaging shouldn't be disproportionately more expensive (monthly unlimited or not). SMS (the text messaging protocol) is not (or should not be) much more expensive for a telecommunications company to implement than other things such as voice and e-mail. The key issue at hand here is that the main cell phone service providers are charging users based on how they use bandwidth. Pricing really needs to come more in line with how _much_ bandwidth they are using. However, it does make sense to charge extra for Internet connectivity since the cell phone company must pay extra for it as well.

  3. Comment

    What's happening is that mobile providers are required to make contractual agreements with wired carriers, and in some cases more than one per area. At the moment, a Cellular or Wireless service is only as "wireless" as you are to the nearest tower(s). After that, its all on the wire.

    To keep your basic monthly plan from constantly rising, the contracts are partially paid for with revenue from account add-ons. Text messaging is an incredibly simple, and low band-width network feature. With that said, texting is an incredibly profitable network feature.

    Additionally, the rising complexity of mobile devices and expectation of loss-leader pricing is also an issue. Mobile carriers cannot afford for users to buy handsets at a loss (to the carrier), and let them wander off to competitors without finding alternate revenue. Contracts often alleviate this, but even after 12 months, the remaining profit generated from one user is not very high. Account add-ons like texting help offset this cost.

    I'm not necessarily trying to fend for wireless carriers here, but after taking a few networking classes, I see why addons are useful to carriers.

    I do agree that the cost per message on some networks is exorbitantly high, and should be adjusted.