The truth behind the cost of text messaging

What are you currently paying for your text messaging? Is it 20 or 25 cents or are you one of the millions of users who buy a text messaging package with your phone plan for $5 or more every month?

Regardless what you pay, you're over paying. Not that this comes as a surprise to many but the New York Times has divulged in great detail how bad your actually being ripped off.

Wireless carriers have a "control channel" for sending text messages, This channel is used for that task, in fact every time your cell phone communicates with the tower it uses the "control channel" regardless if you text or not. Simply, the text message is small enough that it piggy backs in the control channel if needed; there is no impact on the tower because of the message; but text messages are not just tiny; they are also free riders, tucked into what's called a control channel, space reserved for operation of the wireless network."

The reasoning of the limit length of 160 characters has nothing to do with the handset or networks capability. It revolves around the control channels extra space to allow for a text message to piggy back its way to the tower. In fact, it doesn't cost the carrier much more to send 100 million text messages versus the cost of sending 1 million text messages. Plain and simple, you're being ripped off and the carriers don't care.

When will the price gouging end? It's unclear but at least one person is looking out for the consumers. United States Senator Herb Kohl, Democrat of Wisconsin and the chairman of the Senate antitrust subcommittee have been investigating the matter but are running into brick walls with regards to receiving information from the nation's four major carriers. If that doesn't work, one of the 20 class action lawsuits may get the carriers attention.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Digital TV coupons could run out

Next Story

LG to launch 3G cellphone watch at CES 2009

96 Comments - Add comment