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Cellphones Space The Almighty Buck

SMS 4x More Expensive Than Data From Hubble 410

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and-much-less-space-porn dept.
paradoxSpirit writes "Physorg has a paper comparing the cost of text messaging versus the cost of getting data from Hubble Space Telescope. From the article: 'The maximum size for a text message is 160 characters, which takes 140 bytes because there are only 7 bits per character in the text messaging system, and we assume the average price for a text message is 5p. There are 1,048,576 bytes in a megabyte, so that's 1 million/140 = 7490 text messages to transmit one megabyte. At 5p each, that's £374.49 [$732.95] per MB — or about 4.4 times more expensive than the 'most pessimistic' estimate for Hubble Space Telescope transmission costs." "Hubble is by no means a cheap mission — but the mobile phone text costs were pretty astronomical!""
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SMS 4x More Expensive Than Data From Hubble

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  • by faloi (738831) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:05AM (#23378332)
    I've often believed (known?) that text messaging is just a last refuge of the cell phone companies to squeeze a little extra money out of their consumers. As it is, on my carrier, I get unlimited calling to people on the same carrier all day, every day. I get unlimited calling to anybody, regardless of carrier, on nights and weekends. I even pay to have unlimited data transfer. But if I send more than number of text messages a month, it adds up substantially.

    Good thing they've got all those teenagers hooked on it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by The_Quinn (748261)
      Sprint, for one, offers unlimited text, voice, data, etc. for less than $100 a month - so I don't see the "squeeze" you are referring to.
      • Your willing to pay nearly 100 for your bill, and you are ignoring the extra fees which can add mandatory 10-20 dollars to your bill.

        If you have the kind of phone that can really take advantage of the high data stuff, you are getting into 7 dollars a month insurance fee's.

        etc... etc... etc...

        When all you should really have to pay is for phone and data services which SHOULD cost around 50 dollars, but instead costs 70 dollars because of 20 dollars mandatory fees applied.

      • They offer unlimited data & text and 500 minutes of voice with nights beginning at 7 PM for only $30/month.
      • by InsaneProcessor (869563) on Monday May 12, 2008 @12:11PM (#23379332)
        Sprint, for one, offers unlimited text, voice, data, etc. for less than $100 a month - so I don't see the "squeeze" you are referring to.

        You, my friend, have no concept of your expenses and how much you waste. I pay $100 for 4 phones with voice mail and all of the fancy features. I get 1000 minutes a month anywhere in the US and unlimited to any T-mobile phones. They want to charge me $0.15 per message that I receive. I have no control over anyone sening me messages so I, as a customer, am screwed. I don't even want this service and am forced to pay for it anyway. They will not turn it off.

        This is highway robbery and is wrong! How do we stop this?
        • by rfunches (800928) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hcnufeht]> on Monday May 12, 2008 @12:42PM (#23379744) Homepage

          I'm sure they have a way of putting a block on a particular service -- I've been with Cingular (before the AT&T merge) and Sprint and both of them can block SMS, you just have to call and push the CSR to do it. And if they tell you they can't, ask for next-tier support. If they tell you no, threaten to take the matter up with your state's AG and the FCC. That usually gets a quick response. (If Sprint can do it, and their customer service is quite possibly the worst I've ever encountered, then T-Mobile can do it.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LilGuy (150110)
        I pay about $32.50 every 2 months for a prepaid phone. I get texting at about $.50 a message and voice calls are $.10 a minute with a 1 minute minimum. That $32.50 gets me 400 minutes which roll over to the next 2 months if I don't use them.

        I really can't fathom how people can spend $100 a month for a phone service. Surfing the net is what I do at home or at school... not while I'm driving 90 down the interstate.
    • by CRCulver (715279)
      In most countries where SMS is popular, it is popular only because it is substantially cheaper than calling. The U.S. is pretty unique in offering calling plans where you get a certain number of minutes of voice time.
      • by Anspen (673098)

        The U.S. is pretty unique in offering calling plans where you get a certain number of minutes of voice time.

        You mean a certain amount of free minutes (say 120-300) per month? 'Cause that's the standard in most of Europe as well.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:19AM (#23378546) Journal
      Right. This is no different than paying $4 for a hot dog at a ball park when you could get the same hot dog at home for $0.25. Yeah it's a ripoff, but you're a captive audience. If you don't like it, wait until you get home.
      • by Hyppy (74366) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:40AM (#23378864)
        The profit margin on many independent vendors' food at sporting events is not as high as you think. You'd better believe that they have to pay through the nose to be able to hawk their concessions. Either way, it's not a 4-digit profit margin by ANY stretch of the imagination.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          Not for the actual concession operators, but that $4 is going somewhere. Most likely to the owners of the baseball team, or the player's salaries, or to the owners of the stadium.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ceoyoyo (59147)
        A better analogy would be the old joke about the lemonade being ten cents but the cup is a dollar.

        The carriers will cell you data transfer in the form of voice for a somewhat inflated price. They'll sell you data transfer in the form of arbitrary data for another price, sometimes higher, sometimes lower, depending on where you live. Or they'll sell you data transfer in the form of text messages for an insanely inflated price.

        The lemonade is reasonably priced, but if you want it in a cup then you're going
    • It is a good catch, it would never have occurred to me to compare Hubble with SMS.
      • by lintux (125434)
        It's an interesting idea though. Just like comparing the price of the average inkjet ink per liter to the price of gold. Guess who wins that one.. :-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by magarity (164372)
        What they still haven't revealed is how they got the Hubble to SMS them to be able to compare to the phone to phone SMS cost.
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:05AM (#23378334)
    and they have these stupid contracts such as "You pay as 15 pounds a month and we'll give you x many text messages free!"

    What a stupid offer.. I mean what's next. I pay Microsoft 250 pounds and they give me a free operating system? Who are the kidding here?

    When in Thailand I had the best phone contract ever with DTAC, 8 pounds a month, free phone calls any time for as long as I wanted to 5 selected numbers including 500 hours internet usage.

    To ask for such a price in the places such as England would get you laughed out the shop.
    • by jsebrech (525647) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:49AM (#23379002)
      these stupid contracts such as "You pay as 15 pounds a month and we'll give you x many text messages free!" What a stupid offer..

      It's actually quite clever. By throwing in "freebies", they can take them away at any time. Just like they throw around temporary discounts "sign up for 12 months, and the first 6 months you only pay ..."

      The more a company does this, the less likely I am to do business with them. It demonstrates an inherent lack of commitment to the existing customers (who usually don't get the freebies).

  • by way2trivial (601132) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:06AM (#23378342) Homepage Journal
    nilbog writes
    "What's the actual cost of sending SMS messages? This article does the math and concludes that, for example, sending an amount of data that would cost $1 from your ISP would cost over $61 million if you were to send it over SMS. Why has the cost of bandwidth, infrastructure, and technology in general plummeted while the price of SMS messages have risen so egregiously? How can carriers continue to justify the high cost of their apparent super-premium data transmission?"

    http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/29/0244208&from=rss [slashdot.org]
    • by Kjella (173770) on Monday May 12, 2008 @12:06PM (#23379264) Homepage
      Lack of competition and cost awareness. Really.

      For example, take the data rates while abroad. Do you really think the extra cost of transferring data across the world (you know, like you're doing right now) justified a price that's often tens of dollars per megabyte? Or that in-flight calls [userfriendly.org] really cost that much? They charge what people will pay, simple as that.
      • Overhead (Score:5, Informative)

        by iamlucky13 (795185) on Monday May 12, 2008 @05:53PM (#23384546)
        In-flight calls or data are a poor example. You're talking about putting in equipment that costs more than typical network equipment because of requirements like low EMI, light weight, minimal maintenance, ground stations to handle the data, programming to manage handoffs at 500+ mph, and the process of getting FAA approval when you integrate it with a jillion other systems on a commercial airliner. It genuinely is expensive. Even at $10/hour that Boeing was charging for their Connexion internet service, they lost huge amounts of money on it (I think partially because they over-engineered the system, but I'm not very familiar with the details).

        The cost of using it are very low, but the costs to initially add the feature are very high. Then you add in the fact that usage rates are typically low (only a handful of passengers buy it, only "full-service" airlines install the equipment), it can be hard to make it pay for itself.

        Of course, they do add a high margin on top of their projected costs because they can without affecting the demand much, but the fixed costs still dominate (at the moment...data services will be much better integrated in the coming generation of airliners, and we may be moving towards allowing cell phones in flight, too).

        SMS is the opposite. They aren't seeing low usage on new, expensive infrastructure. They're seeing high usage on existing, paid-for infrastructure.

        The SMS scheme really isn't a very good one. SMS messages get multiplexed into the control channels on the mobile phone network, and it's really a 2nd generation technology. The size of the control channels is fundamentally limited, but each slot is big enough for a text message. So the providers squeeze the SMS into it because it fits and it doesn't require re-engineering their protocols to fit it in the voice channels. This is also why SMS is limited to so few characters: That's what fits in a time-division on the control channel.

        Unfortunately, it proved to be a popular service. The limited extra space fills up quickly. In fact, it's theoretically possible to launch a relatively wide-area DDoS attack [smsanalysis.org] by sending only a couple hundred messages per second from zombie clients. To get the best return on their existing capacity, providers raise the price to discourage excessive use.

        The puzzling thing in my opinion is that it's taking so long for this service to shift from being side-banded in the 2G scheme to being normal data packets on 3G networks. As that happens, the capacity for text explodes (text is way more compact than voice, pictures, video and other planned 3G content) and the providers can leverage the genuinely low cost of text to undersell their competitor's plans. A pricewar ensues and the consumers win.

        But it hasn't happened yet. My best guess is because the companies realize that the first one to make a substantial move in this direction will only enjoy success for a short time before the others all catch up. Then the competitive advantage is gone and profits have dropped close to zero.

        No, I haven't sourced much of this. It's mostly conclusions from discussions with friends who work in the mobile industry. Feel free to correct the parts I got wrong.
    • by petes_PoV (912422) on Monday May 12, 2008 @12:31PM (#23379590)
      > while the price of SMS messages have risen so egregiously?

      As far as I know the cost of SMS hasn't risen. It jus hasn't fallen.

      When SMS started (early 90's - anyone?) the cost was, IIRC, 10p each. Now it's 5p. The starting price was a guess and seems to have more-or-less stuck. Obviously if people weren't willing to use the service the price would've been reduced. Since people are willing to pay 5p per message, there's no reason (how do you spell CARTEL, by the way?) for any of the carriers to reduce it.

      What they have done instead is to bundle "free" texts in with your monthly contracts - which is nice for the pay-monthly grown-ups, who don't use them, but no use at all for the PAYG kiddies who are the main text users.

      Now that's marketing!

  • Real Cost? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SOOPRcow (1279010)
    Is that the real cost of sending a text msg or just the average rate charged per msg? One has got to think its cheaper for phone companies to send a text msg then it is to make a phone call, but I don't know.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I seem to recall reading somewhere recently that sending text messages via SMS costs North American mobile carriers essentially nothing. The reason being that apparently cell networks have a reserved amount of bandwidth exclusively for the use of control signals. If I recall correctly, the established standards and protocols require this control signal allowance but in current practice it is either totally unused or drastically underused. SMS messages are sent using that control signal bandwidth and protoco
  • ET (Score:5, Funny)

    by Davemania (580154) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:07AM (#23378364) Journal
    No Wonder ET wants to call home
  • Markup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by esocid (946821) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:07AM (#23378366) Journal
    Everyone knows cellular companies markup text services so high it's ridiculous. I think it's in the range of 4000x higher than data transfer rates. You pay 0.10 for 140bytes for texts, or about 0.15 for 1024bytes in any data transfer service.
    This just makes it a stellar ripoff. When will it ever change?
  • Double dipping (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:08AM (#23378376)
    And don't forget that both the sender *and* the recipient pay for a text message for every one sent.

    Sprint's charging $0.20 each for these now-a-day (unless you have another plan of some sort). It's just the latest ripoff in the mobile phone industry.

    • Re:Double dipping (Score:5, Informative)

      by stevey (64018) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:27AM (#23378664) Homepage

      That's primarily an issue with American carriers.

      In the UK, where I am, & Europe, we pay to send messages, and make phone calls, but to receive either is free.

      • Re:Double dipping (Score:5, Interesting)

        by _xeno_ (155264) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:59AM (#23379148) Homepage Journal

        I don't really care about being charged minutes to receive calls - it seems fair enough, I'm using air time. I can check the caller ID and refuse the call if I don't want to be charged. It hasn't been a big deal.

        Getting dinged $0.20 per spam SMS? That's a bit more annoying. There's no way to refuse a text message (on Sprint, at least). And thanks to the email-to-SMS gateway, the spammer doesn't get charged a penny. (I'm noticing that a huge percentage of spam I receive on my regular account is, for some strange reason, under 160 characters.)

        It's even more annoying because I have an unlimited data plan - I can send and receive unlimited email from my Gmail account. I can view satellite imagery on Google Maps, which I'm fairly sure involves more data transfer than an SMS. But receive one text message? Boom, $0.20 charge.

    • Re:Double dipping (Score:5, Interesting)

      by psmears (629712) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:34AM (#23378790)

      And don't forget that both the sender *and* the recipient pay for a text message for every one sent.
      Only in the US. In the UK (and the rest of Europe, AFAIK) the telcos don't charge you for receiving texts—and even the idea of them doing so is considered absurd.
      • by Thaelon (250687) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:58AM (#23379132)

        And don't forget that both the sender *and* the recipient pay for a text message for every one sent.
        Only in the US. In the UK (and the rest of Europe, AFAIK) the telcos don't charge you for receiving texts--and even the idea of them doing so is considered absurd.
        Oh, believe me, we in the US consider it absurd too. But when every carrier available to you does it, it doesn't bleedin' matter what we think, does it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lisandro (799651)
        Only in the US. In the UK (and the rest of Europe, AFAIK) the telcos don't charge you for receiving textsand even the idea of them doing so is considered absurd.

        Ditto for most Lain American countries. SMS aren't exactly cheap down here, but receiving is always free of charge.
  • by awjr (1248008) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:09AM (#23378394)
    If you look into the dim and distant past SMS was a free service that came with your phone 'package'. Then they realised they could actually make money from it.

    Ironically the price of an SMS is dropping and it actually costs somebody who 'bulk' buys 10000 messages around about 1.5p .

    My concern is that it is getting so cheap, that I've already started receiving spam SMS.

    As an aside, some companies now provide a SIM card hosting service. So if you can get the right package from an Operator (e.g. unlimited SMS messages) there is nothing to stop you spamming the world.

    Thankfully 'clicking' on any links is not so simple and most people realise clicking actually costs them money.
  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte.drunksnipers@com> on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:09AM (#23378400) Homepage
    In the Netherlands 0.25 euro (16p or $0.38) per message is quite common. For that price I can call 1.67 minutes.

    But that doesn't matter for me. I don't use text messages for the simple reason that I don't think it's worth the price.
  • Has anyone looked into "Unlimited Texting" recently? With Cingular/AT&T: Unlimited text, photo, video, and instant messaging for everyone on a family plan: $30. Maximum number of people on a family plan: 5.

    30/5 = $6 for unlimited texting.

    Ok, that doesn't include the cost of the voice part of the plan that you obviously need to have.

    I don't know the maximum size of a MMS, but it's under a MB, around 700k I think. That'll move data around pretty quick-like, too.

    Next...
    • There are two reasons why that's not a good solution:

      • You have to have 5 people on the plan. Not everybody can manage that!
      • Even $6 is way too fucking expensive for what you get! I mean, come on! We're talking about 160 bytes per message here. That's so much less data than a phone call, it should be negligable, and therefore free once you've paid for a reasonable phone plan (i.e., everything except pay-as-you-go, just to stop people from sending a million messages while making zero calls).
  • old chatter (Score:2, Interesting)

    This has been a pretty well know fact in the tech community. the mobile carriers have been overcharging everybody. almost 7 to 10 years back India had one of the most expensive mobile communication, but for the last 2 years it has been one of the cheapest areas, while this process of cost cutting was under way a rally was called for networks providing free SMSs always. The SMS text is sent in just the connectivity with the carrier tower connectivity signaling. No special protocol has to be envoked nor any s
  • by EdIII (1114411) * on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:11AM (#23378422)

    and we assume the average price for a text message is 5p
    That is an assumption and most likely pretty conservative. There are plenty of SMS text messages sent/received by complete idiots that spend 99c per message. I am not attempting to troll here either. Those people are COMPLETE IDIOTS to spend that kind of money on a simple text message. I am always reminded of the saying, "A fool and his money are soon parted".

    So when you factor in these novelty SMS messages, the ratio becomes much worse.

    I have never seen any hard data on the actual costs of sending a SMS message across GSM/CDMA cell towers, but I expect that the profit margins on a SMS message make Monster look positively razor thin with it's own margins.

    The reason why anyone with a brain (even a damaged/inebriated/mutated one) can see how ridiculous the price points on SMS is pretty simple.

    Take a mid-range T-Mobile calling plan. Say the individual 1000 minutes for 49.99$. That is 4.9c per MINUTE of a telephone conversation.

    Until quite recently, a SMS text message plan did not have unlimited messages. They do have this now for 14.99$ at T-Mobile. The plan right below that? 9.99$ a month for 1000 messages. Yep, that is 1c per text message. I had always remembered plans that were 250 messages for 4.99$ at various places, which is 1.9c per text message.

    So does anyone really beleive that a SMS text message can cost 20-25% as much as a minute of a cellphone call?

    I certainly didn't think so. Raise your hands if you think that is right. Anyone? Anyone at all?

    SMS was ALWAYS their little cash machine. Most people never paid attention to it, or considered the real costs involved and I would bet 4-5 digit profit margins at a minimum for the past decade.
    • I send 5 messages a month at $0.50 a piece. The unlimited plan costs $30 per month. Who is the complete idiot again?
  • So... get an unlimited plan? Oh wait, they charge you extra for the privilege of never using your voice minutes to cover the cost of the text messaging, which itself is entirely negligible. Negligible on the scale of non-spam email vs total Internet bandwidth negligible. This gouging is just so painful to observe.

    For the record, I hate text messages except for those occasional times when they make sense (finding someone at a loud concert, e.g.). Paying an outrageous rate both inbound and outbound for 140 b
  • Hmm (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:13AM (#23378462)
    Actually, the standard rate for text messaging in the UK is 10p, not 5p
    • Wow, that's a lot! In Denmark it's about 2p from most operators. I can't really see how that can be justified, the population density of UK is about 2 times that of DK, and gdp/capita is within 1% of each other.
      Just goes to show that prices and cost has very little to do with each other in this market.
  • This just in... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DanWS6 (1248650) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:15AM (#23378490)
    Ink for your printer is more expensive than gasoline for your car. Where's the justice?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by caluml (551744)
      ... $120... $130... $140... But not for long!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hyppy (74366)
        HP sells their inkjet ink for nearly 8,000 USD per gallon. Interestingly enough, many smaller companies who specialize in refill packs sell 5-gallon jugs of ink for around 350 USD. That's only 70 USD or so a gallon.

        We're climbing there, but who is to say that the rising cost of oil won't proportionally increase the cost of ink?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tepples (727027)

          HP sells their inkjet ink for nearly 8,000 USD per gallon.
          That's because each ink tank comes with a print head that hasn't yet been clogged with ink.
    • And liquid Nitrogen is cheaper to buy than beer. I know what I'll be having with my next meal now...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        And liquid Nitrogen is cheaper to buy than beer.
        You're obviously drinking way too expensive beer, try a 40 of old english malt liquor, sure it tastes nasty, but it's better than liquid nitrogen. (Or solid/gaseous nitrogen for that matter.)
  • by Guanine (883175) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:18AM (#23378538)
    From what I've heard, the opposite is true in Japan: their voice plans are expensive compared to ours, whereas unlimited text messages are the norm. This makes more sense because voice is clearly the more bandwidth hungry form of communication.

    I'm told that the driving factor behind this unlimited texting is that it is considered very rude to talk on your phone in public/the subway/etc. Hence texting as the dominant type of communication. Can anyone confirm/correct me on this?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by taupter (139818)
      ... and typing those Kanji in a mobile phone keyboard must be a royal PITA btw. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by blueforce (192332)
      You're correct. I was just in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. In most places - restaurants, buses, trains, etc. - it's expressly forbidden to talk on mobile phones. But look around and you see nearly everyone's thumbs going a million miles per hour.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kanasta (70274)
      in Japan nobody uses SMS. Phones send/rec proper emails with a proper email address. Costs start from 0.9yen, going up to 2-3yen if you send 5000 character mails.
  • by argmanah (616458) * <argmanah@yaPOLLOCKhoo.com minus painter> on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:22AM (#23378588)
    You're comparing cost versus retail price of two things massively different in scale in terms (cost per MB) that is completely meaningless in the world of SMS. Could you possibly have made a more pointless comparison?

    My computing time is 4x more valuable analyzing Seti@home data as opposed to loading this article up on /.
  • Japanese cell phone plans are universally calculated by amount of data transmitted and not minutes/# of text messages. It is actually significantly more economical to text message someone on a Japanese cell phone network than it is to call them, as the calls eat up your data allotment very quickly. As a result you will very rarely see people talking on cell phones over there, instead they just text. Of course, as a result they can type of text messages at an astonishing rate.
  • "The maximum size for a text message is 160 characters, which takes 140 bytes because there are only 7 bits per character in the text messaging system, and we assume the average price for a text message is 5p. There are 1,048,576 bytes in a megabyte, so that's 1 million/140 = 7490 text messages to transmit one megabyte. At 5p each, that's £374.49 per MB...

    That is, if you try to use SMSes to send data. Which you wouldn't. You'd set up a GPRS/3G session, and do it that way. And at (say) £3/MB, it suddenly seems a little more normal.
    Bit of a troll, here, methinks.
    That isn't to say that they're still many many many times more expensive than the cost of an SMS to the operator. But that's market forces for you. People pay that much, therefore it's "worth" that much.

  • Is this really a valid comparison? I mean, yes, Hubble is up in space and talks to earth, and that's complicated. But, Hubble is only one target, talking to relatively small handful of earth based stations. On the other hand, a cell phone network consists of traffic management for millions of subscribers, and with thousands of ground based stations that must be maintained.
    • by Hyppy (74366)
      Because if you compare it to standard internet data transfer, it just gets silly. Why make up 64 new mathematical operators to express Graham's number, when we could have easily just used the SMS profit margins?
  • I've disabled text messaging because of the terrible value it presents. I have way more voice minutes than I know what to do with for $60/mo. Why would I pay $0.20 for a tiny little text message? I can just make a phone call.
  • by SengirV (203400) on Monday May 12, 2008 @11:28AM (#23378692)
    Printer ink versus a gallon of gas?
  • It's just those boffins at Hubble grumbling. Think about it, do you really think you'll get smileys and flirty leetspeak messages via Hubble? No. And that is why Hubble is so effing cheap.
  • Isn't text messaging at least 6x more valuable than Hubble data?
  • I'm not sure what the point here is. It's sort of like those posters that used hang in Sherwin Williams stores informing us that paint is actually cheap when compared to the cost of an equal amount of nail polish.

  • It costs at max Re.1/- which is ~1.25p. Some networks its half the cost. However I am not counting the cost of the SMS that one sends to the plethora of reality shows. There the costs might go 4x to 6x. And if it is for downloading ringtones, it could go upto 15x!
  • Lameness of it all (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jroysdon (201893) on Monday May 12, 2008 @09:44PM (#23386744) Homepage
    I've got a Blackberry w/Verizon for work with an unlimited data plan. I can send and receive all the emails I want via my Inbox (tied to my corporate Exchange), or via Gmail, or even via ssh to my shell account with Alpine. They still charge to send and receive (SMS?) text messages. How lame is that? I can use my tethered modem and get a VPN started and use my Cisco IP Communicator, no extra charge, but no text messaging for free!

    My Wife has Cricket, which has unlimited calling and unlimited texting - but doesn't allow her to send emails. Well, it says she can't, and complains each time she does ("Cricket does not support this activity at this time"), but usually it goes through. I think there is a work-around by sending an MMS (?) message and that allowed emailing, but still complains.

    It's all lame. If we're paying for what accounts for unlimited data, just give us unlimited data.

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