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Thursday, January 01, 2009

YRU screwN me?

Got an unlimited text message plan for your cell phone?  Good for you, since the prices are rising.
Senator Herb Kohl, Democrat of Wisconsin and the chairman of the Senate antitrust subcommittee, wanted to look behind the curtain. He was curious about the doubling of prices for text messages charged by the major American carriers from 2005 to 2008, during a time when the industry consolidated from six major companies to four. [emphasis mine]

And why not?  Texting volume has increased exponentially.  But the cost doesn't.  In fact, the bandwidth for text messages costs nothing - it's always been there.
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. That’s why a message is so limited in length: it must not exceed the length of the message used for internal communication between tower and handset to set up a call. The channel uses space whether or not a text message is inserted. 
In other words, we're getting screwed.  With cell phone companies, that's no surprise.

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