Nasser of MyAdhan.com spotted this one on The Consumerist blog. I’ve cut and paste the whole story (I trust they don’t mind) as it’s rather fascinating. They’ve done the calculations…..
Verizon and other cellphone companies mark up the cost of text messages by at least 7314% when compared to their rates for data transfer services.
Verizon’s max text message size is 160 characters. At 7 bits per character, that’s 1120 bits or 140 bytes. Without a text messaging plan, those 140 bytes run you $.15 (fifteen cents), according to Verizon’s website.
Compare that to the rate for data transfer (like when you would use your cellphone as modem). That rate is $.015 (one point five cents) every 1024 bytes.
That’s $.015 per data kilobyte versus $1.09 per text message kilobyte. In other words, a markup of 7314%. Other cellphone companies charge comparable rates.
Bytes are bytes. What makes a text-message byte so much more valuable than a straightup data byte?
Verizon didn’t return our requests for comment
Heh. Shocking. Why do people pay the rate? Because, well, they do. That’s all. There’s no discernable difference — as the text says, a byte is a byte.
It’s silly. And the more the likes of the Consumerist pick this up and run with it, the better, I reckon.
Incidentally, a ton on MyAdhan coming shortly…