Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Time to say goodbye to texting

What are the advantages of SMS, also known as texting, that drove it to worldwide unbelievable success?
  1. It is easy and immediate, although it is asynchronous
  2. It is dirty cheap, much less than a voice call
Now, nothing seems to be taking away #1. However, the limitations are clear. Try sending out a picture with an SMS... It is a technology of the past.

What kills me is that the mobile operators are taking away #2!! Today Verizon raised the price of a single text to 20 cents, following Sprint (mind you foolish Europeans, it is both for sending and receiving message ;-) Just a bit more than a year ago, the price was 10 cents, then they raised to 15 cents, now it is 20 cents. A 100% increase in a year...

Are they insane??

Maybe. They are simply pushing everybody to buy a bundle. If you are a bundle user, you are going to send a lot more text messages (who cares, they use zero bandwidth), which will be sent to a lot of people. Some of them (most?) will be receivers without a bundle: THEY will pay double (a bundle...). Evil.

But they might be pushing towards the wrong one. In a short time, people won't buy SMS bundles, they will buy a data plan and they will use mobile email instead. They are just accelerating the transition, pushing to make themselves a dumb pipe...

Time to say goodbye to texting, at least in the US.