Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Canadian Wireless Carriers find out new ways to screw you by charging for SMS messages received.

In the battle of the Cell Phone carriers, during the release of the Apple iPhone, Telus and Bell have found new ways to nickel and dime you by charing you for text messages received. This is a bad move considering how many people will flock to the iPhone (more on this later).

It's bad enough that in Canada you have to pay for calls received.

From an article on this SMS Charge in the Globe and Mail I de-construct the quotes made by each companies PR people.

From the article:
“The growth in text messages has been nothing short of phenomenal,” wrote Telus spokeswoman Anne-Julie Gratton in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail, referring to the latest statistics from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association that pegs the number of text messages sent in Canada at more than 45.3 million per day.

This is a load of shit. A text message is up to 150 Characters (including spaces). Each character is 1 byte. So each SMS message can be up to 150 bytes. Lets assume that every messages sent is 150 bytes. We have the following:
45,300,000 x 150 = 6,795,000,000
There is 1,048,576 bytes in a
6,795,000,000 / 1024 = 6,635,743 kb (rounded up)
There are 1024 kb in a mb
6,635,743 / 1024 = 7mb (rounded up).

That's right ladies and gentlemen. The ENTIRE Canadian market (as far as Telus is concerned)[Edit: As far as a trade group representing Bell and Telus is concerned] has to send a WHOPPING 7MB of data around for SMS messages. Now granted, there are headers and such. Overhead if you will. Lets be generous and double that to 14MB.

But we're not done.

Bell and Telus charge 15 cents per message, soon in both ways.
Lets say nobody uses any SMS package (I know, this is actually unfair, but it illustrates my point). [Edit: I'm assuming in these numbers that Rogers would also charge 15c for incoming] So we have:
45,300,000 x $0.30 (15 cents to send and another 15 to receive).
That's $13,590,000


Now that was made on a theoretical 14MB.
Lets divide that back into cost.
$13,590,000 / 14 = $970,715 per MB (rounded up)
And again
$970,715 / 1024 = $948 / KB of data (rounded up).

So anybody who's complaining about the data rates from Rogers, just think, you're paying $948 per kilobyte of data sent when you SMS.

“This volume places tremendous demands on our network and we can't afford to provide this service for free any more,” Ms. Gratton wrote.

I wish Ms. Gratton would be eligible for jail time for outright lying. I know, I know it's just her job and she's probably a nice person. There is no way in hell this makes even the smallest blip on either carriers network. It's a pure Money grab.

More from the article:
“Remember that almost all major North American wireless carriers, including in Canada, have taken this pricing approach,” wrote Bell spokesman Jason Laszlo in an e-mail to The Globe. “In fact, most carriers in the U.S. now charge 20 cents.”

This is awesome. Yes, well, the USA is slowly being turned back into Ma Bell land where there is only a few companies. What about comparing yourself to the rest of the world? As it is SMS charges are a scam.

If you think this is as stupid as I do. If you beleive that these companies are outright lying to make more money of people who don't really have a choice. Please consider supporting the NDP to put a stop to this nonsense.

Stop the text message cash-grab

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