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AT&T texting "streamlining" points to SMS's slow decline

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:09 AM

Post your comments for AT&T texting "streamlining" points to SMS's slow decline here
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#2 User is offline   matthewmiller1234 

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  Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:19 AM

Here's a really important messaging app you forgot: Textfree with Voice. Besides letting you send messages (with pictures, too), it also allows you to call phone numbers. It also gives you a legit number, not a stupid e-mail address (except for pictures). It's ease of you and the fact that messages are free (and you pay only a few dollars for nearly-unlimited calling) makes it awesome! Also, most people I know either just have unlimited (pretty much everybody) or pay-as-you go (grandparents).
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#3 User is offline   JMHammer 

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  Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:25 AM

You left out one other option that AT&T offers: Opt-out of SMS/MMS entirely. Unfortunately, they currently charge $5/month for this, the same as the 200msgs/month plan. For someone like me who never, ever, EVER sends an SMS or MMS using AT&T's service (because I have an iPhone with email and can use Google Voice or any number of other free services such as TextFree from Pinger if I absolutely need to send a message to someone with a cell phone but without email), this is a total ripoff as it leaves me having to pay $5/month for something I DON'T want or having to pay-per-message for every inadvertent or spam SMS/MMS that finds its way to my cell number.
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#4 User is offline   RickKaczerowskij6mb 

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  Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:29 AM

I wish the carriers woulds treat SMS as data and apply the usage against the data plan on smart phones. Until then, I will continue to block SMS on my account and use Google Voice SMS or email instead.
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#5 User is offline   RickKaczerowskij6mb 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:31 AM

View PostJMHammer, on 18 August 2011 - 10:25 AM, said:

You left out one other option that AT&T offers: Opt-out of SMS/MMS entirely. Unfortunately, they currently charge $5/month for this, the same as the 200msgs/month plan. For someone like me who never, ever, EVER sends an SMS or MMS using AT&T's service (because I have an iPhone with email and can use Google Voice or any number of other free services such as TextFree from Pinger if I absolutely need to send a message to someone with a cell phone but without email), this is a total ripoff as it leaves me having to pay $5/month for something I DON'T want or having to pay-per-message for every inadvertent or spam SMS/MMS that finds its way to my cell number.


You may want to contact AT&T customer service about this. I've opted out of SMS/MMS and am not charged for this feature.
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#6 User is offline   bastion 

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  Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:35 AM

My understanding is that for SMS even portraying the cost to carriers as "very, very, very little" is overstating things. Essentially they're using your message as the content of pings that are being sent to the network continuously. The bytes are already going; they're charging for the privilege of specifying what they are.

Or so I've been led to believe. Not having a cell phone I have only an academic interest in it.

This post has been edited by bastion: 18 August 2011 - 10:37 AM

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#7 User is offline   joebot 

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  Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:43 AM

I did a back-of-envelope calculation a while back and estimated that the bandwidth consumed by a single voice telephone call would carry something like 6,000 text conversations. "Pure profit," indeed.

I can simplify their billing further: Simply charge everyone a flat $250/mo for unlimited everything. "Most of their customers" prefer unlimited everything anyway, and what are people going to do, go without cell service? Heck, make it $300.
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#8 User is offline   lancelotlink 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:58 AM

View Postjoebot, on 18 August 2011 - 10:43 AM, said:

I did a back-of-envelope calculation a while back and estimated that the bandwidth consumed by a single voice telephone call would carry something like 6,000 text conversations. "Pure profit," indeed.

I can simplify their billing further: Simply charge everyone a flat $250/mo for unlimited everything. "Most of their customers" prefer unlimited everything anyway, and what are people going to do, go without cell service? Heck, make it $300.


Back of the envelope calculation indeed. Using 250/month as a "simple charge for consumers" is a huge number for a cell bill. 300?!?!? Where are you coming up with these examples? I'm hoping you're not thinking that these could be real world offerings. Where I'm certain that the carriers are robbing people blind with their text charges, I'm certainly not trusting your quick little calculation.

300/month cell plan, wow!
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#9 User is offline   SFrawley 

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  Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:10 AM

LET ME BLOCK TEXTING TO MY NUMBER!!!

I DON'T WANT IT EVER!!!
Steve Frawley
Tax, Accounting & Computers Svcs
Since 1984
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#10 User is offline   JakeT 

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  Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:10 AM

This is why we need more competition. We need to have several providers to choose from and be able to switch providers at any time.
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#11 User is offline   Hawaiian717 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:14 AM

View Postjoebot, on 18 August 2011 - 10:43 AM, said:

I can simplify their billing further: Simply charge everyone a flat $250/mo for unlimited everything. "Most of their customers" prefer unlimited everything anyway, and what are people going to do, go without cell service? Heck, make it $300.


And then everyone switches to Virgin Mobile, which charges $55/month for unlimited everything for their Android smartphones.
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#12 User is offline   PeteXTsy8e 

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  Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:15 AM

This doesn't really suggest that, the article mentions that most people go for an unlimited package ANYWAY, so surely text messaging is still in demand, admittedly yes, I do use other forms of messaging (i.e. BlackBerry Messenger and Windows Live Messenger on my BlackBerry) but I still sends hundreds of texts every month, I don't think texting is in decline, but I do agree that there are other forms of messaging which are becoming more popular
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#13 User is offline   bastion 

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:32 AM

View Postlancelotlink, on 18 August 2011 - 10:58 AM, said:

View Postjoebot, on 18 August 2011 - 10:43 AM, said:

I did a back-of-envelope calculation a while back and estimated that the bandwidth consumed by a single voice telephone call would carry something like 6,000 text conversations. "Pure profit," indeed.

I can simplify their billing further: Simply charge everyone a flat $250/mo for unlimited everything. "Most of their customers" prefer unlimited everything anyway, and what are people going to do, go without cell service? Heck, make it $300.


Back of the envelope calculation indeed. Using 250/month as a "simple charge for consumers" is a huge number for a cell bill. 300?!?!? Where are you coming up with these examples? I'm hoping you're not thinking that these could be real world offerings. Where I'm certain that the carriers are robbing people blind with their text charges, I'm certainly not trusting your quick little calculation.

300/month cell plan, wow!


I don't think the prior poster was suggesting that $250/month was a realistic or fair price but that the market of cell phone users is captive enough that they could get away with charging something excessive whether it was practically worth it or not. It's not really related to the putative "back of an envelope" calculation.

Then again, I dispute how captive cell users really are. I don't have one. Don't expect I ever will. I'll estimate the approximately 100% of the people I know have one, but approximately 5% of them are need to have one. If they're captives, it's to their own desire for convenience by some measure (at the cost of inconvenience by others).
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#14 User is offline   someToast 

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  Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:34 AM

"AT&T texting "streamlining" points to SMS's slow decline"

"According to the CTIA, a wireless industry trade group, more than 2 trillion text messages were sent in 2010, an increase of 31 percent over 2009; the volume of multimedia messages (those including pictures or video) was up 64 percent, to more than 56 billion."

Wait, wha?
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