NYT: Text Messaging "Virtually No Cost" to Carriers

Hear the scorn of a million parents cry out in righteous anger: despite recently increasing basic text messaging rates from ten cents to twenty across the board, NYT reveals that Carriers pay roughly nothing.

The meat of the NYT article:

Perhaps the costs for the wireless portion at either end are high — spectrum is finite, after all, and carriers pay dearly for the rights to use it. But 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.

So, if text messaging is piggybacking on signals that get used anyway, why the hell do we pay for it? How many tweens have been grounded based on corporate greed? How many sidekicks shunned in the name of the almighty dollar? And how did they get the chutzpah to increase the going rate for a text message despite its complete lack of skin off of their back? Makes me (and my blackberry) kind of angry. Down with the Cellular Bourgeoisie! The Revolution will not be fit into 160 characters! Or, would a flash mob be more appropriate in this case?

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