future of texting


  1. asana

    asana Member

    In school, I learned about a European carrier effort called Joyn, which is a text messaging replacement app. It works just like text messaging except it uses data instead of the SMS protocol. Why are the carriers themselves doing this? People are ditching texting for data apps that do the same thing because the apps are free vs SMS which is paid. Joyn is also free but the Euro carriers can at least improve the experience and maybe sell add-on services such as video calling and maybe international calling over data. I'm not sure what stage they're at in Europe but there's already a demo app.

    So the question/idea:
    What do you think of Verizon / AT&T et al doing the same thing here? Would you switch to it from your current app of choice if the carriers here provided a built-in free SMS app tied to your phone number?

    The advantages:
    - no more asking your friends to install the same app you use, or getting a separate number just for free texting! It would be built-in to your phone and your number just like SMS today. By the same token, lesser need to maintain multiple apps.
    - quality control: some apps I use on my Android have huge delays; carriers are better positioned to maintain quality of service

    The disadvantages:
    - getting people to do/learn something different?

    General thoughts are welcome as well!

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  2. gtbarry

    gtbarry Well-Known Member

    People without mobile data plans would only be allowed to use such a system when on wifi. It would be another attempt by carriers to force people to sign up for data plans AND use them up towards their cap limits
  3. zoxxo

    zoxxo Well-Known Member

    Actually, all of the carriers are pushing for this. As everything goes data (including voice and text), then carriers will be changing their data rates. It's why Verizon and ATT went to metered data plans, and why they are both pushing for shared data plans. The hope is over time you will have to keep increasing your data contract as your family uses more data, and thay most people will not consider (initially) that voice and data are contributing to your rise in data useage. Also they will get you on charging for the data overages.

    So adding to the list of disadvantages:

    - more out of pocket cost on your data plan.
  4. gibbs1984

    gibbs1984 Well-Known Member

    Yeah but how much data would a text or phone really use? Doubt it would use that much data, well not enough to push you over your data plan...
  5. LilBit

    LilBit Well-Known Member Contributor

    I like the idea
  6. Omar Days

    Omar Days Well-Known Member

    Do not want.

    It's fine how it is.
  7. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    Google voice is texting on data.. I am using it..

    Only issue is when you have data problems..
  8. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    Some more disadvantages:

    Requires a data plan.
    Requires a smart-phone. Will not work with dumb-candybar and feature-phones.
    Not available on the iPhone. I believe Apple doesn't allow apps to interact with SMS on iOS devices.
    Seems to be limited to a few European carriers only.
    Good luck trying to bring it to China.
  9. asana

    asana Member

    Thanks guys. Regarding the data plan cost, the comparison would be:
    - $5 or $10 / mo for SMS
    vs
    - some cheap form of data plan, say $10 or $15 with a small cap. That's because texting itself uses minuscule data. Image, voice, and video messages would use more, not sure how that works with just a SMS plan.

    Then, people can move onto data for roughly the same or slightly more cost per month while getting potentially better messaging service (Joyn would provide QoS whereas SMS is best-effort), as well as all the other benefits of data. Joyn would also be tied to the phone number so no need to ask your counterpart to get a certain app.
  10. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    Don't most people have unlimited texting now days anyway? Seems like a solution in search of a problem.
  11. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    May not be unlimited, but I'm sure most carriers include a certain number of SMS as part of their plans. Where it most definitely NOT unlimited and can be rather expensive, is international SMS.
  12. Ze Veteran

    Ze Veteran Well-Known Member

    Dunno about other European carriers, but 99% of French ones, unless you have a non-data plan, give unlimited SMSes. A recent entry into the mobile service market has really shaken things up, there are now some plans that can be had for 3 euros per month (non-data) and unlimited everything for about 16 euros per month. Phones are not included.
  13. bob60626

    bob60626 Well-Known Member

    Phone nuts seem to think everything should be done with data. Do not want!!! I like the option of turning it off to preserve battery life but still having a usable phone, using a flip phone as a beach/work/... phone. Putting all your eggs in the same basket is never a good idea.
  14. asana

    asana Member

    Are you based in the US? A lot of US subscribers avoid text entirely and either use an app such as Google Voice or Whatsapp or BBM, etc. Those who are paying for data already basically have messaging capabilities without the need for text.

    As more people get data plans, more are dropping texting plans, so that's the source of the market analysis companies are starting to conduct.
  15. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'm in the US. I'm on a prepaid carrier, and they have unlimited texting included with all of their plans. I think most of the prepaid carriers have this, I'm surprised the contract carriers still charge for it.
  16. SirSpace

    SirSpace Well-Known Member

    Idk about you guys but my plan has unlimited everything including text data web and phone and I only pay 40 a month can drop to 35 if you pay on time
  17. Omar Days

    Omar Days Well-Known Member

    Seeing as I've had no internet connection at my house for the past 2 weeks (F*****G TalkTalk :mad:) and going way over my data limit on my mobile, I'd never want to go over to sending texts via wifi/data. Normal sms is fine, just leave it be.

    And if anyone's wondering, I'm in a corner of my house where i can pick up a neighbour's wifi that has no password :p
  18. asana

    asana Member

    Well, data over cell would be similar to SMS; if you can send SMS, then you can and are sending basic cellular data. Some people have dropped their SMS plans because they can get the same functionality from data.
  19. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member


    sms messages are sent over the same radio as your voice calls..

    normal sms does not use data network bandwidth.

    try this out... turn off your data network on your phone... leave your mobile voice network on..
    send an SMS message to a buddy... and see if you get a reply
    i bet you get a reply


    *** NOTE:
    this is one of the reasons many think sms charges are BS..
    it does not tax or hurt the mobile network.. it is sent between voice calls and dont take any extra resources to let clients text. just a way for carriers try to pick your pockets.
    now you see many carriers giving free unlimited text!!!! but charge for Data..
    now it is all about Data..
    and they want you to eventually convert to VOIP.. and Texting over Data..
    so they found a new way to pick your pockets.
    Omar Days and mikedt like this.
  20. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    sorry repost!!! please delete
  21. johnlcok

    johnlcok Member

    Wtf is joyn :D
  22. asana

    asana Member

    Yes, I know what you mean, I meant that these days it's rare to have one coverage (voice/sms or data) without the other. I thought the previous poster was bringing up the scenario of no home internet access as a detriment to the messaging-over-data option. But after rereading, I think he meant that going over his mobile data cap was the problem. Messaging barely uses any data at all, however. You'd be hard-pressed to reach 1MB via texting over data.

    He did bring up an important point about overages; the eventual move to data from traditional SMS will have to be customer-friendly in explaining overage, maybe even explicitly making the texting portion free/not count toward data overage. Which is basically similar to the unlimited texting you mentioned, negligible marginal cost for the carrier.

  23. asana

    asana Member

    Thanks! Very interesting. This basically makes international SMS free instead of the typical 50c. Nice shot taken by MetroPCS at the big guys.

    Interoperability is one of the few advantages carriers have. If Joyn is built-in like it is in Europe, users won't need to coordinate with the other end to use the same app; can just use the phone number for rich communications (messaging, voice, video, files, etc) over data.
  24. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    Europe and the US seem to have different rules for data - incoming and outgoing.

    All carriers would have to agree on the same system.

    I'd rather leave it as it is. Reading up on some LTE articles and saw a post where a lot of people (on the same carrier? ) using LTE would slow down the data stream. If this is true, I can just imagine one of the "MY DATA" crowd yelling at everyone else to get off the phone so he can continue to play a game or post to facebook.
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