Why are texts not data?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Opivyattack, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Opivyattack

    Opivyattack Well-Known Member
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    I guess this isn't exactly an Android question but I am really really considering getting the Incredible. I really want someone to explain to me why text messages are charged separately from data usage. I just cannot comprehend what is going on here and why I (or all of us really) should be paying $20 a month for unlimited texting as well as another $30 a month for unlimited data (I have Verizon..). I guess if you really look at it, $30 a month is quite a bargain considering how much more usage that will have than text messages but come on.. $50 a month for just those two services? That's Incredible.
     

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  2. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member
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    texting is handling through the cellular network (voice). You can Google SMS for details on how it handles messages, but it doesn't go through as data.
     
  3. DarkTLRrider

    DarkTLRrider Well-Known Member
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    You can choose a lesser text plan and use gtalk to text your android buddies as gtalk does use data.
     
  4. Opivyattack

    Opivyattack Well-Known Member
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    so you guys don't feel ripped off by having to pay for texts + data? I really do if I choose to pay that much..
     
  5. i VTAK

    i VTAK Well-Known Member
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    You can either use the sevice or not, that's why they give you a choice to add it on. Or if Sprint has decent service in your area, you can get unlimited everything for $70 a month.
     
  6. TheSultan

    TheSultan Well-Known Member
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    I've always sorta had a beef with this too. It sure seems like data to me. But, I need the service so I'm stuck paying it.
     
  7. PurpleSkyz

    PurpleSkyz Well-Known Member
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  8. by that logic you might as well drop all cellular networks and use data for calls as well - it's all just information which can be sent through any available infrastructure

    sms messages aren't replaced by "data messages" yet, because not everyone has a data plan, or a phone that has email/gtalk/msn/whatever capabilities

    if all the contacts you wish to "text" with have smart- or featurephones with the adequate capabilities and data plans, you can easily use those instead and not pay for a plan with unlimited texts
     
  9. 28064212

    28064212 Well-Known Member
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    Replace 'texts' in the title with 'calls', and the argument is exactly the same. Texts and data are two different services, going across two different infrastructures. If you don't want to use one of them, then don't pay for the add-on. You should be glad that your operator is giving you the option. They could have just had a single 'data+texts' add-on that costs $50
     
  10. Poldie

    Poldie Well-Known Member
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    What do you pay for calls? Is that extra too, or is that part of the amount you quoted for texts? (And anyway, aren't calls just data too?)
     
  11. vandyblackandgold

    vandyblackandgold Well-Known Member
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    LTE and WiMax are technologies solely based on IP, so your voice and your data are handled over the same signal...
     
  12. mpw

    mpw Well-Known Member
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    That's an interesting point, once using a service provider with an LTE network will they still charge a split fee for voice/text/data I wonder?

    And if they just charge for 'data' I wonder how much data a 1min. conversation equates to?
     
  13. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member
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    Google it if you really want details. As mentioned above SMS was around well before smartphones and didn't use data back then on GSM networks and still isn't data. I'm not entirely clear on how it's implemented on CDMA networks but you can text and talk at the same time so it's not data (no simultaneous voice and data at least with VZW).

    Show me a carrier that doesn't bill texts separately... Aside from those that offer "everything" plans. You don't have to pay for it if you don't use it. ;-)

    Also, Google Voice uses data for SMS. No MMS though.
     
  14. moijk

    moijk Well-Known Member
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    I recall when I got my first phone, a Ericsson 628. In those days texting was free. But by the dawn of mass adoption, they found out that charging for it was a cash cow. It has probably been the mobile phone providers biggest income, and consider how tiny amount of bandwidth it uses one ought to wonder why they still charge for it at all.

    The subscription I use have 0,59 NOK each sms (10 us cents), which would say means I'll never consider paying $20 for a sms plan (that would say I have to send more than 200 sms a month). And for data, a dataplan is soon paid back. it cost 16 NOK a MB, but I am only charged for maximum a MB a day. still makes it 80 USD a month if I download a MB every day. (which by smartphone use is very easy). And for that price I could have had almost three premium dataplans on my subscription.

    So, consider your needs before buying into plans. you may not need an unlimited service just because it is offered to you. But if you don't have an unlimited but are a heavy user, you'll end up paying out of your teeth. :)
     
  15. Adamx

    Adamx Well-Known Member
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    In the past when technology was a lot less advanced and bandwidth much more limited, it made sense to charge for texting. A text message contains like 64 bytes of information. It's so tiny an insignificant that I will use more data surfing this website just today than I will transmit in my entire life using text messages.

    Yes, it uses the voice side, but why not give people the option to transmit their texts over data?

    A tip for people though, you can send text messages for free, you just have to do it from your email account. For example, to text someone on verizon, use your phone to email them at theirnumber@vtext.com
     
  16. dbronstein

    dbronstein Member
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    Because they can. Texts cost the carriers practically nothing, but they've been able to create the paradigm that customers have to pay for them.

    Why would the carriers voluntarily give up their biggest profit item?
     
  17. Opivyattack

    Opivyattack Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I have read that this is an option on how to avoid paying for SMS messages. There seem to be many others as well, ie google voice and Skype. If you send this type of message though, how do they reply to you? Or more importantly, how do they initiate a conversation?
     
  18. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    Ok let me clear this up for you guys.

    Text messages are sent through the control channel. The control channel is what is used to make your phone ring when you have a call, to check up on towers, etc. So text messages are not sent through the data network.

    Also, carriers incur no additional charges whether 1 million texts are sent, or 100 texts are snt. So it is abasically a cash cow for them.
     
  19. Adamx

    Adamx Well-Known Member
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    The only reason that exists, because someone else is doing it. Then again, the way cell networks are, there's not as much competition as there should be.
     
  20. RoadRash

    RoadRash Member
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    That is not entirely true. The more Texts that are being sent the more you have to add capacity to a certain part of the switch.
     
  21. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    Only if texts were scheduled in real time.which they are not.they go through only when the bandwidth is available.that's why sometimes texts can have a rather significant delay. so if a certain node is busy,a text wont go through until things settle down. I assure you wireless providers are spending no extra money on text messaging infrastructure. They just push them through when resources aren't being used, which doesn't cost them an extra penny.
     
  22. RoadRash

    RoadRash Member
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    That might be true on the tower end but not so much on the switch end. I work on the Sprint network and we have to add cards to the front end of the switch to handle the amount of txt's that are coming in.
     
  23. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    But wouldnt those cards on the switch handle call volume too? Wouldn't that be the real priority?
     

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