Text Messages Cost Next to Nothing...to Phone Companies

ClayMeow - January 6, 2009 07:08PM in Mobile

Text messages used to cost five to ten cents apiece, but over the last few years, the four major U.S. wireless carriers raised it to 20 cents apiece. If you pay for an unlimited texting plan, you're probably paying anywhere from $15-20 per month. But how much is it costing the carriers? Practically nothing. Most of the costs originated from hardware and infrastructure investments, but all that occurred years ago, even before the price increase, and even then, the cost was minimal. The operating costs are even less. According to a computer science professor, "It doesn't cost the carrier much more to transmit a hundred million messages than a million." There's not much way around it for now, but the 20 price-fixing lawsuits alleging that the carriers are illegally colluding to set text messaging prices artificially high could change things.