Text Messaging Costs More Than Receiving Data From Hubble

Just as network operators like T-Mobile is announcing unlimited texting with some of its packages, here comes a rather intriguing piece of information that shows why text messaging still accounts for a non-negligible portion of their profits.

Text messaging is a 15-year old technology and does not cost that much to network operators even when Multimedia Messages are taken into consideration.

Nigel Bannister, who works at the University of Leicester, calculated that the average cost per megabyte, using an SMS as a benchmark, cost £374.49. Bannister used very conservative figures and assumed that each SMS contained the maximum number of characters allowed.

This means that Pay As You Go users from all major network operators are actually paying way more than the £374.50; texts normally cost 10p in the UK which means that applying Bannister's formula would double the per-megabyte price to a whopping £750.

In comparison, the cost of downloading 1MB of data from Space Telescope Hubble, will not exceed £9, a full 95 percent less than Bannister's calculations.

The figures were announced a while ago during a investigation programme called Dispatches aired by Channel 4 and entitled 'The Mobile Phone Rip-Off' which showed how mobile users were being fleeced, literally, by some of the biggest names in the telephony market.