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Blackberry Businesses Communications

Messaging Apps, VoIP Already Eating Into Carrier Revenue 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the you're-gonna-get-net-neutralized dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new breed of messaging services and mobile Voice over IP clients like Skype are already eating into carrier revenues according to a new study. '... one-third of carriers are already seeing voice traffic and SMS revenue decline as a result of the increased popularity of third-party solutions. ... For years, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Messenger service has been one of the top features consumers and enterprise users loved about BlackBerry devices. It took much longer than some expected, but other vendors and third-party developers have finally come out in full force with competing services that provide SMS-like messaging over data networks at little or no cost to the user."
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Messaging Apps, VoIP Already Eating Into Carrier Revenue

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  • The funny part (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:12PM (#38102420)

    Is that the data messaging probably costs the carrier more than SMS...

    • Re:The funny part (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:13PM (#38102430)

      SMS is technically free. The only cost is counting/bill.

      • Usually yes, but where I live a mobile operator had to upgrade infrastructure because during the holidays (Christmas/New Year) the SMSs were delayed for as much as two days.

      • Re:The funny part (Score:5, Insightful)

        by roc97007 (608802) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:31PM (#38103424) Journal

        Right. And by charging extortionate prices for what is essentially a free service, the carriers have made it financially viable for competitors to flourish, even if they are ostensibly more expensive to run. Which is fine, that's how capitalism is supposed to work. The carriers could shut down these other services by significantly lowering the price of SMS services, but it's such a cash cow I think they'll try something else... maybe legislation?

        • by EdIII (1114411)

          but it's such a cash cow I think they'll try something else... maybe legislation?

          That's how the DMCA was born. If they could not persuade or stop the consumer outright from bypassing their restrictions they did get legislation making it illegal.

          Don't expect common sense and decency to stop the passage of the law either.

      • Re:The funny part (Score:5, Interesting)

        by icebike (68054) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:51PM (#38103638)

        SMS is technically free. The only cost is counting/bill.

        If you consider only the radio spectrum involved in delivery, you could make that argument.

        But the messages have to be routed, handed off to other carriers, stored and forwarded, etc. This has a real cost, even if the last mile imposes no additional burden on the cell tower.

        Further, you must amortize your network, every switch, tower, transmitter, fiber optic. You spread these costs over every service you provide. If people dropped their voice plans and kept only their sms plans, you STILL end up having to maintain the same towers, networks, and switching centers.

        So SMS messages are essentially free as long as you look ONLY at that segment of open air between the tower an your phone.

        That being said, the rate charged for these things are beyond all measure of the actual costs. I'm not defending the pricing.
        I'm simply calling into question the rather myopic view that they come down the same pre-existing signaling channel and are therefore free.

        • Re:The funny part (Score:4, Informative)

          by linuxwolf69 (1996104) on Friday November 18, 2011 @05:06PM (#38103830)
          But don't they have to do all of this to be able to make calls anyway? The only difference being that SMS could be sent out more frequently than calls, thus causing slightly more handing off to other carriers.

          Also, I've never heard of an SMS only plan. I think the argument here is that since all of this connectivity must be maintained for the Voice network, why are we paying so much for the SMS, which essentially costs a very small amount of cost on the provider's end when looking at the fact that all of their infrastructure and interconnectivity is needed for the voice portion of the service? That's what GP means by "technically free".
          • by BitZtream (692029)

            But don't they have to do all of this to be able to make calls anyway? The only difference being that SMS could be sent out more frequently than calls, thus causing slightly more handing off to other carriers

            Yes, and they charge you for doing so. Thats part of why you pay per minute.

            Also, I've never heard of an SMS only plan

            Because you haven't looked. SMS only plans are rather popular for field equipment that need to send back notification messages to central systems without costing an arm and a leg to run each month.

            The GP means he doesn't understand how it costs money so it must be free. That doesn't actually make it free. Even with all the infrastructure being built out 'for voice', if you ignore all the costs involved for services that are also

          • by icebike (68054)

            Well all I am trying to point out is that "Technically free" is a pointless argument, not supported by any rational business case.

            Nothing that uses your infrastructure is technically free.

            It has been stated that the reason many people experience calls going direct to voice mail is because of signaling channel congestion.
            Some links to this phenomena appear here [computer.org], and here [blogspot.com].

            (Signaling channel (probably not the right term, but someone is sure to jump in with the correct one) is the common channel signaling syste

        • by jthill (303417)

          When pennies per message,

          the rate charged for these things [is] beyond all measure of the actual costs,

          you've given the living definition of "too cheap to meter".

        • Re:The funny part (Score:5, Insightful)

          by EdIII (1114411) on Friday November 18, 2011 @08:15PM (#38105254)

          But the messages have to be routed, handed off to other carriers, stored and forwarded, etc. This has a real cost, even if the last mile imposes no additional burden on the cell tower.

          I agree with you, but it important to point out that routing, including "peering and transit" is already established and not part of the cost calculations for SMS. SMS is just a different type of communication, and does not require its own special hardware or communication protocols specifically. At least not to my knowledge.

          Routing the SMS message internally does not add significant cost or complexity. The OP is actually correct in a sense. The billing and reporting on SMS messages actually costs more than sending the SMS, at least internally.

          There is already a TON of traffic in between carriers. Validating roaming status, call set up and teardown, etc. The costs, that the carriers created, was the massive gateways and complicated short code system to sell SMS to businesses.

          As you said, even considering the costs of the gateways themselves and the bureaucracy of SMS shortcodes and premium charges, they are still making 6 figure profit margins, at a minimum.

          The cost of SMS is completely artificial. It has never made sense to me, other than greed and avarice, to sell SMS at all. It should be a completely free service intended to be "added value" to the services already being charged for. Considering people's penchant for using it so damn much, it actually lowers their costs and increases how much service they can sell. If a typical SMS exchange is 1/1,000,000th (or less) of the data passed during a conversation then it is to the advantage of the carrier to encourage it. Such egregious charges do the opposite.

          Now they are fucked.

          Skype and persistent IM solutions using their data connections represent a HUGE increase in actual traffic passing from the tower to the handset, where it is most expensive.

          Not to mention the solutions that allow you to send recorded messages back and forth. No charges for SMS. No charges for cellular minutes usage. Nothing but data, which they still make unlimited on the handset.

          Not smart. They deserve what they have coming to them because it was so easy to stop. Longer SMS messages and a completely free service would have provided a heck of lot less incentives to find solutions around their crazy pricing.

      • Re:The funny part (Score:5, Insightful)

        by teg (97890) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:59PM (#38103740) Homepage

        SMS is technically free. The only cost is counting/bill.

        Carriers don't charge SMS usage fees because of the big variable costs... they charge because they can, because it has a value to the customer.

        A large part of the cost for a carrier is fixed cost - the various priced services is just how to they believe they can recoup most of it and make their profit. If noone pays for SMS anymore, they'll instead have higher costs for talk or data than they do now. They know how much money they need to earn per handset on average, and that's what they'll get one way or the other.

      • SMS technically is not free. If it was, then they would just send all voice data through SMS packets.

        Voice data is limited. SMS is limited. (see the Shannon-Hartley theorem page [wikipedia.org] on wikipedia.) With basic GSM or CDMA, a voice channel was used to send SMS data. Although the channel was quickly released after being reserved, it still could cause a tower to be overloaded, if each person sent enough text messages per second.

        With GPRS (aka 2.5g), SMS were moved to a separate data packet type that could piggyba

    • Re:The funny part (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TWX (665546) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:25PM (#38102584)

      Considering that SMS uses the same packet radio features that cellular networks use to keep the network appraised of where the phone is, and that packet size is much larger than the data that is transmitted per packet requiring the packets to be buffered out with null data, and that fitting the SMS messages just fill the rest of the packet that has to be transmitted anyway, even charging for SMS messaging is a crock.

      I can understand charging for image or audio messages, as those actually do impact the use of the network. Charging for SMS, though, that's just sheer greed.

      My wife and I got unlimited minutes cell plans when they were novel and first introduced to long-term customers several years ago, and we didn't get any SMS or data for her since she doesn't have a smartphone. Consequently, we used voice airtime even when SMS would have worked, as we didn't want to pay $0.20 for less than 300 characters. Because the carrier is greedy it actually cost them more for us to be customers.

      I also believe that data features on smartphones that are provided by the carrier and OS on the phone, like e-mail, directory services, map data, and other non-web, fairly low-bandwidth data services should be complimentary with the purchase of the data plan, and should subsequently not count against one's 2gb cap or whatever the cap may be. But, apparently cell companies right now don't agree with me.

      When I travelled overseas I found cellphones to be a much better deal. That they cost so much here for what one gets compared to overseas where they have the hell regulated out of them means to me that letting companies operate as they will, with contracts to the users, carrier-locked phones, and more than a single network standard further preventing even unlocked devices from conveniently switching between some carriers to be BS.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Considering that SMS uses the same packet radio features that cellular networks use to keep the network appraised of where the phone is, and that packet size is much larger than the data that is transmitted per packet requiring the packets to be buffered out with null data, and that fitting the SMS messages just fill the rest of the packet that has to be transmitted anyway, even charging for SMS messaging is a crock.

        Agreed, BUT, if you don't charge, the bandwidth available for that purpose would be saturated with people freeloading.

        SMS charges ARE a crock of shit, but they can not be free without a fundamental change in human behavior or they will be unusable.

    • by icebike (68054)

      Is that the data messaging probably costs the carrier more than SMS...

      Maybe, maybe not.

      As we move to LTE, there may no longer be any need for a signaling channel (which is what SMS rides on for free).
      The carriers, while bemoaning the lost revenue are probably just as happy to see SMS disappear as anyone else.

      Data messaging (data in general) is just another few packets in the data stream, where the routing is not their problem. Throw it on the internet and forget about it.

      The story linked to in the summary more or less hints at this:

      “This is one of the primary reasons the industry is currently moving towards an all-IP converged core network accelerated by the deployment of LTE technology. By allowing users to place high definition voice and video calls, chat, share content, and discover new services as part of a globally connected framework, operators can retain and even grow their share of customer communication spend.”

      Carriers are setting prices and data tiers

  • Free Texting (and they give you a phone number) and phone calls. All the solutions I'm aware of lack Picture Capability, but Google is working on that I Think. Fuck AT&T & Verizon's 20 bucks a month for texting, that's all I'm saying. Anyone who pays so much for so little needs their head checked
    • by oakgrove (845019) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:23PM (#38102554)
      I can't receive random pictures and videos over text messages with Google Voice you say? That's a feature!
    • Re:TextFree+Voice (Score:4, Informative)

      by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:23PM (#38102560)

      All the solutions I'm aware of lack Picture Capability...

      iOS 5's iMessage supports sending of photos and videos. Chances are I won't have an SMS plan much longer.

      • AND... they receive animated GIF when the recipient is on wifi!

    • Free Texting (and they give you a phone number) and phone calls. All the solutions I'm aware of lack Picture Capability, but Google is working on that I Think. Fuck AT&T & Verizon's 20 bucks a month for texting, that's all I'm saying. Anyone who pays so much for so little needs their head checked

      Depends on your carrier, I guess.

      https://shop.koodomobile.com/plans/add-ons/index.html [koodomobile.com]

      I can get Unlimited global texting for $5/mo, Call display for $6/mo, and Voicemail for $6/mo, or I can get all three for $10/mo. By NA standards that's stupidly cheap... but European and Asian standards, that's ridiculously overpriced. It depends on who you're with, I suppose. That said, ATT seems to like fucking its customers over, just going on past example.... perhaps your problem isn't that you're paying for texting,

    • by RulerOf (975607)

      Fuck AT&T & Verizon's 20 bucks a month for texting, that's all I'm saying.

      And you should say it loudly and proudly.

      I switched phones and had trouble with data services pulling in after moving a SIM. It required customer service to override my features because "$5/month for 200 SMS" doesn't fucking exist as an option anymore. The only pricing tiers left are "YAY Unlimited SMS for $20" and "Teenager on your account == Rape."

  • by DigitalGodBoy (142596) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:18PM (#38102492) Homepage
    My text usage has dropped about 85% now that iMessage is automatically taking every iPhone user's texts over the Apple's server systems. Pretty handy.
    • Re:iMessage (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nerdfest (867930) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:25PM (#38102592)
      Proprietary solutions are not helping anybody but the people who create them, be it Apple or RIM.
      • by StikyPad (445176)

        They're helping lots of people by lowering their bills. Apple and RIM may be helped by their own actions as well, but that's a far cry from saying they're the only ones who benefit.

    • by TWX (665546)

      Which takes up more bandwidth toward your X gb cap? SMS traffic, or forwarding more complex imformation through Apple's servers?

      I'd bet on the latter...

      • by canajin56 (660655)
        I can only speak for Google Talk, not for the Apple chat thing, but the amount of bandwidth is tiny. I use Google Talk all the time instead of texting, and the bandwidth used up isn't even worth mentioning, and I'm only on a 500MB data plan!
  • by Zouden (232738) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:18PM (#38102496)

    Here in the Netherlands all 3 major mobile carriers recently raised their prices (and/or lowered their download limit) within a few weeks of each other. Vodafone cited falling SMS revenue due to WhatsApp. This isn't surprising; I send maybe 3 text messages a month now compared to about 1,000 using WhatsApp.

  • by oakgrove (845019) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:20PM (#38102522)
    Between the 1 2 combination of Google Voice and GrooveIP, Verizon is "losing" a ton of revenue from me. My text messaging needs are natively handled by Google Voice and with some help from the grooveip app, Google Voice handles my voip needs as well. I just turned off my texting carrier plan and cranked my minutes to the absolute minimum. Fortunately I'm grandfathered in on an unlimited data plan from Verizon to make this all possible. I have unlimited monthly calling minutes and messages on the lowest plan Verizon carries. I just carry my OG Droid around as a glorified Mi-Fi and keep my Nexus S tethered. You wouldn't even realize theNexus doesn't have a similar card the system works so well.
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:20PM (#38102526) Homepage Journal
    So shortly after all of the major carriers dropped the even slightly reasonable SMS plans, people started using the hacky but free alternatives? What a shocker. This seems like a classic example of what happens when you price yourself right out of the market.
    • by jeffmeden (135043) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:53PM (#38102956) Homepage Journal

      So shortly after all of the major carriers dropped the even slightly reasonable SMS plans, people started using the hacky but free alternatives? What a shocker. This seems like a classic example of what happens when you price yourself right out of the market.

      If you want to see Price Discrimination at work, check out the prices on Mobile Virtual Network Operators (companies that buy access to Verizon, ATT, Sprint, etc. in bulk and resell it via subscription or prepaid contracts.) MVNO carriers offer basically the exact same coverage footprint, you can use the exact same set of handsets (but without a contract, the prices are obviously much different) and yet a MVNO will charge you at least *half*, if not less, for the exact same number of minutes, text messages, and data. Why more people don't use them instead of continuing to be extorted by the big carriers is beyond explanation. If gas cost half as much but you had to pump it yourself (oh, wait) how many people would ever go to full-serve filling stations?

      • Actually, what surprises me is that the incumbents in the US don't seem to have fight brands. I'm with Koodo, in Canada, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telus... On Telus, you get 150 anytime minutes and data for $50/mo, add $15/mo for call display/domestic texting, and long distance is extra. On Koodo, you get 150 anytime minutes, 5pm evenings/weekends, data, unlimited global texting, call display, voicemail, and unlimited long distance for $45/mo. You're buying the service from the same company, wit

      • by ArhcAngel (247594)

        Why more people don't use them instead of continuing to be extorted by the big carriers is beyond explanation. If gas cost half as much but you had to pump it yourself (oh, wait) how many people would ever go to full-serve filling stations?

        Perhaps if your analogy were tweaked a bit it would make more sense. Let's say you walk in to your local Shell station and the attendant informs you that if you agree to only buy gas from shell for the next 1/2/3 years Shell will sell you a Cadillac/Lexus/Infinity for the price of a Chevy Cruz. You pay more for your gas every month but you got a sweet deal on a new luxury automobile. What doesn't make sense is people who willingly go month to month paying the same rate for gas as the ones who got the luxur

  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:27PM (#38102606)
    You gouge the prices to unreasonable levels (especially on a sub-par service), people are going to find a way around paying.
  • And hopefully just like publishing companies we soon won't need separate wireless phone carriers.

    All we'll need is a wireless network.

  • What people really want are dumb pipes. Imagine if you could just get a data plan and then pick your VOIP carrier?
    And if you could just stream the video you wanted at home..
    And that is just exactly what Comcast, AT&T and Verizon do now want you to do.

    • by TWX (665546) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:33PM (#38102708)

      Keep in mind that for everyone who wants a dumb pipe, there's someone who wants America Online, even if they have no idea why they want it.

      That's how all of these "features" that cell phone companies concoct manage to keep customers coming in.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      And that VoIP carrier worked on your cell phone and your home cordless as well. That's what I'd like.

      • Welcome to yesterday. Sipdroid or some other SIP client on your phone and a router with SIP that allows you to connect a phone, et voila. Even works over 3G...

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          And you get get a data plan without voice? Where?

          • I'm on prepaid (Germany)... 15€ per month for 5 gigs, tethering allowed, VoIP too.

            I'm sure you could find a plan that's meant for 3G modems and just use that as well :)

            • by omnichad (1198475)

              Not in the US. Way more expensive. Cellular anything is too expensive here. My wife and I each pay $30 for every two months for 300 minutes of prepaid voice. I pay $16 each month for VoIP. Our combined phone costs are $46/mo. but that's the best we can do.

          • T-Mobile: http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/mobile-broadband-plans.aspx [t-mobile.com]

            2GB for $40/month (2G speeds after specified data limit)
            5GB for $50/month (2G speeds after specified data limit)
            10GB for $80/month (2G speeds after specified data limit)

            I'm on their $50/month unlimited plan (talk, text, data). Sure, it throttles down to 2G speeds after 2GB of data. So? Planning on buying the Galaxy Nexus when it launches, and I can live with those restrictions for $50/month.

            • by omnichad (1198475)

              And that 2GB plan nearly surpasses the combined cost of two prepaid cell phones and VoIP at home for me. Last I knew, T-Mobile only covers the cities well. I drive a lot in the in-between areas. Without VoIP, I only occasionally want maps (could buy a GPS) or shopping comparison (monthly fee probably outweighs the shopping cost-savings).

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        No reason why it couldn't except why have a home cordless? Cell+wifi+VIOP= home cordless.

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          Because cordless phones have caller ID with NAME (without inputting the contact into an address book - seriously, why hasn't the cell world caught up on this?), are nicer to hold if you hate bluetooth, provide a secondary phone when your battery is dead, and because I already paid for a cordless phone. They also stay cooler to the touch during a longer call. I actually have 2 cordless and 2 corded phones on VoIP, and 2 SIP phones at home now (for just my wife and I). I much prefer them to a cell phone.

    • by jandrese (485)
      It's true that the consumer would benefit greatly from an open market like that, but do you know who doesn't particularly like the idea of being a commodity? Every cell phone company. That's why it's not going to happen.
  • by quixote9 (999874) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:30PM (#38102660) Homepage
    just shouts "more money than brains." It was on /. a while back. (! yr? 2 yrs? more?) Somebody costed out what people were paying for texting, and on a per-byte basis, it cost more than what NASA paid to communicate with the space telescope. I never could understand people putting up with that. Voip + wifi for me since about 2005.
  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:31PM (#38102670)

    1-Imagine if people could get unlimited data plan not for their Smartphone but at home.
    2-Imagine if many (not most or all) people offered limited but free WIFI to Cell phones. (Don't ask how, just follow me on this)
    3-Few people would need a data plan at all on their SmartPhones
    4-Cell phone providers would have to lower their rates or die.

    However, with great corruption comes draconian laws.
    Therefore, cell phone providers have little to fear.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      1-Imagine if people could get unlimited data plan not for their Smartphone but at home.
      2-Imagine if many (not most or all) people offered limited but free WIFI to Cell phones. (Don't ask how, just follow me on this)
      3-Few people would need a data plan at all on their SmartPhones
      4-Cell phone providers would have to lower their rates or die.

      However, with great corruption comes draconian laws.
      Therefore, cell phone providers have little to fear.

      Part of what you're asking for is already taking shape - a cell service provider (well ok, reseller - I think they use Sprint's network) leveraging Wifi to sell an unlimited everything cell plan for $19/month:

      http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/07/republic-wireless-officially-unveils-19month-service-unlimited-everything-no-contracts/ [techcrunch.com]

      The catch is, you have to do most of your calls/text/data while on Wifi and (for now) it only works on their specific phones. They'll drop you if you start using significant cellular

    • by tepples (727027)
      Would the list of people offering free Wi-Fi include operators of public bus services?
    • by GiMP (10923)

      This plan would work incredibly well... in San Francisco where there are tens of access points accessible from any given place you might be. This would work horribly in the suburbs. Hell, it would work terribly in the residential areas of large cities where there would be enough density for this to work, but where people are too poor to have wifi (thus lowering the effective density of the mesh network).

      • Wifi at work? Check. Wifi at home? Check. Wifi at houses of friends? Check. Problem?

        Turn on Google Maps Location History services; wait for it to collect data. You'd be surprised how little time you spend elsewhere besides home, work, etc.

        With regards to poverty, Comcast has a $15/month cheapie plan if you qualify based on income.

  • Good! (Score:4, Funny)

    by RazorRaiser (895600) on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:37PM (#38102762)
    Fuck 'em! They get what they deserve. Maybe one or two might even learn to charge a fair prices.
  • by cs668 (89484) <cservin@cromagnon.com> on Friday November 18, 2011 @03:37PM (#38102770)

    T-Mobile added a per MB data plan to my service when I specifically set up my plan 2 years ago to have no data component. I told them that I did not what my phone to be able to access the Internet and surprise me with charges. Everything was fine until me last bill, when I had $40 of data charges. They had added an on demand data plan to my service and like any good smart phone when it couldn't get wifi it went ahead and used the mobile carrier, and racked up a big bill. I think that is their way of upping revenue.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Your phone should have the ability to turn off Cellular data, even the super locked down, anti-freedom, hate the users (I'm quoting android people here) iphone allows that.

      I turn off cellphone data on my iphone a lot of times. All i can afford is the 200MB plan, which is a rip off, but they force it upon you if you have an iphone... I guess they kill puppies if you use one without a data plan..

      • by cs668 (89484)

        It can turn off data over cellular. Funny thing is that also turns off non text parts of MMS messages.

        Since I specified a plan with no data component and even asked them if I could accidentally access the Internet and incur data charges and they said no I was really surprised when per MB data was added to my plan and I was charged. I know at least 5 people that were effected in the same way, it's just really unethical as a business practice to lie to your customers.

    • Did you complain? And did you get that charge erased? Don't let them think you're an easy mark, otherwise they'll just find another way to over-charge you for no reason.

  • Perish the thought that folks would find a way around highway robbery!

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:19PM (#38103280) Homepage

    I can not find ONE person on this planet that feels bad for them.

    Gouging for SMS messaging costs, Gouging on Data costs, etc...

    Boo fricking hoo Cellphone companies..... I'll throw a pity party in your honour this holiday season.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:22PM (#38103312) Homepage Journal

    remove things that people wouldn't be doing through normal carriers? Since it's free or super cheap, many epople are making calls that wouldn't have normally made.

    I may Skype with my friends while gaming, but no way would I call them on a 'party' line.

  • Is this a surprise or revelation to you guys or something?

    They are going to get paid for the service, you're going to pay them, its just a question of how the data gets to you.

    If everyone switches to using massive amounts of data ... they'll stop making data unlimite.. ... wait ... whats that? It already happened? Fuck. Good thing I'm grandfathered in :)

  • Dear Carriers: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday November 18, 2011 @04:50PM (#38103630) Homepage Journal
    Dear Carriers:

    What you want the least, is what your customers want you to be the most: a dumb pipe.

    Please get out of our way.

    Sincerely,

    Your Customers
  • by crossmr (957846) on Friday November 18, 2011 @06:47PM (#38104696) Journal

    I'm surprised things like SMS message plans and long distance plans have survived even this long.
    Before skype was a small threat to long distance plans. It was alright, but you often had to be tied to a computer, or buy a special phone or wireless headset to use it more freely.

    However, with the explosion of the smart phone market,, skype and other programs like it are everywhere and extremely convenient to use for the end-consumer. I haven't had a home phone in years, but even if I had one, I certainly wouldn't be calling anyone long distance with it.

    calling cards have become almost unnecessary for normal day to day use.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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