Saturday, 24 April 2010

The exorbitant cost of text messages

Kiwiblog refers to an NZ Herald article:
  • “According to Nigel Bannister, a scientist at the University of Leicester, sending a text message can be up to four times more expensive than downloading the same amount of data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

    A text message can be 160 characters, equalling 160 bytes (actually 140 bytes – 160 7-bit characters, so the figures that follow are conservative).

    Given that a text message costs roughly 20c to send, some simple arithmetic can be used to work out how much it costs per megabyte:
    $0.20 / 160 = $0.00125 per byte
    $0.00125 x 1024 = $1.28 per kilobyte
    $1.28 x 1024 = $1311 per megabyte
    If we had to pay text message bandwidth rates for home or office internet connections: downloading a 4Mb song would cost $5244.00, a 500Mb TV episode would cost $655,500 and downloading a 1Gb movie, $1,342,464.”

Anyone who uses one of the Smartphones can use peer to peer tasks over their wireless and services like MSN and Ping over their 3G connection for free.


lost in the tropics said...

Hmmm, and to think, it costs me around 11 cents AU to send a text from the Philippines to OZ. Doesn't take a view from outer space to see who's getting ripped off here... and by whom.

MB said...

Are you sure about free stuff over a 3G connection?
See my recent experience with a 3G wireless internet connection at