The Emperor has no clothes

What Carriers Aren’t Eager to Tell You About Texting

The public assumes that wireless carriers’ costs are far higher than they actually are, and profit margins are concealed by a heavy curtain.

Perhaps the costs for the wireless portion at either end are high — spectrum is finite, after all, and carriers pay dearly for the rights to use it. But text messages are not just tiny; they are also free riders, tucked into what’s called a control channel, space reserved for operation of the wireless network.

That’s why a message is so limited in length: it must not exceed the length of the message used for internal communication between tower and handset to set up a call. The channel uses space whether or not a text message is inserted.

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