Verizon to begin charging text alert senders

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Verizon to begin charging text alert senders

Chicago (IL) – Verizon is sure to raise more concern over already high text messaging charges with an additional SMS fee. The company said that it would charge services that are sending text messages, such as text alerts, to Verizon Wireless customers an additional 3 cents per message. As other wireless carriers, Verizon recently doubled the per-message-cost of text messages sent or received by its customers.

According to an article published by RCR Wireless, Verizon will adding a “transaction fee” of 3 cents for every “MT” (mobile terminated) message sent over its network. Those messages typically include text or news alerts sent by information or news services. The fee will be added to already existing messaging fees, which, according to RCR Wireless, can “cost the sender anywhere from a fraction of a penny to a few cents”.

Verizon will charge the new transaction fee for both standard-rate and premium programs, but will waive the fee in programs where the sender covers the entire cost of the transaction and the sender is not charged a fee.

Verizon justified the new fee with “overhead” cost that needs to be covered. Also, the company claimed that this is the first cost increase since the service was implemented in 2003.

Of course, there are always two sides of the story and while Verizon’s overhead (and SMS revenue) may have grown, the cost increase just does not look that good in the light that the company joined other carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile in raising the per-message cost for its customers earlier this year. For subscribers to its basic 450 minute / $40 per month plan, Verizon Wireless now charges 20 cents (instead of 10 cents) for every message that is sent or received on a cellphone. There is also an option to add unlimited text messages to a plan, which is part of a package that also includes unlimited picture and instant messaging and will cost an additional $20 per month.

The price increase to 20 cents was under scrutiny earlier this year as the cost of this service translates into $1310.72  per megabyte for the customer (at 160 bytes per SMS and 1,048,576 bytes per MB), which, at least in theory, is believed to be more expensive that transferring data to and from the Hubble space telescope.