T-Mobile reportedly plans on raising prices for SMS messages sent over its network beginning on October 1st. Though it’s a minor price adjustment, it could indicate a slippery slope if and when other carriers decide to do the same.
The proposed price hike would increase the charge for standard-rate messages — both mobile-originated and mobile-terminated — sent over the T-Mobile network by $0.0025 per message. While the increase is minor, it adds up exponentially for aggregators and mobile service providers who send millions of messages on a daily basis. When the price goes up for those in the middle, the extra cost is passed along to consumers.
You may remember a while back when Verizon Wireless attempted to raise SMS prices by three-cents and was forced to retract as backlash from the industry ensued. T-Mobile likely took this into consideration and is trying to tread lightly by attempting to raise the price by a very small amount. The problem, however, is if T-Mobile is successful in doing so, other carriers will surely follow suit, representing a slippery slope that could lead to several minor price hikes overtime. In the end, it’s aggregators, mobile service providers, mobile marketers and consumers who will pay the price.
The carriers have quickly realized that by increasing rates for SMS, they can substantially increase revenue generated from a highly captive audience — mobile marketers and service providers — that unfortunately have no other choice but to comply. Carriers have a hold on the mobile ecosystem and their decisions have far-reaching implications for anyone and any business operating within it. We’re keeping a close eye on T-Mobile’s price hike and will report back on the implications when and if it comes to fruition.