Feeds

Verizon to charge for message termination

Feed the masses, threepence a time

The essential guide to IT transformation

As Europe braces itself for mobile telephony without termination rates, Verizon is to start charging companies for delivering messages to its customers, while continuing to charge those customers for receiving them.

Verizon has notified its OpenMarket partners, in a letter reproduced by RCR Wireless, that from 1 November they'll have to cough up three cents for every message delivered to a mobile subscriber, compared to the fraction of a cent they might be paying now.

In Europe punters don't pay to receive text messages or phone calls, but in the USA contracts specify an allowance of voice minutes and text messages, with deductions made for both outgoing and incoming communications. This has meant that services such as Twitter could happily bounce SMS messages out to hundreds, or thousands, of twits with the recipients paying for the service they received.

In Europe, on the other hand, Twitter has had to suspend its SMS notifications as the cost of sending the messages breaks their business model - a situation that could quickly spread across the pond to Verizon customers.

The operator is making some exemptions, including non-profit organisations - though Web 2.0 companies that hope to make a profit one day will have to pay up. If the change spreads then it's going to seriously knock the business plans for 4INFO (SMS searching), and ChaCha (SMS questions answered) as well as companies distributing content over SMS such as Cellfire(discount coupons).

Such services survive in Europe through the use of premium-rate messaging and other billing mechanisms, but American companies haven't had to resort to such things - at least not yet.</p

Verizon contends that the charge is just to cover their costs, but the scale of the increase is unprecedented and follows big rises in the cost of text messaging over the last few years. This is a way to further bump up the revenue coming in without putting bigger numbers on customers' bills - though it's hard to imagine all the existing text-based services will survive under such a regime. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.