Quick Thought: American SMS

I just want to say that American Telecom operators are idiots. Not only do they charge for both outgoing and incoming calls, but they're also charging for incoming SMS messages also!!! I just learned that today and I'm AMAZED.

Here's a simple thought: The reason SMS is so popular here in Europe is because it's so cheap. It's much cheaper than a phone call so people use it constantly. And because it doesn't cost anything to receive either a call or SMS on your mobile phone, people leave their phones on all the time. And because pre-pay is so easy and cheap to get, everyone has a phone. And because you know that everyone has a phone and that it's turned on, you know that you can send them a message.

It's a basic fact: IF you HAVE a phone, and it's TURNED ON, you're going to use it.

The idiots in the U.S. charging for both sides of the coin just because they can are hindering the market and adoption of mobile technology. It's that simple. Americans are just going to leave their mobile phones off, if they bother buying them at all.

What I'm amazed at is how come an operator hasn't just decided to break with everyone else and allow incoming calls for free? Just as marketing if for nothing else. Why hasn't T-Mobile done it, for example? They're based in Europe, they know how things are done... I just don't get it.

Check out this article on a new pre-pay service from a company called Alltell. They're going to launch cheap pre-paid phones in all the Walmarts across the country. Cool. No matter where you go, there's a Walmart. So that'll work. They really, really have an opportunity to be ubiquitous in every little corner of the country. But they still charge for both calls and messages going out and coming in... it doesn't make sense. It's SUCH an opportunity to break from the mold and make a killing. Halve your profits now, but sell 10 times as many handsets because of it. Makes perfect sense to me!

Obviously there's a lot I don't understand.


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