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Summary:

T-Mobile USA said its new pricing for business-to-consumer text messages won’t affect companies like Facebook and Twitter, which have direct relationships with the carrier. For countless others who use messaging aggregators, though, the pricing change will go ahead as planned.

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T-Mobile USA finally divulged a little information on its impending pricing change for text messaging, saying the move affects only the messaging aggregators that serve as a kind of middleman between businesses and carriers. So while countless companies will be affected by the change, those with direct relationships with T-Mobile — a group that includes Facebook and Twitter — will not see any increase in pricing. The carrier also said that labeling the move “simply as a price increase” isn’t entirely accurate, because the change is part of a restructured agreement with aggregators.

The mobile search company ChaCha yesterday said it would stop delivering messages to T-Mobile users if the carrier moved ahead with the price change, and other companies have publicly blasted T-Mobile’s move. The outcry seems to have died down, though, and it’s likely the new pricing structure will be implemented Oct. 1, as planned. As businesses’ use of text messaging continues to ramp up, we may see other carriers raise their rates in response.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): What SMS Marketers Can Learn From the Ringtone Space

Image courtesy Flickr user TheTruthAbout.

  1. [...] see business’ use of messaging rise in volume, its likely other carriers will make similar moves.GigaOMT-Mobile’s official statement follows:While we don’t disclose the details of our business [...]

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  2. [...] T-Mobile Won’t Tax Twitter Texts But Will Hike Prices – GigaOM [...]

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  3. Isn’t this similar to wanting to charge content providers on the internet? Consumers already paid their fee for text messages (handsomely I might add) — now they want to charge the other end.

    Greedy…

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  4. Redoing terms with the bulk people is probably just the first step. Right now a lot of the big international mobile companies just do bill and keep for SMS delivery between themselves. Look for that to end in the next couple of years. The volumes of SMS flying around are way too high for delivery between carriers to remain free. Its just a matter of them biting the bullet, upgrading their legacy systems so they can actually account for SMS delivery, and then billing each other the same as with voice.

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  5. Earlier tonight I texted ChaCha for football score. As part of the reply I got a message saying after 10/1 T-Mobile was discontinuing their service and I should contact them and ask for a mgr. I replied with a simple question:

    “How much did ChaCha earn last fiscal year?”

    The response I received was to ask whether I was a Male or a Female for marketing purposes. I have never been asked that before. I did not feel this was a necessary question and once again asked my original question. ChaCha then blocked me from their service. It would seem that ChaCha sure doesn’t mind firing shots at T-Mobile, but cannot handle the same scrutiny when redirected back at them.

    PS – To Joe… T-Mobile lowered their unlimited texting plan from 14.99 to 10.00 (on individual subscriber line) since October 2009 with the release of the Even More Plan structure. That was a reduction of 33% and yet text, picture, multimedia, instant messaging and email have all increased in usage among their customers. What they are doing is passing on the cost to these “free” services instead of their customers. That’s greedy? How does ChaCha stay in business? Ever ask yourself that question?

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