Companies are beginning to offer flat rates on text messages
The rise of messaging applications for web-based mobiles has caused a decline in traffic of traditional text messaging and has led operators to give away SMS. Some companies do it with monthly quotas, and others such as Movistar, will offer an unlimited quota from tomorrow.
Telefonica willoffer customers who sign up to Movistar’s data tariff, the ability to send all the text messages (SMS) that they want. The promotion will also be available for existing users that contact the operator to apply.
For six months, Vodafone has been giving away 350 free SMS to customers with tariffs starting at 40 euros a month, while the average consumption per user is 60 messages per month, accordingto the operator.
For its part, Orange also gives away messages every month: 500 for customers on a Delfin 79 contract, 300 for those on Panda 20 and 150 for those on Ardilla 15, while incorporating 50 weekly SMS on its Prepaid Delfin promotion.
While operators seek to gain customers with these initiatives, SMS has a chance to be saved from disappearing, after years of decline in shortmessage traffic. According to data from the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT), Spanish customers have reduced message sending in the last four years: from 13.42 million SMS in 2006, to 8.92 million last year, 33.5% less.
Phone companies have been earning less on SMS for three years: from 1.74 million euros in 2007, operators earned 1.26 million last year, 27.7% less, although they have keptthe average revenue per message above 14 cents since then.
The figures note the decline of an essential part of people’s lives: before the end of the year, the SMS will mark 19 years of loyal service to users, nearly two decades of collapsed networks on New Year’s Eve for millions of "Happy New Year" messages.
In fact, "Merry Christmas" was the first text message (SMS, which stands for"Short Message Service") that was ever sent, by Neil Papworth, who sent his good wishes from his computer to Richard Jarvis’ Orbitel 901 mobile on December 3rd, 1992.
For the brief greeting to reach Jarvis, the SMS travelled over the British Vodafone GSM mobile phone network.
However, it was not until 1993 that Finland started marketing the service to use from person to person. The onlymanufacturer whose phones allowed SMS to be sent in that year was also Finland’s Nokia .
Since then, short messages and the customer’s desire to spend less have led to the creation of a parallel language, full of cryptic abbreviations and misspellings to save space.
However, the advent of smart phones has encouraged the development of instant messaging applications that use mobile networks to transmitdata communications.
Now, users can send text, photos, voice messages and videos through applications such as WhatsApp and social networking programs such as Google+ and Facebook, as well as the services for BlackBerry, Apple and Samsung.
All this without paying a penny, or rather, all included in the price of mobile data. Whether with SMS or messaging services transmitted over datanetworks, the future seems to be written with free words.
Llega la hora de los SMS gratis
Las compañías empiezan a ofrecer tarifas planas en mensajes de texto
El auge de las aplicaciones de mensajería para móviles basadas en internet ha provocado un descenso en el tráfico de mensajes de texto tradicionales y ha propiciado que los operadores regalen los SMS: algunas compañías lo hacen con cuposmensuales y otras, como Movistar a partir de mañana, sin límites.
Telefónica ofrecerá a los clientes que contraten una tarifa de datos de Movistar la posibilidad de enviar gratis todos los mensajes de texto (SMS) que deseen, promoción que mantendrá para los usuarios actuales que se pongan en contacto con el operador para solicitarla.
Vodafone regala desde hace medio año 350 SMS gratis a los...