What Next for Texting?
Verizon Wireless announced this week that it was raising the price for a single text from $0.15 to $0.20 following the Sprint lead of a couple of months ago. By raising the prices, carriers are trying to push customer to bundled texting plans. Verizon bundled plans include 500 text and picture messages plus unlimited in-network messaging for $10 a month; 5,000 messages plus unlimited in-network messaging is available for $20 a month. These plans also motivate customers to be on the same network for unlimited messaging.
Carriers now see texting as a must-have for a number of their customers - and something they will pay higher prices for. It is especially important for them because overall voice average revenues per unit (ARPUs) are declining, there is added uncertainty in the economy, and many other data services have not taken off.
Interestingly enough, texting on Verizon Wireless prepaid plans remains between $0.02 and $0.10, allowing for some differentiation of this product.