Mobile Data Costs

Vodafone sent me (and 1000’s of others no doubt) a txt msg today announcing their new mobile internet plans. The big change is for casual users (probably anyone like me on prepay) who now have the following pricing,

$1/day for 10MB, no monthly fee, $1/MB overage

In other words, that’s ~$30/month for 300MB. While this is not a bad price in NZ’s (crippled) mobile data market, it is still complete pants compared to the rest of the world. It’s also worth noting that this a better deal than their “Broadband Starter” plan which is $30/month for 200MB on a 2 year contract. Go figure.

While on the topic of ridiculous pricing for mobile data, lets look at what those sms/txt messages cost you. At 20 cents per message that’s cheap right? Wrong! Time for some math…

1 sms = 160 7-bit characters (max) = 1,120 bits = 140 bytes
1 MB = 1,000,000 bytes (SI units) = 7142 sms messages
1 sms message costs 20 cents
Therefore, sending 1 MB via sms costs $1,428!

Of course if you don’t max out your 160 characters (or if you base it on 1024^2 bytes) it’s much more expensive. Wow.

Now if that doesn’t make you realise just how much money the telco’s are creaming off us, I don’t know what will.

About Chris
A self confessed geek, meteorologist (aka weather forecaster), father & proud kiwi mainlander living, working & playing in Wellington, New Zealand.

2 Responses to Mobile Data Costs

  1. AC says:

    As a Canadian mobile data user I feel your pain; moreover, I think the two biggest roadblocks to widespread take-up of the mobile internet are:

    1. Non-unlimited data plans,
    2. International data roaming charges.

    Here’s hoping that changes sooner rather than later!

  2. Chris says:

    Cheers Andrew.

    I’m just glad for you guys that Rogers actually appeared to listen to their customers in Canada and change their iPhone data pricing – no doubt influenced by this petition,
    http://www.petitiononline.com/iPhone99/petition.html

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