It costs $35 Million to send an HD video over SMS while roaming on AT&T

AT&T has the following chart on their webpage which outlines roaming rates while outside the U.S. We’re going to concentrate on the Text Messages row, also known as SMS messages.

SENDING TEXT, PICTURE, AND VIDEO MESSAGES WHEN OUTSIDE THE U.S.
Text Messages $0.50 per message sent
Picture and Video Messages $1.30 per message sent

I did the math and Tweeted my findings.


https://twitter.com/RyanAKearney/statuses/237585880276144128

A few hours later, an AT&T employee Tweets back (at least according to their Twitter bio they appear to be), but then almost immediately deletes their Tweet. No matter, their reply was already sent via text message, email, and cached on my desktop Twitter client Tweetbot. Below is a screenshot.

Twitter response from AT&T employee.

Someone affiliated with AT&T replies back, only to quickly delete their post.

@RyanAKearney actually 1 character in a msg equals abt 1 kb.1024KB=1MB..same conversion to GB-AT&T charges 19.97/mb or 120mb for $30 #fact

Actually, the body of a text message is 140 bytes which is 160 7-bit characters. I incorrectly assumed they were 160 bytes when I made my initial calculation #fact. So one character in a text message is 7 bits, far off from the 1,000 bits you claim it is. Then she goes off to say AT&T charges $19.97 per megabit and somehow that amounts to 120 megabits for $30? I can see why they deleted the tweet.

Now lets do the math here one step at a time.

  1. 1024 bytes = 1 KiB
  2. 1024 KiB = 1 MiB
  3. 1024 MiB = 1 Gib
  4. 1024 * 1024 * 1024 = 1,073,741,824 bytes per GiB
    Now that we know how many bytes are in 1GiB, we can divide that number by 140, the number of bytes of data you can send in a text message.
  5. 1,073,741,824 / 140 = 7,669,585 (rounded up)

This means we have to send 7,669,585 SMS messages to send 1GB of data (and this is assuming you can represent any set of data in an SMS message which I don’t believe you can, but that’s besides the point since it would just made this already large number even larger).

Finally, since AT&T charges $0.50 per SMS message, we just multiply our number of messages by $0.50 to get…

$3,834,792.50

If you were sending that 1GiB of data to another AT&T customer, that amount would be

$7,669,585

What’s this mean? If you wanted to send a typical HD video from one AT&T cell phone to another via SMS messages, assuming the video is 4.6GiB in size, it would cost:

$35,280,091

So there you have it. $35 Million to send a 4.6GiB HD movie from one phone to another using SMS while roaming.

  • Fiendly

    You’re a little off, you’re calculating with $0.50 which as you said, is the text message. You’re actually sending a video (obviously) so its sent at the higher rate of $1.30. It’s a lot more than $35 mill.

    • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

      You’re misunderstanding the post. The figures are calculated using the rate of a 140 byte SMS message. An MMS message can be up to 600KB in size so it requires over 4,000 times more SMS messages to send the same data as an MMS message. It would be cheaper if you sent it via MMS, but that’s not what this post is about.

      • Martin Overstrom


        Actually, the body of a text message is 140 bytes which is 160 7-byte characters.”

        I think you meant to say “7-bit characters” there. Confused me for a bit.

        • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

          Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve corrected this and the page cache should update soon.

      • Derp

        Ridiculous post is ridiculous.

        This is like saying it would cost millions of dollars to send a printed novel through the mail one page per envelope/stamp. Just put it on a CD and send that.

        • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.frazer1 Joshua Frazer

          The ‘size limit’ of a first class mail envelope is about 4 page. With a 45
          cent first class stamp charge an average length novel would cost around $30 to ship. Sending the whole book via fed ex ground would cost about $12. The prices are within a reasonable range of each other. SMS pricing is not within a reasonable range of anything.

  • Fiendly

    You’re a little off, you’re calculating with $0.50 which as you said, is the text message. You’re actually sending a video (obviously) so its sent at the higher rate of $1.30. It’s a lot more than $35 mill.

    • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

      You’re misunderstanding the post. The figures are calculated using the rate of a 140 byte SMS message. An MMS message can be up to 600KB in size so it requires over 4,000 times more SMS messages to send the same data as an MMS message. It would be cheaper if you sent it via MMS, but that’s not what this post is about.

      • Derp

        Ridiculous post is ridiculous.

        This is like saying it would cost millions of dollars to send a printed novel through the mail one page per envelope/stamp. Just put it on a CD and send that.

        • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.frazer1 Joshua Frazer

          The ‘size limit’ of a first class mail envelope is about 4 page. With a 45
          cent first class stamp charge an average length novel would cost around $30 to ship. Sending the whole book via fed ex ground would cost about $12. The prices are within a reasonable range of each other. SMS pricing is not within a reasonable range of anything.

  • Martin Overstrom


    Actually, the body of a text message is 140 bytes which is 160 7-byte characters.”

    I think you meant to say “7-bit characters” there. Confused me for a bit.

  • SLEAZIN

    how would you send 4.6gb from your phone? i’ve never seen a phone allow that much data out. sms and mms and emails are all capped. even uploading to most video storage web sites have conversions to video size. bogus post imo.

    • http://twitter.com/5dorra Damien Stewart

      I kind of want to try it just to see what would happen. That would ruin someones life. Sending a movie over SMS isn’t something that would typically happen but say someone tried to do something similar, without knowing, they’re on vacation, sharing a couple videos taken on their phone with family and bam, they’re 35 million dollars in debt for something that cost AT&T basically nothing. My Mother sent 50$ worth of texts while she was on vacation over seas a couple months ago and managed to get it waved because she called in a spent a few hours with customer service, but I don’t suppose getting 35 million dollars in fees would go over so well. Cell phone companies are ridiculous.

    • wr

      You’ve missed the point entirely. Point is – SMS charges are grossly overpriced.

      • n

        Not many people know but SMS is expensive for the carrier as well. They have to manage a lot of servers for that service, and with their staff and uptime, it ends up being pretty costly. We’ve worked with SMS aggregators before and the price is hefty. Not to mention all the other infrastructure that goes with it.

        Although, I am sure the cost is still inflated greatly. Unlimited messaging is obviously not a concern but some carriers **looking at you Verizon** have historically been overpriced on their text messaging packages. That company has good service though so I suppose all is fair.

  • SLEAZIN

    how would you send 4.6gb from your phone? i’ve never seen a phone allow that much data out. sms and mms and emails are all capped. even uploading to most video storage web sites have conversions to video size. bogus post imo.

    • wr

      You’ve missed the point entirely. Point is – SMS charges are grossly overpriced.

      • n

        Not many people know but SMS is expensive for the carrier as well. They have to manage a lot of servers for that service, and with their staff and uptime, it ends up being pretty costly. We’ve worked with SMS aggregators before and the price is hefty. Not to mention all the other infrastructure that goes with it.

        Although, I am sure the cost is still inflated greatly. Unlimited messaging is obviously not a concern but some carriers **looking at you Verizon** have historically been overpriced on their text messaging packages. That company has good service though so I suppose all is fair.

  • http://twitter.com/5dorra Damien Stewart

    I kind of want to try it just to see what would happen. That would ruin someones life. Sending a movie over SMS isn’t something that would typically happen but say someone tried to do something similar, without knowing, they’re on vacation, sharing a couple videos taken on their phone with family and bam, they’re 35 million dollars in debt for something that cost AT&T basically nothing. My Mother sent 50$ worth of texts while she was on vacation over seas a couple months ago and managed to get it waved because she called in a spent a few hours with customer service, but I don’t suppose getting 35 million dollars in fees would go over so well. Cell phone companies are ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jamiemonster Jamie McFarlane

    I feel like somebody needs to do this just to get the bill.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jamiemonster Jamie McFarlane

    I feel like somebody needs to do this just to get the bill.

  • http://joshuasortino.com/ Joshua Sortino

    This is wrong. They cook the books to make it look like charging insane prices is the only way to build out infrastructure, but these big Telcos aren’t hurting for money.

  • Your Daddy

    Video Messages = $1.30 per message sent. Dickwad.

    • asdf

      it doesn’t really matter if he was wrong, because your entire analysis is stupid. they charge a certain fee for text messages while roaming. that is their policy. people don’t send HD video through sms while roaming, so what does sending HD video have to do with it?

      likewise it would be ridiculously expensive to drive from New York to Los Angeles with a cab, or to charter an airplane to fly you 5 miles.

      • rez

        I wholeheartedly agree. This analysis is completely off, because nobody in their sane mind would ever even think about sending an HD movie via SMS.

        It’s like accusing a postal service of insane money transfer fees, when in fact what you’re doing is mailing out envelopes full of pennies.

        • Red

          I don’t think its meant to be taken as a serious method, just as an experiment. Calm down.

        • Whata Toolsack

          Did you even read any of the comments prior to posting? Way to be a good example of a moron that misses the point.

      • http://twitter.com/wilhil William Hilsum

        Agreed – whilst I think that the charges are high, this is just stupid… Next up, I need to send a 600 page book to another country – should I print it out and send it by courier or send it via FTP/similar?

        Just because you can send something via a certain method doesn’t mean that it is fit for purpose – likewise, if I needed to send someone a short message, I would send a text instead of writing, printing and posting.

        • Jeph

          I think that the point of this is how ridiculous it is that you pay that much to send data. The author only used a bigger data to put thing in perspective. The prices of the phone companies are aberrant and there is not much we can do to change thing short of simply not using a cellphone.

        • Jeph

          I think that the point of this is how ridiculous it is that you pay that much to send data. The author only used a bigger data to put thing in perspective. The prices of the phone companies are aberrant and there is not much we can do to change thing short of simply not using a cellphone.

      • Randy

        How is the analysis stupid. All he did was do the math and figure out how they got to that price.

      • Dan

        Thank you for alerting everyone to the fact that you missed the point completely. Go look up the definition of hypothetical before you spread your stupidity any farther.

      • stompsfrogs

        The content is actually irrelevant, he was calculating the cost in regards to the amount of data. He said “HD movie” instead of just saying an amount of data to give people a reference point. $0.50/140 bytes doesn’t sound all that scary, because most people don’t know how many bytes they use for other stuff.

        tl;dr, the cell phone guys rape you for text messages.

        • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

          Thank you for understanding the point of my post.

      • Ysleiro

        He used the term “HD video” to refer to 4.6GB of data in layman’s terms.

        Sending a text message is not comparable to chartering a plane.

        Think of it this way: Why is it you can send a Facebook message through an internet connection anywhere in the world for cheap but when sending an SMS the rate increases ASTRONOMICALLY.

        Keep in mind the data is moving through the same method and that the data is identical.

        • asdf

          To be fair, to send that same 4.6 GiB movie over your data connection while roaming in Canada (which has the cheapest roaming) at a pay-per-use rate would be $74000 USD. That’s also pretty astronomical.

    • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

      Someone doesn’t know how Video Messages work. :)

      • Lachlan Hunt

        You seem to have confused GB and GiB in some places in the article. Data transfer rates are always measured in decimal units, not binary units (despite that ignorant tweet from the AT&T rep), so in future, don’t bother messing around with MiB and GiB when doing such calculations. (I blame Windows file sizes and Google calculator for the continuing confusion in this area).

        For example, a standard DVD is 4.7 GB. That’s 4,700,000,000 bytes. A DVD size rip of an HD movie (typically 720p, based on a few samples in my own collection) is slightly under 4.7 GB, or about 4.37 GiB.

        However, at least for the values you used, the calculation is correct.

      • http://www.facebook.com/zacharyy Zachary Michael Young

        I like how it called you a “dickwad” and its name is “Your Daddy”. Clearly an intelligent being.

      • n

        @b46856611a477388fb0bdd49cc7f618f:disqus You’re a douche. @ryankearney:disqus Props for not filtering negative messages. Integrity move.

        • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

          I’ve found censoring users only destroys the quality of the community. While my site is very small and may only contain a few hundred comments, it’s important that everyone be able to express their opinions, no matter how idiotic.

  • Your Daddy

    Video Messages = $1.30 per message sent. Dickwad.

    • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

      Someone doesn’t know how Video Messages work. :)

      • n

        @b46856611a477388fb0bdd49cc7f618f:disqus You’re a douche. @ryankearney:disqus Props for not filtering negative messages. Integrity move.

        • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

          I’ve found censoring users only destroys the quality of the community. While my site is very small and may only contain a few hundred comments, it’s important that everyone be able to express their opinions, no matter how idiotic.

  • asdf

    it doesn’t really matter if he was wrong, because your entire analysis is stupid. they charge a certain fee for text messages while roaming. that is their policy. people don’t send HD video through sms while roaming, so what does sending HD video have to do with it?

    likewise it would be ridiculously expensive to drive from New York to Los Angeles with a cab, or to charter an airplane to fly you 5 miles.

    • rez

      I wholeheartedly agree. This analysis is completely off, because nobody in their sane mind would ever even think about sending an HD movie via SMS.

      It’s like accusing a postal service of insane money transfer fees, when in fact what you’re doing is mailing out envelopes full of pennies.

    • Dan

      Thank you for alerting everyone to the fact that you missed the point completely. Go look up the definition of hypothetical before you spread your stupidity any farther.

    • stompsfrogs

      The content is actually irrelevant, he was calculating the cost in regards to the amount of data. He said “HD movie” instead of just saying an amount of data to give people a reference point. $0.50/140 bytes doesn’t sound all that scary, because most people don’t know how many bytes they use for other stuff.

      tl;dr, the cell phone guys rape you for text messages.

    • Ysleiro

      He used the term “HD video” to refer to 4.6GB of data in layman’s terms.

      Sending a text message is not comparable to chartering a plane.

      Think of it this way: Why is it you can send a Facebook message through an internet connection anywhere in the world for cheap but when sending an SMS the rate increases ASTRONOMICALLY.

      Keep in mind the data is moving through the same method and that the data is identical.

  • Lachlan Hunt

    You seem to have confused GB and GiB in some places in the article. Data transfer rates are always measured in decimal units, not binary units (despite that ignorant tweet from the AT&T rep), so in future, don’t bother messing around with MiB and GiB when doing such calculations. (I blame Windows file sizes and Google calculator for the continuing confusion in this area).

    For example, a standard DVD is 4.7 GB. That’s 4,700,000,000 bytes. A DVD size rip of an HD movie (typically 720p, based on a few samples in my own collection) is slightly under 4.7 GB, or about 4.37 GiB.

    However, at least for the values you used, the calculation is correct.

  • Max M

    You could send a video as 7 bit sms. You would just need to encode it as an email message. It would add about 1/3 more data.

  • http://twitter.com/BlackHatMario BlackHatMario

    how much does it cost to send a hd video over carrier pigeon?

    • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

      However much 1 pigeon costs. I would assume 1 micro SD card would fit on its leg.

  • BlackHatMario

    how much does it cost to send a hd video over carrier pigeon?

    • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

      However much 1 pigeon costs. I would assume 1 micro SD card would fit on its leg.

  • n

    You don’t know how messaging works. Videos don’t use sms, sms = short messaging service and contain only 160 characters. Videos and photos are sent via mms or multimedia messaging service.

    All your calculations are wrong and your whole point moot due to the fact that a phone doesn’t use sms to send data. MMS would send as data. Binary stream to a service where the receiver would download it from. It’s been years since I’ve worked on PPTP but I can say with confidence that you don’t know what you’re talking about and you need to hit the books before you make an ass of yourself.

    • Ysleiro

      You MISSED the point of the article.

      Forget the technicality that you actually can not send a video through SMS and focus on the FACT that to send 4.6GB worth of messages cost’s you MILLIONS according to AT&T’s pricing.

  • n

    You don’t know how messaging works. Videos don’t use sms, sms = short messaging service and contain only 160 characters. Videos and photos are sent via mms or multimedia messaging service.

    All your calculations are wrong and your whole point moot due to the fact that a phone doesn’t use sms to send data. MMS would send as data. Binary stream to a service where the receiver would download it from. It’s been years since I’ve worked on PPTP but I can say with confidence that you don’t know what you’re talking about and you need to hit the books before you make an ass of yourself.

    • Ysleiro

      You MISSED the point of the article.

      Forget the technicality that you actually can not send a video through SMS and focus on the FACT that to send 4.6GB worth of messages cost’s you MILLIONS according to AT&T’s pricing.

  • http://ploogy.com/ Adam Brenecki

    Most of the counterarguments to this seem to be along these lines:

    “But you’re not supposed to send movies through SMS”

    True, but that doesn’t make it fair. Binary data is binary data. Whether it’s text encoded in the 7bit GSM alphabet or (part of) a movie encoded as MPEG, doesn’t make it any more or less special, or make it cost more or less to the telco.

    “But if you were to send over the postal service in as individual letters, it would cost ”

    This is an unfair comparison. There is a fixed cost to delivering something over the postal service, regardless of volume – the price of someone being paid to go to your door, and so on. Letters are priced to recover this cost with only a few being delivered, with the assumption that anyone wishing to send kilograms of stuff will use parcels.

    There isn’t any costs that are fixed to the receipt of data but not volume on a mobile network (that I’m aware of): the tower is there whether you send a message or not, and the amount of time the radio is in use varies according to data volume.

    Besides, the only way to get binary data on to a phone is by splitting it up into small pieces. If you were to download the same movie from the Web over your data connection, the movie would be split up into segments by the server’s TCP layer implementation. Those segments would then be split up each in to one or more packets by the IP layer, and then they would be split up again in to one or more frames by the link layer. This would be less efficient than using SMS (albeit faster and more reliable) as each layer adds a header to each segment/packet/frame before sending it to the layer below.

    Perhaps the best way to demonstrate how unfair this is is to compare with data.

    ATT’s site tells me the data roaming costs in Australia are $.0195 per KB. Assuming base-10 units, that’s $19,500 per GB.

    For the same 50c that gets you a 140 byte SMS, you can send 25,641 bytes of data (183x more). Emails (which have headers added on to them even before going through the encapsulation I described earlier) could be much longer and still cost less.

  • http://twitter.com/wilhil William Hilsum

    Whilst I think that the charges are high, this is just stupid… Next up, I need to send a 600 page book to another country – should I print it out and send it by courier or send it via FTP/similar?
    Just because you can send something via a certain method doesn’t mean that it is fit for purpose – likewise, if I needed to send someone a short message, I would send a text instead of writing, printing and posting.

    • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

      I’m just trying to bring more attention to the Cost to Size ratio of SMS messages. We all know SMS is overprices, however comparing it to something like an HD movie that many people are familiar with helps get the point across.

    • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

      I’m just trying to bring more attention to the Cost to Size ratio of SMS messages. We all know SMS is overprices, however comparing it to something like an HD movie that many people are familiar with helps get the point across.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zacharyy Zachary Michael Young

    An extremely interesting read. It’s nice to get some perspective on something like this.

  • Castor Pollox

    Come on mate, we all have our brain fart days.
    The tweet was deleted to cover up a personal bad brain day, not to cover up some big corporate secrets.

    • Really?

      Not to cover up some big corporate secret? No, it’s not a secret at all – SMS is grossly overpriced, but sheep like you pay whatever they ask cause you’re too ignorant to do some math & stand up & give a simple example to prove it like Ryan did.

    • Really?

      Not to cover up some big corporate secret? No, it’s not a secret at all – SMS is grossly overpriced, but sheep like you pay whatever they ask cause you’re too ignorant to do some math & stand up & give a simple example to prove it like Ryan did.

  • Generic_username

    Such a pointless analysis.

    I calculated how much it would cost to speak the
    complete works of Shakespeare down an AT&T phone line on a collect
    call…

    - Complete works of Shakespeare: 884,647 words
    - Average reading speed (words per minute): 300

    – 884,647 / 300 = 2949 minutes- AT&T collect call = $4.99 (for connection) + $1.29 per minuteSo… 2949 x $1.29 (+ $4.99) = $3809

    Additionally…
    - Complete works of Shakespeare in digital format = 5MB- 1024MB (1GB) / 5MB = 204.8

    204.8 x $3809 = $780,083.20 per GB of plain text spoken over a phone line on a collect call!

  • Cornstarch

    I think the bigger issue here is the amount of time it would take to upload that kind of data using a roaming network. With most carriers there is a limit that can be sent using an MMS service. SMS is for text characters only, as soon as you add media it becomes an MMS and even then you can’t send more then a few hundred K. You would have to be uploading to like YouTube or some other video storage do this. And a lot of the main video upload applications will have restrictions for you to not upload over Mobile Networks. Now downloading is a different story entirely, however your post read seems to be more about sending data and not receiving.

    • Ysleiro

      The reason he said “HD movie” was just so you could understand the amount of data in layman’s terms.

      Read the article again except instead of wondering why someone would send a movie through SMS (no one would) focus on “It costs “x” much to send a movie’s worth (4.6GB) of data”.

    • Ysleiro

      The reason he said “HD movie” was just so you could understand the amount of data in layman’s terms.

      Read the article again except instead of wondering why someone would send a movie through SMS (no one would) focus on “It costs “x” much to send a movie’s worth (4.6GB) of data”.

  • Brigadoon

    A couple of things to point out for consideration: To my understanding, SMS are not sent using the normal data channel on cell networks, but instead using the control channel, which the network also uses to maintain connections to each phone, and to initiate and end calls. This channel is bandwidth limited (which is why SMS are 140 characters, so as not to overwhelm the channel), and thus space at much more of a premium than over the standard data channel.

    Every message you send while roaming incurs a cost to AT&T from their roaming partner. Is this exactly $0.50? I don’t know. But the roaming partners have no incentive to reduce these rates, because the people affected are not their customers.

    Finally, your calculation for sending the message to another AT&T cell is factually incorrect. You are not charged for receiving messages when roaming abroad, only for sending. Messages received are billed based on your domestic plan.

  • Logicallarry

    Just send the link instead of the actual video. Private YouTube is there.

  • TheGuyWhoIs

    LOL talk about not knowing how cell structure works! Sending and “data” via SMS is incorrect. SMS uses the voice services to send the “text” you must be thinking of MMS – which does use it’s data network. Your article is dumb and you should feel bad.

  • zjm555

    SMS doesn’t actually incur any additional bandwidth on the network; the messages are sent within the spare 140 byte chunk of packets that are sent through the network at regular intervals by your phone. So really, they don’t cost anything for the carrier. More detailed explanation here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Message_Service#Message_size

  • Ayatollah Koo Mei Nai

    This is a burrshit!

  • Mike

    This is example is like saying you need to get a plane from New York to Paris by tomorrow, and disassembling, and shipping all 12,000 part via UPS overnight, than bitching about how UPS charged you 33 million dollars. It would be ridiculously more expensive then just filling the plane with gas and flying it. It’s absurd.You CAN’T send 7.6 million text messages. Assuming it takes 10 seconds to send each piece of data, it would take over 2.5 years of continuous sending of text messages to send ONE GB, or something like 11 years to send an HD movie. That’s 11 years of sending a text every 10 seconds.

    • Jeph

      No it’s not the same. Binary data will stay binary data regardless of the protocol used, regardless of the encapsulation used. Physically, it’s still a high and low level. The point of this post is not that sending a hd video cost a lot, it’s to show that we are getting ripped off by phone companies. The author only use the HD video as an example to put in perspective what it cost you, the customer, to send a SMS (and how you are getting ripped off)

    • Jeph

      No it’s not the same. Binary data will stay binary data regardless of the protocol used, regardless of the encapsulation used. Physically, it’s still a high and low level. The point of this post is not that sending a hd video cost a lot, it’s to show that we are getting ripped off by phone companies. The author only use the HD video as an example to put in perspective what it cost you, the customer, to send a SMS (and how you are getting ripped off)

  • Guest

    ih

    • picknick

      Reading aloud Holy Bible via roaming = 930, 4343$

  • Guest

    ih

  • picknick

    Reading aloud Holy Bible via roaming = 930, 4343$

  • Aidan

    This is ridiculous. Why would you bother “doing the math”. There is a limit on the number of SMS you can send per message, actually no I am not writing anymore my head hurts from this garbage.

    • KillJoy

      Minor nuance with your calculations: SMS does not guarantee sequential delivery (so you’d have to use valuable bits to account for that).

    • Ysleiro

      Have you LOST all sense/ability to think? Does someone have to spoon feed you every thought into your brain?

      Read the article again except instead of wondering why someone would send a movie through SMS (no one would) focus on “It costs “x” much to send a movie’s (4.6GB) worth of data”.

      The reason he said HD movie was just so you could understand the amount of data in layman’s terms.

      DOOFUS!!

  • Aidan

    This is ridiculous. Why would you bother “doing the math”. There is a limit on the number of SMS you can send per message, actually no I am not writing anymore my head hurts from this garbage.

    • Ysleiro

      Have you LOST all sense/ability to think? Does someone have to spoon feed you every thought into your brain?

      Read the article again except instead of wondering why someone would send a movie through SMS (no one would) focus on “It costs “x” much to send a movie’s (4.6GB) worth of data”.

      The reason he said HD movie was just so you could understand the amount of data in layman’s terms.

      DOOFUS!!

  • KillJoy

    Minor nuance with your calculations: SMS does not guarantee sequential delivery (so you’d have to use valuable bits to account for that).

  • lorad

    Well you are missing something the reason SMS messages are the size they are, that is the badwidth left when the phone pings the tower, so when you are sending an SMS it actually cost the company zero as far as badwidth, which makes it even worse.

    When you are paying for a message and bandwidth your phone is already using it kind of sucks.

  • lorad

    Well you are missing something the reason SMS messages are the size they are, that is the badwidth left when the phone pings the tower, so when you are sending an SMS it actually cost the company zero as far as badwidth, which makes it even worse.

    When you are paying for a message and bandwidth your phone is already using it kind of sucks.

  • xD

    oh well, it better be worth it!

  • xD

    oh well, it better be worth it!

  • asdf

    To be fair, to send that same 4.6 GiB movie over your data connection while roaming in Canada (which has the cheapest roaming) at a pay-per-use rate would be $74000 USD. That’s also pretty astronomical.

  • sum1

    One Clarification: 7,669,585 SMS cost $3,834,792.50.
    Next Line: “If you were sending that 1GiB of data to another AT&T customer, that amount would be

    $7,669,585″
    Why multiple the amount by 2?

    • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

      Because U.S. Carriers charge for incoming text messages, not just outgoing.

  • Daric Wade

    The 120MB for $30 piece was in reference to a service. They offered it to me when I got here to Afghanistan.

  • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

    Actually I’m bringing attention to the gross overcharging that takes place for SMS messages.

  • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

    Actually I’m bringing attention to the gross overcharging that takes place for SMS messages.

  • http://deansli.st/ Dean Putney

    This isn’t really a useful way to do that, though. You’re taking an SMS and treating it like a data pipe for no reason, which has a completely different pay structure anyway, and then applying roaming to it. You’ve convoluted the issue significantly and given effectively useless figures for the sake of sticking a huge price tag on it.

  • Jeph

    I think a lot of people missed that point by reading the comments. Maybe an edit at the end would clarify this.

  • http://deansli.st/ Dean Putney

    This isn’t really a useful way to do that, though. You’re taking an SMS and treating it like a data pipe for no reason, which has a completely different pay structure anyway, and then applying roaming to it. You’ve convoluted the issue significantly and given effectively useless figures for the sake of sticking a huge price tag on it.

  • Jeph

    I think a lot of people missed that point by reading the comments. Maybe an edit at the end would clarify this.

  • Max M

    You could send a video as 7 bit sms. You would just need to encode it as an email message. It would add about 1/3 more data.

  • Ysleiro

    It’s not useless.

    It makes it pretty clear how much these networks are overcharging. No way sending 4.6GB through any method should cost THAT MUCH.

    You are focusing too much on the technicality of “sending a movie” when it’s pretty clear he is only using the term “a movie” as a reference so people can better understand how much data he is talking about.

    OBVIOUSLY NOBODY would send a 4.6GB movie through text. I don’t think that’s possible. BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT.

  • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

    Well yeah, that’s no secret since they all have my name in them. I’m not allowed to promote my own article?

  • http://www.ryankearney.com/ Ryan Kearney

    Well yeah, that’s no secret since they all have my name in them. I’m not allowed to promote my own article?

  • Ysleiro

    It’s not useless.

    It makes it pretty clear how much these networks are overcharging. No way sending 4.6GB through any method should cost THAT MUCH.

    You are focusing too much on the technicality of “sending a movie” when it’s pretty clear he is only using the term “a movie” as a reference so people can better understand how much data he is talking about.

    OBVIOUSLY NOBODY would send a 4.6GB movie through text. I don’t think that’s possible. BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT.