It's cheaper to contact a space telescope than to text message people
BBM station domination campaign at the TTC's Yonge-Bloor subway station
Having alluded to Eurocents, I managed to trip over an interesting little article that came out two years ago and yet is still oddly relevant: a scientists decided to poke the cell phone industry with a sharp pointy stick and calculate the price per megabyte for transmitting a text message.
He then compared that to the cost of transmitting data from the Hubble Space Telescope.
“The maximum size for a text message is 160 characters, which takes 140
bytes because there are only 7 bits per character in the text messaging
system, and we assume the average price for a text message is 5p. There
are 1,048,576 bytes in a megabyte, so that's 1 million/140 = 7490 text
messages to transmit one megabyte. At 5p each, that's £374.49 per MB -
or about 4.4 times more expensive than the ‘most pessimistic’ estimate
for Hubble Space Telescope transmission costs.”
Transmission from space only costs about £8.85 - the scientist used a worst-case scenario to estimate that perhaps it costs 10 times as much to move the data from the space-to-ground station to a research lab. In reality those costs are probably lower. So we have math showing that the cell phone industry in Canada prices messages outside "unlimited" plans at frankly ridiculous rates.
No only is it good to see new entrants trumpeting their "all inclusive" plans, but it makes perfect sense for RIM to be embarking on a rather clever campaign to promote their BBM service as a selling feature for the Blackberry.
If you don't have unlimited text messaging, BBM is a fantastic substitute - plus you can send files through BBM as well, something a regular text message can't exactly handle.
Not to mention that all the cool Audit Kids are using it: that was no doubt the runner-up idea as a killer marketing campaign.