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The twitter spam, fake accounts and other assorted junk is what keeps me from liking the service. I use it for my severe weather alert project, but I don't like it.
Off topic: The last sentence got a laugh out of me, I love silliness like that.
I really hate that the Philippine government actually recommends that people get on Twitter for emergency alerts and the like. Wouldn't official SMS messages on all networks be more accessible? It's not like mobile internet is dirt cheap here.
Actually I have the opposite problem, in a manner of speaking. I wasted a lot of time and effort trying to integrate SMS alerts triggered by weather warning posts to my site, yet most of the site followers asked for Twitter alerts instead. It turned out Twitter alerts were much easier to manage, so I went that route.
You would think that, given how pretty much every American citizen over 15 years old has at least a basic cellphone, they would prefer SMS. It seems that people here are foregoing the older, more reliable (and these days, pretty much free) technology built into the phone, instead preferring a bug-ridden, spam infested web 2.0 service.
I can't count the times I've been able to receive SMS messages reliably with one bar of 1XRTT service, yet when I finally move back into 3G/WiMAX areas I'm bombarded with dozens of pending internet-based alerts.
There is something to be said for Twitter's ability to forward relevant tweets to your phone via SMS, but what happens when Twitter itself goes down for a while?
[removed dupe] Edited 2012-08-17 13:37 UTC
My bad. A Canadian friend told me it was the same in the US, when I learned that he was charged 10 cent to receive SMS on Rogers. I should mention my sources.
I have AT&T in the U.S., which qualifies as a large provider. For SMS message I have 2 choices - pay $20/month or $0.02 per message. Both choices stink. For now, I use Google Voice, but I do have reliability issues for messages coming and going (most like due to data connection, just like with twitter). No one should have to pay that much just for text messages.
Oops, that was actually supposed to be $.20 (20 cents) a message - a crazy price for a text message.
Verizon charges 20 cents per text. That's why I avoid text messaging whenever possible. Especially once I got a smartphone with unlimited data. I have more ways to contact me on my phone than I can keep track, all of which are free, so text messages are the option of last resort.
Even voice calls are essentially free these days - unlimited nights, weekends, and in network calls means I rarely have any significant usage of my limited minutes.
I don't understand the logic behind AT&T and Verizon's pricing plans. When I was on T-Mobile, unlimited free SMS was included with the data plan I had, and it's the same on all of Sprint's contract plans that I'm aware of.
I suppose it's because the former two are the giant carriers here, and the latter two have to offer some compelling reasons to switch. With T-Mobile and now Sprint, I've enjoyed great customer service and pricing options that make sense to a data-heavy user like me. The only downside to either network is simply coverage, and both have improved greatly in that regard over the past few years.
I never understood why text messages should have a separate charge on a phone that has a dataplan. It is just a money grab to push a few bytes to a phone.
This is slowly changing. The major cellphone provider in Switzerland (Swisscom) just changed their plans and now almost all data plans (even the relatively cheap ones) have unlimited SMS and calls. (The difference between the plans is the upload/download speed) Edited 2012-08-17 21:11 UTC
Well, if you notice, the new "Everything Shared" plans all have unlimited calls and text - only the paltry few Gigs of data is limited. They realize people are switching off of voice. They have to tap the data as a resource stream now. I've been using mobile data since about 2000. At first it was unlimited for $5/month. then $10, then $15, Now unless you have Sprint or one of the prepaids, it is a crazy price. I think I pay $30 for 3GB. Therefore, I don't stream videos, mostly just email and games. It is funny that at the same time they are pushing LTE for amazing Hi-Def video, they have data-limited plans that efectively keep you from watching anything but an occasional Youtube dancing kitty.
No kidding, I always think to myself that I'd LIKE to have a data plan especially while I'm away or on the road...but then I see the price. Just a few weeks ago I was at a tmobile store and asked about data-only rates for laptops, and I think it was $60/mo for 5GB plus something ridiculous for overage. I honestly don't know how much bandwidth I'd need/use, but I can't afford an additional $700+ / year for mobile internet, especially since I'm at home most of the time. I'd always be worried about going over with streaming video.
Several years ago I contemplated using the free intra-network mobile voice calling and modulating data across a bluetooth link to the phone. I kind of had a proof of concept working using ham radio soft-modems which could communicate via sound cards (including the bluetooth sound driver emulation). But I figured it wouldn't be worth the effort to make it production-ready because it's likely I'd just be blocked for service abuse. Edited 2012-08-18 04:29 UTC
Sprint's "everything" plans are very competitive, giving you truly unlimited data, voice and texts, with just a $10/month "smartphone tax" which still keeps my bill well under what I was paying at T-Mobile.
The downside is that Sprint doesn't have good coverage everywhere, and their mobile broadband for laptops isn't unlimited like it is on phones. The price for that kind of thing is prohibitively expensive for anyone who doesn't absolutely rely on it for their business.
The great thing about both T-Mobile and Sprint is that they are very relaxed about tethering. If you have an Android or BlackBerry phone with it built in, they don't seem to notice occasional tethering. I've even read (anecdotal) accounts of Sprint employees dropping hints to customers on how to tether without buying the separate plan.
Since I picked up a Nexus S 4G, I've used the built in tethering app without any problems. Granted, I'm not pulling down multi-gigabyte ISOs or anything crazy like that, but it's there when I'm in a pinch and need it.