Messaging vs Texts

December 8th, 2013 at 8:36 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Still paying for your mobile phone calls and texts? It won’t be long before you’re in the minority.

Technology commentators say apps that allow free calls and texts from their smartphones are becoming so popular that paid calls and texting will soon go the way of the fax machine.

Popular apps include Viber, Skype and WhatsApp. Even Facebook offers free messaging and numerous websites allow text messages to be sent free to mobile numbers around the world.

I use WhatsApp, and it is very good. Only a small proportion of my contacts are on there, but as that grows I suspect it may become the dominant message app.

Of course if you have an iPhone, you can also send a iMessage instead of a text.

The Commerce Commission’s annual market monitoring report shows mobile voice call minutes declined to 4.35 billion in the 2011/12 year, down from 4.40 billion the previous year and 4.44 billion in 2009/10.

The number of text messages sent was still growing but the growth had slowed markedly.

More than a billion more messages changed hands between 2008/09 and 2009/10. By 2010/11 and 2011/12, the growth was only 300 million.

“The market for voice and text is as dead as a dodo,” Brislen said. “It’s a matter of letting it all play out. All you need now is to buy a data pack.

“Vodafone is already offering unlimited calls and texting if you buy a big data bundle. That’s the writing on the wall.”

Data is king.

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14 Responses to “Messaging vs Texts”

  1. CHFR (195 comments) says:

    Yep I have just changed Vodafone plans and started with 1Gb data, less than a month later I have been given 1.5Gb which is plenty for what I do with my phone. The only question is will the prices come down or the amount of data increase?

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  2. tvb (3,945 comments) says:

    I suspect plans will be data only as voice text email are really users of data.

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  3. WineOh (430 comments) says:

    Anybody tried this out & seen how much traffic do those types of calls use? Could be worth a look.

    Of course if the revenue stream from calls and texts dries up, the phone giants will just increase their plan charges to recuperate the losses. They’ll be paid for in one form or another?

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  4. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    Though having said that, most providers have unlimited texts in their plans, and 2 degrees includes texts to Australia in the plan.

    So the only reason I use viber is because the Aussie plans don’t include txt to nz!

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  5. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    Whatsapp rocks. Been using it for a couple of years now.

    Prefer it to txt, even when txt is free.

    I still find viber messaging to be average.

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  6. projectman (190 comments) says:

    tvb says: “I suspect plans will be data only as voice text email are really users of data.”

    Probably right eventually but, as I understand it, it is not simply a matter of shifting to data. It was explained to me recently by one of the major telcos, when I had a problem with data connection, that cellphone towers having initially been set up to handle fistly voice, then text, then data, give preference to connections in this order (voice/txt/data). When there are load issues, data is the first to drop out.

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  7. hubbers (204 comments) says:

    The rights if workers and jobs in the texting industry must be protected from these foreign owned applications. That is why David Cunliffe has promised to start up a KiwiText SOE.

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  8. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    I’m a big fan of iMessage – our house is largely part of the Apple ecosystem, as is most of my work since we started giving people iPhones. So I can get most places, and it’s incredibly seamless with normal SMS, as is facetime with normal calls. But, being stuck with only a percentage of the world is annoying.

    Viber, besides sounding a bit like a personal piece of equipment a lady might have in her bedside drawer, looks interesting. But I gather it’s not quite as thoroughly integrated. It’ll be interesting to see whether one of those apps can offer everything iMessage/Facetime does, but do it cross-ecosystem.

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  9. Viking2 (10,737 comments) says:

    Well guys you really need to catch the wave.

    Videomail is here and its great. As the name says operates from email. Operates on smartphones and smart TV.
    Useable anywhere the internet goes, cloud based, secure, opens in your and their browser. Store your videos where no one can get them.
    Add live conferencing and broadcasting, with all the trimming like whiteboards, auto responders, message centre, contact Manager, file Library , work books, share desktop and stuff even I don’t know about yet like polling and chat..

    Just Brilliant.

    I use it to conference with the States with 8 participants and 50 listeners.

    If you have people in the field with cellphones connect to the conferencing and you and others can solve problems using the camera etc. with everyone participating.

    All for $25.00 per month.

    Check it out here, you will see how to put 3 videos together (these can be any video including those you make or from youtube or any source), and at the end will go to your website or wherever you want your customer or recipient to go.

    Click here to play video. http://tinyurl.com/l4jwww8

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  10. tas (528 comments) says:

    The problem is interoperability. I can’t imessage someone without an iphone and I can’t use google voice with an iphone.

    The advantage that traditional calls and texts have is that they work on all models of phone (and are usually more reliable).

    We really need to standardized messaging and voip.

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  11. Camryn (549 comments) says:

    Kik is OK too, but I’d see all the standalone apps being wiped out by the big players… iMessage, Google Hangouts and probably a combined Facebook/Microsoft ecosystem (incl. Skype).

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  12. Tinshed (60 comments) says:

    Strange. As this appeared in my RSS feed earlier this morning, I was “iMessaging” at exactly the same time with my son who is studying in Central Europe. DPF is right to point out this is different to how it used to be. The world is changing. For heaven’s sake, my work/corporate plan charges me 80c to txt from Australia. Talk about gauging! But as this post points out, that business model is changing and the consumer is the winner. (I am old enough to remember when making a toll call within New Zealand was so expensive, it was reserved for life’s important events: hatches, matches and dispatches, as we used to say.) And now I can “iMessage/Skype/Hangout/Whatsapp” my son on the other world for free. Strange times indeed.

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  13. Anthony (737 comments) says:

    Most mobile plans and prepay bundles now give unlimited txts – so why bother with instant messaging apps?

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  14. infused (616 comments) says:

    Hence why telcos give you fuck all data and no qos on mobile data.

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