I've recently come across a new pricing scheme in which unlimited voice telephony and Internet access are included in the flat rate while SMS messaging is priced at an expensive 19 cents per message. Is this incredibly clever or stupid? I am not sure.
Anyone even remotely intelligent would try to avoid sending SMS messaging as much as possible and use WhatsApp, iMessage, Google Talk, etc. instead. And to avoid the 19 cents per message to those who still only have a dumb phone one can use Skype with the built-in SMS option that circumvents the operator's SMS service center. It's even possible to register the mobile's phone number with Skype so SMS messages will look like they were sent the traditional way and can be responded to by the recipient. Sure, sending SMS messages via Skype costs something as well but it is way cheaper (in the order of 10 cents per SMS).
In other words, does such a pricing scheme drive people even faster away from your own services towards Internet based services or was the thinking here that this has happened already anyway and let's try to monetize the exceptions as much as possible? Others seem to think so as I just noticed that another network operator in the country bundles flatrate Internet access with 1000 SMS messages per month.
What do you think?