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Free Texting Apps that don't use "Data" ?

5047 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jun 10, 2010 8:19 AM by coop42 RSS
HLT1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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Jun 9, 2010 4:12 PM
My understanding is that all the free texting apps aren't really free unless you're at home, because they really are just using "data" to send. If you're traveling abroad you're instantly on "data roaming" and these apps become utterly useless because they use the data system.

I did a test to see how much data is used by loading up one of the apps (TextFree). And sending a 50 character text message. It totaled about 20KB for the text message. Loading the app uses 40KB each time. My understanding is that AT&T charges 0.0195 per KB (!!!!!!!) for data usage. So that one 20KB text costs about $0.39 cents. Not much cheaper than the standard $0.50 cents per text on the data roaming plan.

I don't understand why there can't be an App that uses the local network to send texts... kind of fly under the radar...

However, if there was some way to quantify how much data is used sending a text, I might be able to quantify the cost per text. If its less than the standard 50 cents per text, then you've got something useful. Could I just look at my data send receive numbers to get a reliable n Are there any texting apps that use . If you're traveling abroad,
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  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (91,370 points)
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    Jun 9, 2010 4:33 PM (in response to HLT1)
    I don't understand why there can't be an App that uses the local network to send texts..


    What? Because it's not their network. How would you feel if you spent billions of dollars building a network and anyone could use it for free.
    MacBook Pro
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,145 points)
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    Jun 9, 2010 4:38 PM (in response to HLT1)
    I don't understand why there can't be an App that uses the local network to send texts... kind of fly under the radar...


    Because such an app would need to use a carrier's cellular network to do so, which can't be flown under the radar or in effect stealing.

    Although SMS/MMS is technically data, it isn't exchanged over a carrier's data or internet network. SMS/MMS is supported and has been supported with "dumb" phones or phones not in the smart phone category for some time, which don't have internet access via a carrier's network. SMS/MMS is exchanged over the same cellular network as calls, which is why a 3rd party app for this can't use a carrier's network for free or under their radar.

    Not sure how much data SMS uses via a carrier's network, but it isn't much. Messaging is a cash cow for all carriers.
     MacBook Pro 15" Intel Core 2 Duo/2.53GHz/4GB RAM/500GB HD, Mac OS X (10.6.3),  iPod w/Video 30GB,  iPhone 3G 16GB
  • jinniferb Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
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    Jun 9, 2010 4:56 PM (in response to HLT1)
    You can always put it on airplane mode and use only available wireless networks to send texts via 3rd party apps if you're worried about data usage....
    Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • AKRBTN Level 3 Level 3 (995 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 10, 2010 2:27 AM (in response to HLT1)
    But it's the only solution to your particular issue, so it seems perefctly logical to me. Allan's response explained why you can't just expect to send SMS messages for free on a cellular network. If it were possible everyone would be doing it wouldn't they?
  • coop42 Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
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    Jun 10, 2010 8:19 AM (in response to HLT1)
    Of course, they're password locked. You don't leave your front door unlocked do you?

    There are a number of paid services that will enable you to connect to many of those locked wifi spots. Boingo is one. For a small monthly fee you can get access to many, many spots that require a password. There are a few others, but I find that it works well for me (literally) around the world.

    Of course, it won't help with locked +home networks+. It's designed to cover cafes, airports and the like.

    And yes, this is a billable service. It's not free.

    To paraphrase your own words, "People, in general, need to stop rattling off the "everything should be free" mindset".
    Latitude D820

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