10 Products With Big Markups
Back in 2008, when the typical text message cost 20 cents for those lacking an "unlimited" plan, Dr. Nigel Bannister, a physicist who specializes in space research at the U.K.'s University of Leicester, determined that sending text messages cost nearly 4.5 times more than downloading data from the far reaches of space via the Hubble Space Telescope.
Comparing megabytes to megabytes, his calculation held true even with "conservative assumptions" about labor costs associated with the telescope transmissions.
"Hubble is by no means a cheap mission -- but the mobile phone text costs were pretty astronomical," he said.That same year, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, D-Wis., then chairman of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, chided Verizon (VZ), Sprint (S), AT&T (T) and T-Mobile in a letter to their CEOs for "sharply rising rates for its customers to send and receive text messages ... What is particularly alarming about this industrywide rate increase is that it does not appear to be justified by rising costs in delivering text messages." "Text messaging files are very small, as the size of text messages are generally limited to 160 characters per message, and therefore cost carriers very little to transmit," he added. At a related Congressional hearing chaired by Kohl, he said various experts pegged the actual cost to carriers for facilitating a text message at a mere 0.3 cents. The website GThing.net added perspective on the cost of texting. It compared a base rate of 20 cents a message with broadband costs and found that sending and receiving the 2,560 MP3 files on an iPod would be $1 of broadband usage -- but add up to $61,356,851.20 if transmitted at texting rates.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV