London, 1 December 2003 – A survey by Mobile Data Pricing (MDP) the newsletter published by BroadGroup, has found that MMS prices are sometimes up to four times the cost of SMS.
The sample survey conducted by BroadGroup, the London based consultancy, across 17 mobile operators in Europe, reveals a sometimes high price differential between an MMS and an SMS. In some cases, highlighted in the survey, the gap from the cheapest to the most expensive rate for an SMS is nearly four times that of the cheapest out of this survey.
The average price across operators surveyed, per SMS text (160 characters) is Euro 0.14 and the average for an MMS message is Euro 0.48 – approximately 3.5 times the cost of SMS.
However, bundling does have an impact on pricing. Constructed by operators in different ways, bundling reduces the overall average per-message price. Operators adopt a range of methodologies in bundled offerings, for example segmentation by the number of minutes per month with a number of free texts included. Sometimes, a reduced number of bundled texts will be offered to pre-paid users, increasing the value proposition for subscription customers.
The MDP survey comments that MMS is still in its early days, and many operators continue to offer introductory rates including free MMS to support customer adoption of the service.
A series of comparative charts including MMS pricing reveals a similar picture across European operators to that of SMS, with a wide gap between the cheapest and the most expensive.
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