Free Texts Pose Threat to Carriers

Free Texts Pose Threat to Carriers

By JENNA WORTHAM

At a time when e-mail and many other forms of electronic communication are essentially free, wireless carriers are still charging as much as 20 cents to send a text message to a phone, and another 20 cents to receive it.

There are now a growing number of ways to bypass text-message charges using an Internet connection — much as Skype allows people to make calls without relying on a traditional telephone line. If these services catch on in a big way, analysts say, they could take a big bite out of the profits that text messages generate for wireless carriers.

Some of the prepaid carriers include unlimited texting and data and remain unaffected by these changes.

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