The messages are such a tiny piece of data that they cost carriers only about one-third of a cent to deliver, according to computer scientist Srinivasan Keshav, who testified before U.S. senators on the issue last summer.
But on a pay-per-text plan, the 160-character messages typically cost 20 cents outgoing and 10 cents incoming. That's a markup of as much as 6,500%. OMG!
"It's pretty much pure profit," Keshav says. "Carriers would argue they put that money toward investing in new technology."
Even if customers sign up for an unlimited texting plan for, say, $10 a month, carriers are still cashing in considering that their overhead is basically $0. That's a lot to pay for a few LOLs.