Who Needs Calls and Texts?

Minutes, texts and more recently data allowance are the main items you get for your money whether you’re on contract or pay as you go, but aren’t these all just flavours of the same thing?

Sending a text message is just a primitive version of sending an email and calls are just voice data.

With the kind of email integration that most smartphones have, it begs the question why do people still text?

Take typical pay as you go tarrifs from O2 and 3 that give you 500mb of data when you top up £10 per month:  500mb works out at around 3000 emails,  at 12p per text the same amount of texts would cost you £360.

We can do the same sums for voice calls; 500mb works out at about 7 hours of skype or other VOIP calls, at 25p per minute that’s over £100. (This is based on uncompressed voice data at 72mb per hour)

So the bottom line is that networks charge a lot more for calls and texts than they charge for equivalent data.

So what can you do to save money?

First and foremost, don’t text. There are so many other ways to send short messages that text messages are all but obsolete. Any android phone will seamlessly integrate with Gmail,  most smartphones have a reasonable facebook app too, so facebook messages can be a good alternative.

Next, look at VOIP apps – not all of them are great but Skype is pretty good on iPhone and Android. What’s more, if you’re at home or work and you have wifi, you can make calls without eating in to your data allowance.   This really comes in to it’s own with international calls which are often very expensive on normal tariffs.

Try and choose a data heavy package, three have recently launched what they say are genuinely unlimited data packages on contract and pay as you go, no “fair use” policy, just all you can eat data.

In summary, we’re not yet at the point where all you need is data, but it’s not far off. If you choose the right package and you’re clever about how you communicate you can do a lot of what you need to do via free data rather than expensive calls and texts.

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