T-Mobile Won’t Tax Twitter Or Facebook, Stop Panic’ing

The last 24 hours has seen two reports regarding an increase in T-Mobile’s pricing to third party text partners and their response to the move. Well T-Mobile has reached out to me and pointed me in the direction of a follow up article by Om on GigaOM and their own statement to help clarify the matter and whom it actually effects. Let’s get the most important aspect of this out of the way, this DOES NOT affect consumer pricing, nor does it affect companies with a direct relationship to T-Mobile, like Twitter and Facebook, companies not using middlemen for messaging direct to the T-Mobile customer. T-Mobile says that labeling the move “simply as a price increase” isn’t entirely accurate as their agreements with content aggregators are commonplace in the industry.

More to the point, a comment by one the aggregators themselves in the comments of the most recent GigaOM report actually calls the deal a net positive for him so its clear that this isn’t nearly as bad as someone of you had originally thought, or understood.

The bottom line is that T-Mobile will likely enact this measure October 1st as planned and as carriers continue to see business’ use of messaging rise in volume, its likely other carriers will make similar moves.


T-Mobile’s official statement follows:

While we don’t disclose the details of our business relationships, we do want to clarify recent mischaracterizations. Business agreements with content aggregators, including messaging fees, have been common practice in the wireless industry for years.  It is not accurate to characterize these business agreements as new or simply as a price increase.  We believe our agreement in its entirety is a net positive for our partners.

At the end of the day, our goal is to ensure that the market for mobile data and access to mobile content is a thriving one and that innovation can easily find its way to T-Mobile customers.  We see nothing in our current business model that is counter to this goal.

Please note, there is no change to our consumer messaging or data plans.

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  • Cybersedan

    One little news blip and everyone panics, I still don’t like where this is going but as companies see network traffic trends change, they do have to make adjustments.

    I don’t think consumers have to worry generally speaking, and like with other trends I wouldn’t be surprised to see other carriers follow suit.

  • jymmyblanka

    for me Tmobile the can tax all people they want i dont care let go Tmobile take those butts.. anyway is not a first necessity those services anybody can live with tat and i belive will help the txt industry may be can do my txt plan cheaper and they will control the abuse, extortion, system, fraud, etc., etc, and sicologic treat will come on the future to no depend on it

    • G1 user waiting on G2

      Wow, I cant even make sense of this comment or where to start on grammar issues, I will leave that to some other people.

    • fujitsujeff

      please repost …

    • David Thomas

      I can excuse some light grammar or spelling errors in comments of most internet websites, because, well, it’s the internet. But this…. I mean…… wow.

      Like G1, I won’t even begin to try and make heads or tails of this comment. Let’s pray that someone with a PhD doesn’t commit suicide trying to translate for us.

      Just….. wow.

      • Howie_in_AZ

        Are you referring to the utterly butchered word “panicking” in the title or a comment posted here?

      • Barry

        Its Blanka guys chill, those experiments that turned him into a beast did a number on his brain as well. lol

    • Cupcake

      wth did they say??! well damn!!! :-(

    • Jeff

      I read this three times and still am completely lost as to what you are saying.

    • jymmyblanka

      sorry about that guys but my English sucks… anyway i said Tmobile can tax all people they want, to be honest I dont care…. let go Tmobile take those butts.. anyway I belive TXT is not a first necessity. anybody can live without TXT, IF Tmobile start charging third party, i feel like will going to be safer and i belive will help the txt industry… may be can do my txt plan cheaper and may be is going to have some kind of regulation of the abuse, extortion, system, fraud, spam etc., etc, and sicologic treat with TXt messaging that i belive we are going see on the future

  • G1 user waiting on G2

    I dont get text from any company (bank,facebook,twitter, etc) but at first i thought it was a bad move, hopefully whatever money T-mobile gets will all be used towards the 4g in Phoenix so i can use my future G2 to its full potential.
    Im kidding on the 4g thing since i know Phoenix is getting it soon.

  • mtnman

    This is just simply to help out with T-Mobile’s revenue stream. T-Mobile has invested heavily in their HSPA+ network and now is trying to re-coop some of the money spent on building up its infrastructure without hitting up the customer in higher rates. This way it can generate more cash flow while adding to the bottom line.

    ChaCha may indeed drop T-Mobile, but then the customer will have to on-line and get the answer instead of instant access text message. But I find if I need an answer to a question real quick, I just Google it by looking it up on my phone or using Google Voice.

    T-Mobile may indeed be making smart buisness decisions with the new CEO. As far as T-Mobile being greedy, any business worth their salt that wants to stay in business has to do two things. Look out for the employee as well as the customer.

    You can make the same argument about a basketball player making $100 million dollars over 5 years, and ask why are they so special they get all that money, if they get hurt in the first year and they have a gaurenteed contract that pays them at least $50 million up-front signing bonus? And then never can play again. What did they do to earn that? Their set for life while you and I wonder what flavor of Raman Noodles to have for dinner tonight. That’s the nature of business, if the company can afford to pay it, but chooses not too then they will either pay it or go somewhere else, and then some other comany will step in and takes its place.

    • bob

      One thing you should know: while T-Mobile may take care of their customers, they do not take care of their employees. Any employee there for the last 2+ years can attest to that with continuously falling commission and increasing amount of required work and knowledge of products and services that change monthly if not more.

  • George

    afterall….i don’t really care…its better to charge those fat wallet companies than a poor consumer like me….haha

    • Dee

      That’s the problem, they aren’t raising the prices for Twitter and Facebook the guys with the big fat wallets, they are raising it only on the smaller guys like chacha, 4info and ESPN just to name a few

      • hmm

        I would just like to point out espn is not a small company… it’s owned by disney learn your facts before you make a comment like that

      • Again read the message and understand how companies do business, here let me help.

        ChaCha: Listen Tmo I know you let us do this mostly free and we get to provide a free service to your customers and make money off the advertising we provide to them, thanks for that but we don’t want to pay you for this… That’s cool right?

        Tmo: Get a job ChaCha, pay your bills.

      • janerotten

        I really don’t think ChaCha is “small”, they come in as the 6th largest SMS sender in the US only behind Facebook, Twitter and the like. If they are sending over 2,000,000 SMS’s to tmo customers a DAY (as they said in their own statement mind you), that’s hardly a “small” company.

        Tmo is just charging them a reasonable rate for the amount of traffic they are putting on their network.

  • Dee

    So T-mobile fail to mention that smaller companies like 4info, Chacha and espn are not allowed a “direct connect” with them so they HAVE to use a middle man. How fair is that to attack the smaller guys while giving the big guys a huge advantage? That’s preventing new growth.

    • Barry

      Like hmm just said ESPN is on now way shape or form a small company.

  • Josue

    Ha! Who use’s ChaCHa! Google is better!

    • Denise

      Just 15 million customers a month

      • ChaCha has more than 15 million monthly unique users for whom we answer over 2 million questions every day.

        Cha Cha is the 6th largest US SMS sender behind expected heavyweights like Twitter, Facebook and ESPN

        With that being said, I want to point at that 15 Million users is absolutely correct, however that is CARRIER wide. There are 286 Million active cell phones in the United States, as of Dec 2009. However, they cannot expect to have advertising rights to 5.2% of the entire country without having to give something back, and just like television and radio the pricing for those “rights” change.

        In my personal opinion when they come out and accuse T-Mobile of greed its a tad bit hypocritical, consider they want to have their cake and eat it too.

        I truly hope whatever this change is… I say that because based on this article its fuzzy if this is even a price increase.. anyhow I hope this eliminates small companies out there that sell data content like an XRAY on your phone, its sad really all your 10 year old has to do is text yes to 45409 and he gets this really cool toy on his phone, and yes that just cost you $10.

        I hope this paves the way for large companies and/or small companies with good intentions to distribute high end, high quality content that people are willing to pay for, and companies are willing to pay their dues to provide.

  • Ktwist

    Personally I think this a good idea for Tmobile. Everyday I run into customers that have problems with being overcharged 9.99 a month for ringtones, jokes, sports updates ect. Then they claim they never downloaded it and that it must be a mistake and wants Tmobile to credit them. If this new tax only taxes the companies that charge for using there text services, I’m all for it. Banks, facebook, twitter and other short code text companies that give out “free” information to customers should not be lumped into this category. This seems to be the case and this tax will only affect those companies imposing ridiculous charges to Tmobile customers.

    • Dee

      I would agree but ChaCha, 4info and ESPN are all services that are completely FREE to their customers.

      • Free, with advertising. Funny thing, the Super Bowl is free to their customers but 30 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl will cost more than some people earn in their lifetime.

      • VirtualAss

        Its technically NOT free since YOU pay for a texting plan. Granted, its your choice what you want to do with your texts and if you choose to use them for services like this, but it is in no way or shape EVER free. A falsity.

  • donotwant

    Silly. That’s like trying to tack a fee on to sent emails if the destination is one of your users. Even if their motivation is entirely altruistic and they’re just trying to reduce spam, I really don’t them levying fees against companies they *don’t* have agreements in place with.

    I’m all for controls/solutions to block spam, but I don’t think charging non-customers to interact with users on your network is the solution.

  • Alessandra

    So wait a minute, does this mean that those of us who have unlimited data and texting on our plans, would we be charged to use the Twitter and FaceBook applications that are already preloaded onto the phone?

  • NiiDiddy

    Oh come on people! Wise up. This new has NOTHING to do with us; you will not see any increases in whatever you do with your devices. Whatever T-Mobile is doing is protecting us; not only that, they are using the process to make a little bit more money after spend big bucks on HSPA+. If those services want to take advantage of the new HAPS+, then they have to cough up a tad bit more…because it’s not 3G, and it took millions to make it happen…! So long as it’s not passed on to me in any way, I’m good!!!

  • trollface. jpg

    Not everyone cares for that Twitter or FaceBook garbage.


    • Chimphappyhour

      Exactly. Tax it, I could care less.

  • kickstarislame211

    how bout sum good ol fashion windows phone 7 news?

  • Lookwhostalking

    Your the idiots passing this crap TmoNews! If their is panicking(Which their isn’t because no one cares) is because of you!!!

    • Jeff


    • Jeff


    • VirtualAss

      Wellllll… kinda has a point there. I don’t remember reading this on engadget or BGR.

  • molten

    I would care less what they do. Chacha, wtf is that? My wife was charged $9.99 for something she didnt even download and after T-mobile gave her credit back, she still gets these stupid message about things that she dont even care about, ie Paris Hilton! It just uses her sms and we cant do anything, so if they block it or what ever,so be it.
    @Dee, you call ESPN a smaller company? Yeah right.

    • Ural

      If you use an android phone you can reagent the messages our phone casks from anyone

      • Ural

        Alright, that didn’t make much sense. Swype trumps me at times.

        If you own an Android phone, is easy to reject unwanted messages or unwanted phone calls. If you use Google voice with your Android phone, its even easier to screen calls and send voice messages directly into a trash folder.

  • TangoPapa

    I’m glad T-Mobile is manning up and sticking to their guns! these companies are piggy backing off T-Mobiles pool of customers and expect T-Mobile to pick up the costs because a percentage of T-Mobile customers use their services and expect T-Mobile to pass on this cost to ALL of T-mobile’s customers. No Thank you! I dont expect regular Tmo customers to share the cost of me using the web or email so I shouldn’t pay for their usage of these SMS services. I don’t use their services and honestly find these guys as con artists. I was also charged 9.99 for something I’ve never signed up for and T-Mobile did credit me back.

    What happens is you may be getting free services from these guys but every once in a while they’ll sneak in some content that requires you to click on something or agree to, and conveniently sneak in disclaimers so customers are not aware. Anyways, they already are getting some type of payment from somewhere along the chain and in this case most likely advertisers using these services to piggy into Tmo’s customer data base. If these guys want to target us, make a cool free app and you can advertise in there. Get these guys out of your network Tmobile, I will support TMO as they are supporting their customers w/ this move!!!

  • Dee

    I just realize that this website no matter what supports t-mobile… i guess i should’ve known better since it’s the “unofficial” tmobile blog? eh

    anywho, I don’t use ChaCha but I have a lot of friends that do, and since my contract is ending with Tmobile anyway, I might as well give them up, I prefer choices even if I don’t use it, I would like the option.

    Why doesn’t t-mobile just allow a direct connect for the top 10 SMS publishers? I don’t get it, why have to go through a middle man? I see how t-mobile and it’s aggregators think this is a net positive, but i can also see how the publishers disagree.

    why would anyone care about what THIS blog have to say when obviously they are biased FOR TMOBILE?

    • David, Managing Editor

      Dee, I think more often than not we are very critical of decisions T-Mobile makes, such as I think their marketing undoubtedly is awful. I mean terrible, way behind that of the competition and I make no bones about how I feel about that. That being said, its still a T-Mobile fanpage and yes, a lot of whats written is positive as would be expected from any fan page. Do you think you are going to truly get an unbiased opinion on Engadget though? Read their comments and see if anyone thinks they are unbiased.

      I had a conversation with people “in the know” regarding this matter, and I believe it was indeed taken out of context and there was an error in reporting, hence why GigaOM, the original source updated their old article and released a new one to clarify the information.

    • TangoPapa

      I don’t want to pay for you to have the option to use ChaCha whenever you want. At the end of the day I DONT use Chacha and so spreading the cost to pass on to the majority of customers that never use it is wrong. Tmobile is doing the right thing.

      If a percentage of folks want to use OnStar system for their vehicles, does it make sense for the manufacturers to make everyone else who doesn’t use OnStar share the cost of it? what if I wanted to watch the pay per view World Dog Show Contest, should all cable users monthly dues be increased slightly so that I can view the World Dog Show Contest?

    • Deke218

      Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya! Giving up a provider because they don’t offer ChaCha? I gotta tell you after looking at their site that they provide a service for what has to be the most lazy people on the planet.

  • Barry

    Dude do you work for ChaCha and to be real I never hear of ChaCha before this article so there ya go more free advertising. Lol Yea a lot of those other sites definitely throw little jabs at T-Mobile when they get the chance. But anyway…Since T-Mobile clearly monitors this site um……


    Thank you kindly XD Lol I’m done.

    • TangoPapa

      Actually if TMO is listening…. I think a 4″ screen is enough w/ a top tier and spec’d CPU/GPU plus high capacity battery that’s as thin or close to the current benchmarks out there. Be Android and keep it Vanilla please! Please incorporate a trackpad and LED flash. I dont mind being slightly thicker w/ improved battery…..

      • Barry

        Lol sounds good too

    • Deke218

      I have an Android phone with a 4.3 inch screen. Its called the HD2 and it runs both Windows Mobile and Android.

  • J1

    Off Topic:
    @David,Kick, and Andrew

    Ive been experiencing the same trouble viewing this site from my phone(cliq embarrassed to say) as other people have stated previously..

    The home page loads about 8/10’s of the way and then freezes.. The weird thing is if i google search a tmonews article(via my phone) it loads up with no problem(it evens lets me post acomment).. but if i click Home, or type in http://www.tnonews.com the page wont fully load, also it freezes my browser and i have to restart my phone..

    I really enjoy this site, and visit it daily.. But now i can only view it from my laptop :^( .. which is a bummer as im always on the move.. Any feedback/troubleshooting you can offer, will be greatly appreciated!!!.. Thanks

    • J1

      *arrgghh.. I meant “type in https://www.tmonews.com

    • Kickstar13

      Hmm, I’m having no problems whatsoever on my Galaxy S Vibrant, iPhone, or even my old Behold 2. Have you tried clearing you cache and history on your phone?

      • J1


        Thanks for the suggestion, i just cleared my cache, history, and even reset my browser setting to their default values and still no luck..

        I guess i’ll just have to tough it out until i can get my hands on a G2 lol.. But i really APPRECIATE the reply(one of the many reasons i love this site btw).. Keep up the great work guys!!!

  • Barry

    Yea same here I thought it was just my MyTouch. It freezes for a couple seconds and doesn’t respond then it finally starts.

  • FunkmasterC

    Things have been sooo quiet. Any buzz on G2 pre-orders?

    • David, Managing Editor

      Unfortunately nothing has been reported about it :-(

      • FunkmasterC

        I appreciate the quick and honest response to an off-topic question. My G1 is soo tired. Cyanogen & crew have done a fantastic job of keeping it propped up, but it is time… I wonder why they are taking so long – I guess I just think it is weird to release a phone without a set availability date.

  • Barry

    How bout 2.2 updates for MyTouch devices?

  • This DOES “Cost” the customers and end users. Companies like textmarks are not going to jsut pay the tax without passing the cost on to their customers which are the people t-mobile claims not to be charging. THis is absurd. I hope enough peoplle and business rise up against acts like this before the rest of the carriers “conspire” on this model and tactic.