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The sneaky SMS: 12 per cent of all mobile phone costs are created by staff sending SMS


Australian businesses are haemorrhaging moola thanks to the seemingly innocent SMS, according to The Full Circle Group.

The telco expense management experts examined business SMS usage and costs over three years, including more than 250 business clients and a whopping two million SMS messages.

The company concluded that, while the average cost of the humble SMS has halved over the last three years, it’s still cheaper to make a 1-minute call mobile-to-mobile than it is to send a text.

Is SMS really the business for businesses?

Business owners, if you’d rather not know how your staff are using their business mobiles, avert your pretty little peepers:

  • 12 per cent of all mobile phone costs are created by staff sending SMS
  • Only 45 per cent of SMS are sent during standard business hours
  • Of the SMS sent during business hours, a diddy 32 per cent are sent to other staff members
  • 30 per cent of SMS costs are generated on weekends, and only 0.4 per cent of those are sent to other staff members

The *actual* cost of SMS to your business

An SMS is essentially a packet to data – no bigger than 160 bytes – that traverses telco networks. However, the cost of sending an SMS, as a proportion of the data it uses, is a whopping $1,048 per MB.

Even with a business mobile data plan for around $49/month for 10GB worth of download (less than 0.5 cents per MB), the cost of sending the SMS is over $1,000,000 per GB.

The Full Circle Group recommends some SMS alternatives to secure your business serious savings.

If your business is Team Blackberry, have your peeps communicate via Blackberry Messenger. It has $0 incremental cost to your biz, but is otherwise identical to sending an SMS.

Meanwhile, over in the iPhone and Android camps, applications like WhatsApp let you SMS over your data allowance. The app will set you back a cool $2, but will save you a whole bunch long term.

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