At least one mobile marketing company says it will not pass higher mobile termination (MT) SMS fees onto its customers if carriers decide to enact such fee increases.
Waterfall Mobile told its customers last week that it will guarantee its clients will not be subject to any price increases due to carrier messaging surcharges through the end of 2009. The company calls it the Waterfall Mobile Price Guarantee.
The mobile marketing industry is growing and Waterfall Mobile wants to do its part to keep it that way, according to Matt Silk, executive vice president. Marketers who are doing budget planning right now can rest assured those costs won’t go up, he said.
Waterfall Mobile has other revenue streams besides messaging, he said, so it won’t go under by absorbing the costs. The company put several scenarios into its model, ranging from worst to best case, crunched the numbers and determined the impact will amount to a short-term sacrifice.
Earlier this month, word got out that Verizon Wireless was planning to charge its aggregators a 3-cent MT fee for each SMS; aggregators presumably would pass those fees onto their customers. But Verizon later said the proposal was not meant to be taken as a done deal and it was exploring various ways to offset increased costs for delivering “billions upon billions” of text messages each month. Other carriers have floated the idea of increased MT fees as well, sources said.
Silk said the worst case is a 3-cent hike would go into effect and the other carriers would follow suit. Other scenarios include a 1- or 2-cent hike in fees over time. Still, “we hope they don’t implement these fees,” as carriers would see continued growth in their messaging services by making it easier to deploy mobile marketing programs.
Waterfall also is involved in efforts by the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) Americas and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) to reach an industry consensus about the fees and future business models.