The days when send free sms and traditional telephony was the only way man was communicating via mobile phone on, so is definitely over. Much of the communication on the phone going on now through social networks and tailor made applications.
With the launch of Apple's iOS 5 was also the Norwegians for seriously introduced to a new and so far different way of thinking about mobile services. The phenomenon of the iMessage appeared on the iOS screens in the home. The messages were blue, instead of the traditional green sms-message. Beyond that, there was apparently no difference for the users.
This type of messaging service is in fact nothing new. BlackBerry has since 2005 had its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which essentially is the same as Apple's iMessage. Norway is, however, nothing typical "BlackBerry-land", so the prevalence of this type of services have not shot up to speed before the Apple now has rolled out its variant.
free international sms, just do not ...
iMessage and BBM is in short messaging systems that put them on the outside of your phone's existing SMS/MMS client. If two devices that Exchange messages detects that they both are compatible to speak together via iMessage/BBM, so do they automatically there. the difference for the user opplevelsesmessig is minimal.
Technically and economically, there is still a difference. iMessage/BBM uses namely not the technology to the SMS and MMS, but sends the message over the phone's data connection, which enables the user releases and pay the price your carrier have set on the SMS/MMS.
An SMS/MMS have unit price, while you are using the iMessage/BBM, only pay for the actual amount of data transferred. The price telecom operators charge for SMS/MMS is in virtually all cases, significantly higher than the price you pay to transfer the equivalent amount of data over the phone's data connection. iMessage/BBM also works over wireless networks, and then is "free" to use. (Someone has to, of course, no matter the pay broadband subscription:))
300 times dyrer with SMS
We can look at an example from Norway's largest telecommunications operator. Telenor has in his "Complete M"-a SMS-subscription price of us $ 0.49 per SMS and a datapris of 10 cents per Megabyte.
A text message of 160 characters is equivalent to 163 bytes of overhead, which makes the price of this when the amount of data transmitted through your phone's data network is equivalent to NOK 0,00163.
What you are paying for an SMS is thus about 300 times higher than the actual costs you would pay by using the iMessager, BBM, or similar services.
(The math is somewhat simplified and intended as an illustration: the subscription is used in the example has also included the SMS and data that is not included in the calculation above. The price is also the same for an SMS that do not use all 160 characters available. iMessage also uses some more data in the overhead than SMS when it makes use of the TCP/IP protocol.)
Just as surely, and stable?
SMS is a by and by very old technology. But it is working. It is stable and is very solid on the delivery. SMS is a clean technology embedded in the GSM standard, and make use of the data connection to transfer their data. This makes it a very robust system, and it belongs to the definitive rarities that an SMS does not come off or takes a very long time from sender to receiver.