Three will introduce a 1p charge for every SMS delivery notification requested from 6 June.
We discovered the change while reading about the recent Ofcom rulings on. While O2, Everything Everywhere and Vodafone dispute the regulator's calculation of what they can reasonably charge for accepting incoming calls from another network, Three is calling for a drastic reduction, or even scrapping, of the charges.
Across the networks, so-called 'mobile termination rates' are estimated to account for around ten per cent of revenue. They're paid by both mobile and fixed-line operators when calls are placed between networks. Three, as the UK's 'little guy' mobile network, believes it has the least to lose by doing away with them. But, with networksfrom a variety of sources, they'll be looking to make up lost termination fees in other ways.
Text-delivery notifications aren't for everyone, but they can be very useful, particularly as messages can go astray or be significantly delayed from time to time. It's easy enough to turn off these notifications -- they're usually turned off by default anyway -- and Three helpfully provides interactive guides for doing so on the major handsets, but we wonder how many of the operator's customers know about the future charges.
One customer replied: "I've spoken to two friends on Orange and only one of them pays such charges. I guess it varies by contract/tariff."
Another suggested Three has broken their contract by not giving 30 days' notice of the change.
It looks like the argument will rumble on but don't expect Three to back down. It's already one of the. If you really object to the 1p charge but need to ensure someone's received your message, perhaps you'll just have to call them instead.
Are you a Three customer? What do you think of the charge? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook wall.