US carrier Verizon sees higher SMS rates

Verizon Wireless is raising the text messaging rate for customers without a monthly texting plan to $0.15 per message sent or received, an increase of $0.05 cents, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the increase, slated for March 1, comes soon after identical price hikes by Sprint Nextel and AT&T's Cingular Wireless, which raised the rate for pay-as-you-go texting from $0.10 per message to $0.15.

T-Mobile USA still charges $0.10 per message sent or received for users without a texting plan, the report said.

In raising per-message rates, Verizon, Cingular and Sprint have left prices for their texting subscriptions unchanged, a sign they may be seeking a more reliable revenue stream by getting customers to opt for a monthly fee, the report said.

At Verizon, for example, customers can pay from $10 to $20 a month for unlimited messaging to other Verizon cell phones plus an allowance of 500 to 2,500 messages to recipients outside the company's network the report said.

It's unclear how many Verizon Wireless subscribers will be affected by the change, the report added.