Tuesday, June 07, 2005


We see that Live 8 has now passed the two million text mark, which seems to be a good point to ask what's actually happening with the money the phone companies are making? Our understanding was the mobile companies didn't want to be caught in the same position they were when they were found raking cash from the tsunami appeal at the start of the year, and so generously decided to waive the profits from the premium text service being used to run the lottery.

The Live 8 website makes that clear:

LIVE 8 London ticketing is being facilitated by O2, with all the UK's network operators getting behind the event and waiving their normal premium rate text charges

So, the mobile companies aren't making any cash out of Live 8 then, right?

Uh... not quite - while they're not raking off anything extra from the costs of the calls, they are going to be pocketing the usual fee for sending a text message:

Each entry costs £1.50* plus your operator's standard text charge.

So, while they're not making as much as they could, they'll still be making a profit on every text sent.

Two million extra texts. No wonder they can afford to waive their usual premium rate text charges.