One fada for the price of three messages: extra data means texting ‘as Gaeilge’ costs more

20 Jul 2012

It appears that SMS doesn’t take kindly to the glyphs used in Ireland’s native language, and sending a single text message with a fada can result in users being charged for three messages on account of the amount of data that comes with it.

The Irish Independent reports that mobile phone users texting in Irish feel they are being ripped off as it can often work out cheaper to send a picture via MMS than to send a text containing a single fada.

Vodafone has confirmed the additional charges and said it is due to the fact that characters outside of the basic Latin alphabet use more data.

Texts of up to 70 characters won’t result in extra charges no matter how many fadas they contain, but any higher – with even a single fada – can result in a charge equivalent to sending three text messages.

Though both O2 and Vodafone stand by these charges as being consistent with standards set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, in other countries regulations have been put in place to stop this, like in Turkey where mobile phone manufacturers and operators cannot enter the market unless they allow these characters to be used freely.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic