Any parent who has a teenager with a cell phone is finding out that one of the biggest expenses can be a teen's desire to send text messages to their friends.
Now, a small South Carolina company says it has come up with a way for people to text as much as they want, without running up the budget-busting charges many carriers charge for the service.
Zipit Wireless says it will start making available a device that does texting -- but isn't a cell phone. It will set out a text-messaging plan for its Zipit Wireless Messenger 2.
The device can be used with Wi-Fi hotspots to do free free instant messaging with AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger.
The plan will cost $4.99 for up to 3,000 messages per month when it formally launches in February.
Cell-phone carriers typically charge 10 or 15 cents per text message, or $15 a month for what the carriers call "unlimited" text messaging. The Zipit 2 itself costs $149.99.