Orange to launch reverse billing for SMS

Cash tills to ring for content providers...
Written by Ben King, Contributor

Cash tills to ring for content providers...

Orange and One2One are to launch reverse billing for SMS, allowing content provider partners to collect money for premium SMS content services. mmO2 (formerly known as BT Cellnet) and Vodafone already allow service providers to send messages to their subscribers, with the price of the service being added to their bill. The operator then takes a percentage and passes the majority of the revenue on to the service provider. Independent companies are offering a wide range of services, from text message flirting to ring tone downloading, using the reverse billing service, but these are only open to mmO2 and Vodafone customers. Orange plans to make the service available in January, silicon.com has learned. Bernadette Lyons, managing director of SMS provider MobileWay, said she expects to be able to offer reverse SMS billing on all four UK networks by February or March. She said: "When all four networks start doing it, things will really take off. Lots of companies have been planning these services but they have been holding off until they could make them available to customers of every network." Gartner Analyst Ben Wood said: "Reverse charge SMS messaging and the related revenue will finally offer a business case for the application development community to embrace mobile applications. This offers them a sustainable business model, which WAP never did." One2One has made public its plans to offer revenue sharing deals for SMS and WAP, though the company was not able to return our calls by press time.
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