Billing for SMS/phone services in China and Saudi Arabia
November 24, 2005 11:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to break into paypertex/call SMS and/or phone services in untapped markets like China and Saudi Arabia, and need some suggestions for SMS or phone billing systems that will give me a platform accessable by citizens in these countries. Any suggestions?
posted by DecemberRaine to Technology (5 answers total)
you could try Tecnomen or Comverse...
posted by daravida at 1:31 AM on November 25, 2005

Not to rain on your parade but China is hardly untapped for SMS; cell phone penetration is very high amongst those who can afford them. If you believe you have a better business model than those of existing carriers there, go ahead and try to compete. But you'd better be able to speak fluent chinese and have a tonne of guanxi with all the movers and shakers -- the days when an expatriat could jump into Asian market just for being an expatriat are long over.
posted by randomstriker at 9:23 AM on November 25, 2005

Your best bet is prepaid cards sold at retail in a country as underdeveloped as China.
posted by evariste at 10:29 AM on November 25, 2005

I agree with randomstriker. SMS and SMS services are much more popular in China than in the US. Before tapping into such a market, perhaps a quick trip or two to your intended destinations would be a good idea.
posted by reformedjerk at 10:37 AM on November 25, 2005

randomstriker is correct that the mobile market in China is simply exploding. Were you at the Hong Kong show last week? If you weren't, if you're not already in the business, if you don't have deep knowledge of doing business in the region I don't see how you're set up to succeed.

It's unclear from your question what exactly you want to sell/offer. Assuming that you're not going to build significant backend infrastructure and cut deals directly with mobile operators for access to their subscribers (and nothing indicates that you have the desire or resources to do that) then you'll need to deal with companies that are aggregating mobile connectivity and providing a platform to third parties.

daravida mentions Comverse, but they primarily see mobile operators as their customers--you're too small a fish to deal with for them. I'd suggest checking out what companies like Mobile365 and Netsize have to offer.
posted by donovan at 10:37 AM on November 26, 2005

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