The software writer I managed to source who compiled the live dialer
wwwell ( http://www.wwwell.ch )
can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can explain your project and intentions in more detail in private,
away from this public venue. He, as already mentioned, prefers a fee
structure from $650 up depending on modifications and requirements.
Mobile phone billing can be achieved by simply direct dialling the
premium number (like Millionaire) or by connecting to the internet
through the mobile phone and using the dialer residing on the PC.
Hopefully once you have explained your requirements and technical
specification to the programmer he can give you a limited
functionality demo. This programmer has been basically researched, and
is a referral only and not a recommendation as the quality of the
working relationship cannot be guaranteed.
You will need to negotiate with a telco in each country to provide you
with a premium phone line and to agree a rate if you want to charge
locally in that country. If you bargain hard you will get around 75%
of the call charge (depending on telco, price tier and volume, -
cheaper charges command less share). The nature of telephony billing
is such that it is not suited to hard physical goods, because of the
high 'commission charges' of 25% and above which can wipe out the
profit margin on physical goods. This compares uncompetitively to the
typical 5% online charges of a credit card. Telephony billing suits
soft goods better, particularly where the margin is greater.
The telco also needs to support your 'drop charge' or fixed charge so
the user is charged a flat charge, rather than per second or minute
which is usually used for content access. (With timed access, it is
very hard to fix the charge to one price).
Some telcos for premium lines provide the dialer or telephony billing
as a service for 'free' if you use a number in their number range. e.g
i4net.org ( http://i4net.org ) but it's very difficult to navigate
through their site to their 'Tel2Pay' product! (in the i4cash section)
as it is Flash based. However they would want some revenue share for
providing it. The other governing factor is the local
telecommunications regulators who control premium rate billing. For
example in the UK there is a body called ICSTIS
and they make a distinction between voice call, e.g. chat lines and
internet billing regulation. All UK uses involving premium number
usage needs to be approved by them. So other countries will probably
have similar bodies.
An excerpt highlights the Australian situation:
"Originally both Telstra and Optus provided premium rate telephone
services across the 190 number range. The Government introduced
regulation of telephone sex services in 1999 in response to concerns
that these services were being too easily accessed by children. After
the introduction of this legislation, Optus chose to discontinue
providing premium rate telephone services. As the sole provider,
Telstra may bill consumers for calls made to 190 telephone numbers
even if the consumer has no other contractual relationship with
Premium Rate telephone services can cause significant problems due to
unexpected high bills. While this is in part the responsibility of the
telephone owner, the Government has recognized that it is important to
assist some phone account owners manage this problem. The Government
is in the process of putting in place regulations that give the
Australian Communications Authority ( http://www.aca.gov.au ) broad
and flexible powers to make service provider rules addressing the
issue. The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the
Arts announced this proposal on 1 May 2002.
The proposed regulations will enable the ACA to make service provider
rules in relation to the following:
a. requirements to notify customers where bills exceed set limits
b. the terms and conditions of the supply of premium rate services
c. limits to customers' liability in respect of the services
d. the advertising of premium rate services
e. restricted access and call barring arrangements
f. the establishment of a registration scheme for carriage service
providers and content service providers involved in the supply of
premium rate services
g. obligations of a carriage service provider in respect of premium
rate services supplied using the carriage service provider's services;
or other rules that the ACA considers appropriate or necessary to
protect consumers' interests in relation to the supply of premium rate
The rules will apply to:
i. all premium rate services on the 190 number range
ii. services that supply content across the 0011 number range"
"High telephone bills" Department of Communications, Information
Technology and the Arts
The alternative to sourcing your own dialer application is to use a
bureau service which provides the premium phone line, and dialer. The
downside is your revenue share is reduced (as they take their cut).
The below sources cover international rates which takes the leg work
out of sourcing telco numbers around the world for each of your
http://www.subdialer.com - rates (
The above rates need to be read with caution as some don't state the
amount charged to the customer, i.e what your revenue share is,
or a phone number or geographical address for problem resolution.
Alternatives to the telephony billing are other payment solutions such
as western union (http://www.westernunion.com ), peer to peer payment
systems such as PayPal ( http://www.paypal.com ) Cash top up cards /
prepaid cards (which can be used online) such as the UK's Splash
Plastic ( http://www.splashplastic.com ) or Chekz (
In my own user testing for the UK market, because the UK regulatory
body is fairly stringent, there are certain warning screens which need
to be displayed with legal small print that inform the user that they
will be disconnected from their normal ISP and reconnected to a
premium line. The charges also need to be clearly stated and
unfortunately the number of steps involved confuses the user.
Experiments were also conducted with a browser plug in dialer, which
facilitates easier usage. The user clicks the website payment link and
the payment mechanism kicks off. If the dialer resides on the desktop,
the user needs to click off the webpage, and synchronize the webpage
content with the dialer.... anyway some feedback.
The company I used to do work for provided the telephony billing
solution for the UK version of Pop Idol's voting system. However they
couldn't make the corporate telephony billing work successfully as a
business model, and the adult market continues to dominate this
"dialer software" license -auto -predictive
sell -ISP -ID -voice -dtmf -predictive dialer software customize OR
If you need any clarification of the answer, just ask.
Clarification of Answer by
04 Oct 2002 16:49 PDT
Sorry I cannot email you as it is strictly against Google Answer's
A researcher and questioner cannot disclose or exchange personal
contact details for circumventing the system.
I expect a Google Answer editor will soon edit out your email address,
or delete your last request for clarification.
Please do not take offence.
I can research some "experienced, creative, logical web designer with
a good working knowlege of internet softwares, to market and maintain
the concepts" for you, but that is creeping outside of the scope of
the original question, perhaps you would like to expand on this and
post this as a new question?
Though personally I feel the marketing would be better handled by a
marketing person rather than a web designer.
My feedback on your telco is that they will possibly not be the main
influential factor in approving your dialer. The telco is usually not
fussed how you use their number (after all it's revenue for them!).
The deciding organisation that you have to please is the regulatory
body for premium numbers in the country you are operating the service.
The dialer has to present certain mandatory information to the user
according to the strict regulations. e.g.
"WARNING: YOU MUST BE EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER TO USE THIS
SERVICE. IF YOU ARE EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, CLICK ON THE
'I ACCEPT' BUTTON BELOW. BY CLICKING THE 'I ACCEPT' BUTTON, YOU ARE
ACKNOWLEDGING THAT YOU ARE 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER
WARNING: By using this software, your modem will dial ..." etc
It is this 'click agreement' and usage which needs to be approved by
the regulatory body, the telco normally just needs to check if you
have satisfied this.
I hope that helps,
Clarification of Answer by
10 Oct 2002 05:19 PDT
hmm so the programmer has to do some 'recompiling'...interesting!
as you have obviously a unique use in mind :-) but no need to tell
me, as my research is done in this area, just a passing comment.
I trust you will have a fruitful and good working relationship with
this programmer. It is actually quite rare for somebody to have
already untaken a dialer project. My research indicates he is very
reasonably priced and reactive. (most remote programmers use instant
messaging, so if you are using this as a medium of communication it
really speeds up the workflow).
A little story, a clever ex-hacker designed his own dialer in the
States and set up a company though he was not a majority share holder.
The company expanded into the UK with offices in London. The main
shareholders were steering the ship but he was a very heavy influence
as he had retained the source code. The company had not yet acquired
the intellectual rights for the dialer and had no 'tangible asset' .
He was the product, and if he left with his code, there would be no
company. Though I didn't quite understand why they didn't commission
another dialer for back up. (perhaps they couldn't find a programmer!)
anyway, good luck with the project.