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I am interested in knowing more about how ringtone download web services work.

I do web programming in java, and i would like to make a web service that sends a ringtone to the user's mobile phone when the user sends a SMS to the web service.

  • Is anyone familiar with this type of service?

  • What do I need to be able to create somethig like that?

  • Does the ringtone system get some profit for each SMS, or does the mobile company get all of it?

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I'd like to know how this works too. You'd think that it was obvious and simple... but it isn't. There's too many different kinds of ringtones to support, etc. Very interested in an accurate, detailed answer to this. –  Steven A. Lowe May 25 '11 at 14:26
I'm not particularly interested in the SMS side of things, more the how-to-package-and-deliver ringtones via the web side of things. Perhaps a different question... –  Steven A. Lowe May 25 '11 at 18:18
Same with me. Also i am interested in knowing if is there a way to charge for each download. Or if i should contact the mobile company and make some kind of agreement to share benefit from the downloads. I notice, that downloading ringtones and little apps for most of the mobiles, is not cheap so the website has to get a piece of the cake. But how? –  sfrj May 25 '11 at 18:24
I hope get some couple of answers more, still confused :) –  sfrj May 25 '11 at 18:45

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've set up a SMS based application in the past; I've not sent ringtones however, but here is a partial answer at least.

It is not necessarily a web-service that is accomplishing this. You first need to have a SMS gateway of some sort. You can use a service like twilio (which can be used by calling their web service), buy a service contract through an SMS gateway provider (all of which have their own APIs), or create one yourself using a GMS modem that is attached to your server (and write some low level COM messaging to it). Each way has pros and cons depending on the volume you expect, and obviously has a different level of complexity to use. In any event way you'll have to pay money to send and receive text messages.

Whenever you send the SMS back, it is actually a multimedia text message with the sound attached to it. Multimedia sms messages are more expensive depending on your service contract.

I've not ever had to charge for the sent messages, but I can tell you 100% that these guys are not doing it for free. I am guessing that they have worked out the charging through their SMS gateway service provider. I am sure the service provider takes a cut as well as the mobile carrier.

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It doesn't sound easy at all. But i still confused, there are thousands of magazines,tv adds, sites... that offer ring tones. Some how, the person behind them gets a cut. Do they discuss that with the mobile company, or they use their own hardware? Don't really understand. Also, i just had a look at twilio, i see it looks like a great tool, but if thy charge me for each SMS i send, how can i charge the user for downloading when sends that SMS?(I think i have to discuss that with the SMS company) –  sfrj May 25 '11 at 15:19
ozekisms.com is an example of an SMS gateway. If you contact them or similar businesses they may have mechanisms for doing that. –  aceinthehole May 25 '11 at 17:11

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