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Richard Atkins with Orate Ltd in a special interview
Country: Great Britain
Street: 16A Falcon Street
Office, suite: -
Postal Code: -
Telephone number: +44 (0) 870 446 7283
Fax number: +44 (0) 870 446 0329
Contact person: Richard Atkins
First of all I want to ask you about your company name: whence it has occurred, who had the idea to name it so?
We had this concept of offering a superb deal on SMS, busting what we thought of as artificially high retail prices – so “SMS Busters” was born
Please, tell us what are your company’s main activities, what services does it provide?
The company started out as a consultancy for telecoms carriers and resellers, helping them to introduce new products and services. Then the telecoms bubble burst, and so we started to work on “the other side of the fence” – with telecoms consumers.
Why had your company decided to provide the given spectrum of services?
Just as some people climb Everest, “because it’s there”, we do some things in telecoms “because we can”! But with over 120 million SMS per day sent in England alone (figures from the Mobile Data Association), this is a huge market, and so we can save consumers lots of money, and our distribution partners can earn at the same time.
How do you appreciate the role of your company in the given sphere of services?
Well, we’re a tiny company, so we fight the war of the flea against the big guys, who most of the time probably don’t know we’re there, going along for the ride, but staying quite healthy doing so.
How long have you been on this market? Please, tell us a little about your company history?
We set up in 1998, added the website in 1999, which became a web shop in 2000.
Probably, your company has achieved certain successes during this period. Can you say something about these successes?
Perhaps one thing we should have stuck with, or got bigger funding for, was my patent for a phone without a numeric keypad, which relied on having a few icons instead. Wonder where I’ve heard about something like that recently? ! Do you think something like that could sell?
Has your company participated in fairs and exhibitions? If yes, tell us where, how and when.
We go to fairs and conferences but to listen, learn and talk, and have only exhibited at an ECTA exhibition in Cannes a few years ago.
With which countries do you work? Why especially with these countries?
Our web shop sells retail to consumers in a number of countries. We have worked with companies from different countries in buying and selling international prepaid SIM cards. Right now, we are talking with companies about selling this low cost SMS product.
Please, enumerate the main principles of your company, and let’s talk a little about your company’s policy.
One of the problems of knowing what some parts of telecoms really cost is that you get embarrassed at some of the high prices the industry has charged for different services over the years; while we believe in business making a profit, we are against the idea of scalping customers.
Which principles listed above are fundamental in the work with your clients?
Providing value for money is key.
What advantages do your clients have when using your services/products?
A) There are some people out there who offer web-based SMS, but if you receive an SMS that has been sent from the web, you can’t reply – so we thought this was a key feature. At my age, with fat fingers, it’s difficult to set up address books on the mobile, so we allow you to set up your address book on the PC, along with groups, which you can access from your mobile, so you can easily send SMS from both PC and mobile phone. And sending an SMS for just 1 ½ pence is one heck of a price, that’s less than €0.03 each.
In your opinion, what distinguishes your company from a great number of others, your competitors?
We don’t wait for every traffic light to be green before we set out! We work on the assumption that it is worth getting under way, as some of the lights will turn green by the time you get to them.
Maybe your company has a different philosophy?
It may not be completely unique, but we do believe that our business should be profitable AND FUN
Does your company have any traditions?
Yes, we always laugh at people who visit us wearing a tie.
And at the end of our interview can you tell us something about your plans for the future.
We’re just now launching software to install on your phone; dial an international number, and we divert the call to a landline number in country, to a switch of ours (or our partners’), and then we carry the international leg. This saves the consumer a fortune on international call costs from their mobiles!