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The First Challenge (part 3)
FanBox's users were soon sending billions of free text messages from the web to mobile phones around the world.
The mobile phone companies were not happy, as they were not generating any revenue from those messages!
On top of that, the mobile phone companies were actually losing money because now their customers could send messages from the free FanBox web site instead of using their mobile phones.
At first, they attempted to cut off FanBox -- but that attempt was thwarted thanks to quick action from one of the founders of FanBox that was also an attorney -- quickly reminding the directors of phone companies around the world that FanBox had a solid contract.
As a reminder, sending those messages through from the African phone company was legal, as it took advantage of a small technicality where phone companies needed to carry each other's messages to and from their subscribers, regardless of the difference in their volume of messages.
So now the mobile phone companies were highly motivated to find a way to generate revenues from those billions of text messages that were being sent to and from their subscribers using FanBox.
Give FanBox access to your billing system so users can purchase electronic goods and services -- including bundles of text messages at a discount -- and your problem will be solved.
The big four mobile companies of the United Kingdom were the first to agree to give FanBox access to their billing systems.
These were four of the world’s biggest brands in mobile communications:
1) Vodafone (at the time the world’s largest mobile phone company)
2) T-Mobile (Deutsch Telecom)
3) Orange (France Telecom)
4) O2 (British Telecom)
After the big 4 United Kingdom carriers signed up, FanBox now had a much better answer to the question “Who else have you done this with”?
One after another, mobile phone companies granted FanBox access to their billing systems.
In fact, some contacted FanBox to make their sales pitch on why they should be included in the FanBox platform.
FanBox engineers got very busy building the complicated technologies needed to successfully collect money from all the different types of mobile phone billing systems in use around the world.
The technical challenge was massive – because it required creating seamless connectivity between the FanBox platform and the billing systems of hundreds of carriers around the world -- regardless of the carrier’s base technology, currency, language and the many different strict and constantly changing regulations that needed to be followed in every country.
Once again, the core value WTAWTAW was summoned by the FanBox team – this time in the technical area – as it set out to solve this gigantic set of technical and regulatory hurdles.
For the next 3 years, building and operating this massive technical billing platform was the single largest focus for most of the FanBox engineering team.
Piece by piece, and brick by brick, FanBox’s platform got connected to the billing systems of over 400 mobile phone companies in over 100 countries.
As a result, FanBox created the world's largest micropayment system -- capable of electronically -- and instantly -- bringing in money from billions of people around the globe.
Just this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officially awarded FanBox the broad patent for the invention of mobile transactions for Web content, applications and blogs.
You can view the official patent on the United states government web site here.
In many countries around the world, FanBox tested its platform, technologies and relationships by launching simple content channels such as horoscopes, daily jokes and sports scores.
These basic content channels were sent to mobile phones via SMS (text messaging) and MMS (Multimedia) -- and were charged to the mobile phone accounts of users that subscribed to the channels.
By doing so, FanBox was able to test and optimize its unified billing platform and technologies, relationships and regulatory compliance mechanisms in "real-life test environments" in over 100 countries... generating real revenue in most monetary currencies.
Over the life of the FanBox Alpha phase, over $200 Million (U.S. Dollars) in retail revenues were generated by the world's mobile phone companies via the FanBox platform.
As compensation for its efforts, each mobile phone company provided FanBox a varying percentage of that revenue.
As a result, to-date FanBox has never accepted investment capital, allowing it to remain uninterrupted in its focus on its mission:
To help jumpstart the Knowledge Revolution by enabling the world’s Knowledge Workers to get fairly compensated for their work.
Next, we’ll look at how FanBox set out to build the rest of the products and technologies it needed to further enable its mission.
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