How to build a mobile service – Part One: R&D

Ross Mckillop

Ross Mckillop

15th December 2015

Hardly a day goes by without a call from someone interested in building a new mobile service who is looking for some advice on how to get started; whether it’s commercial or technical advice we’re always happy to discuss your new mobile service but we thought it might be useful to run through the basics here.

So without further ado, here is part one of our three-part guide to starting your own mobile service using Simwood Mobile.

Part One: R&D and Testing

2015-12-15 16.58.38Whether you’re planning to integrate mobile with a current solution, such as a PBX or call recording platform, or creating something brand new from scratch, you’ll need to either test the integration or develop something bespoke to fulfil your requirements. For this you’ll need access to our Mobile API and Portal, access to our mobile numbers and most importantly you’ll need some SIMs to put in phones to test. This is where the Simwood Mobile Developer Pack comes into play; it gives you 5 SIMs and access to everything you need in order to get up and running with Simwood Mobile, a dev pack costs £250 and you simply pay a monthly fee for each active SIM and then per minute, message or MB for what you use with no minimum spend or commitment and no minimum contract term – we looked at the MVNO market and decided that this was by far the easiest and most cost-effective way of getting yourself up and running in an industry where it’s not uncommon to spend tens of thousands of pounds before you even get your first test SIM.


You can order your developer pack from the portal by clicking on the Mobile tab on the left-hand side, while you’re waiting for it to arrive you can familiarise yourself with our mobile API documentation.

Once your developer pack arrives (keep an eye out for a big orange envelope!) the first thing you’ll notice is that the Developer SIMs have the Simwood branding – once you go from developer onto a production plan you can brand the SIMs using your own artwork. We’ve tried to push the limits of our ad-hoc printing technology so you can see what’s good and bad, you’ll notice that thin lines are best avoided and while you can print colour over the entire card you should leave a space for the ICCID which is printed twice on the back of the card. The best cards are the ones that use white backgrounds. You can download our branding guidelines for more information and templates. You’ll also notice that the Micro and Nano form-factor SIMs can be pressed out of the Mini-SIM – they can also be clipped back in so remember to keep the outer-shell in case you need to go back up a SIM size.

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You can activate one or more of your new Developer Pack SIMs through the portal or API, once activated you’ll see the phone shows the network name of Simwood, this is also customisable once you go into production.

A new SIM won’t do much until it’s configured so you’ll need to use the Portal or API to configure the voice, SMS and data services as well as allocating some data to your SIM if needed.

You now have a SIM that’s completely in your control – it’s time to build the service of your dreams, it’s entirely up to you how to do this – some of our customers go out and buy commercial soft switches which saves them the cost of internal development resources but at the added expense of reduced flexibility in the platform while others build on top of open source projects such as Kamailio, FreeSWITCH and Asterisk. Whichever you choose you’ll find that using either direct SIP handoff or the SIP Registration feature makes it really easy for you to get traffic to and from your SIM – again, see the documentation for more details on that and other modes of operation.

You should now be in a position where your technology can be ready for production, but that’s only one part of it – what about the commercial side? Next time we’ll talk about how our wholesale mobile product isn’t a simple arbitrage or reseller product and how to best take advantage of our pricing to give your end-users the best value-add mobile service possible.

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