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Sun 19 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Mobile deal rumoured

Rumours of a lucrative deal between mobile network firm Transfer To and Sri Lanken mobile phone operator Suntel are circling among industry analysts.

Rumours of a lucrative deal between mobile network firm Transfer To and Sri Lanken mobile phone operator Suntel are circling among industry analysts.

Market talk suggests Transfer To will utilise GITEX Technology Week to formally announce a deal with the firm, one of Sri Lanka's top mobile players, in a contract that would benefit the country's large expatriate population.

Any deal inked with the Singaporean firm would give migrant Sri Lankans based in the United Arab Emirates a new means of staying in touch with relatives at home, courtesy of Transfer To's prepaid mobile phone system.

Users simply send an SMS with the destination phone number and the required amount of credit, and the amount is deducted from the sender's existing balance.

The system capitalises on the fact that migrant workers are often the family's main earner, said Magali Finet, communication and event manager at Transfer To.

"We provide international mobile top-up solution specially designed for migrant subscribers, foreign workers, and expatriates," he says.

"The service is immediate and the reload is performed in real-time. The receiver's mobile account is credited and the credit is available right away."

Aside from announcing deals, the network firm is hoping to add a series of Gulf deals to its portfolio.

The company will use GITEX Technology Week to make initial contact with potential customers in the region, Finet explains.

"In terms of infrastructure, we have our headquarters in Singapore with a redundant hub in Switzerland. We operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and our solution is deployed globally. We have the expertise and experience to provide a valuable solution [to the region]."

The event provides a prime opportunity to debate the challenges linked to selling and marketing to migrant communities, he adds.

Outside of its agreements with mobile phone operators, Transfer To offers a third solution; point of sales.

Foreign workers can buy credit at participating retailers, or specific ATM terminals and ask for the amount to be transfered to a designated phone number.

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