Ringtone.net was started in 1998 by Andy Clarke whilst working for Orange PCS Ltd in the UK. Andy has worked in Telecoms for 35 years. Working for BT from 1982 to 1993 as an engineer, then starting AK Mobile Communications in Gloucester which he sold in 1997. Finally he joined Orange in 1997 and progressed to Test Manager for WAP and Multimedia Services where he tested the very first Orange WAP call. He left Orange in June 2001 to concentrate on ringtone.net and has been providing Project Consultancy Services since 2003.
In October 1998 Andy appeared in the Daily Star and on numerous TV programmes. He was advised by Orange and also Planet 24 (Big Breakfast) to contact the MCPS regarding copyright issues. He contacted the MCPS and inquired about setting up a ringtone scheme however was told that clearance for each ringtone would be required thus making the scheme unmanageable. He persevered and supplied technical information to both Chris Yeadon and Rob Hanley of the MCPS and also a list of 10 ringtones that he thought would be popular. This Wikipedia Article explains more.
The scheme was launched later in 1999 and has proved to be a huge success. Andy’s ringtones quickly became famous and his first creations, Mission Impossible and The Simpson’s gained much interest and have been copied the world over. The domain ringtone.net was registered in March 1999 and was the first UK ringtone delivery site and the second ringtone related domain name to be registered in the world. The first ringtone domain only showed a holding page in March 1999 so really ringtone.net was the worlds first ringtone delivery site. Click here to see the ringtone.net archives and here for “pre” ringtone.net days using the original ‘coms.demon.co.uk’ domain.
In July 2004 we decided to shutdown the site due to increased number of publishers who were not allowing their works to be used as ringtones. Hindsight is a great thing and if I had realised this mobile craze would be so big I would have never put all of my content on the web for free. Most of the Worldwide cellular operators were selling my rendition of the Simpsons and Mission Impossible.
In 2011 Andy setup Severn FM, an Internet Radio station and trademarked the logo and words with the UK Intellectual property office. Andy setup South Gloucester Media CIC (a UK Company Limited by Guarantee), appointed a Board of Directors under his leadership to operate Severn FM as a Community Radio Station. A 28 day RSL Licence on frequency 87.9 FM was granted by Ofcom starting on the 4th December 2012. South Gloucester Media CIC was wound up in 2013 due to lack of funding and Ringtone.net has continued to operate Severn FM to this day as currently an internet only Radio Station.
In 2014 Ringtone.net Ltd started to become interested in the Ofcom proposed UK Small Scale DAB trial and ended up designing and building a full end to end solution whereby an unbalanced analogue audio signal was fed into a Rasberry Pi2 and encoded and fed into a Software Defined Radio Multiplexer and onward into the modulator using a Hack RF. This has been operating since April 2014 and is still operating with virtually no power to comply with the UK Governments “Suppressed Radiation Conditions” for testing. (At a distance of 30m the signal must be no higher than 30dBμV/m and spurious signals no higher than 23BμV/m.). Unfortunately Despite having a sound Business plan and Project Delivery schedule and an already working solution, Ringtone.net Ltd was not awarded a trial licence.
Ringtone.net now specialises in Technology Project Delivery and owns and operates severnfm internet radio at severnfm.com & severnfm.com/mobile (@severnfm) under a registered trademark with the UK Intellectual Property Office.
Ringtone.net Ltd is authorised by the CAA to perform commercial operations (PfCO) with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS/DRONES) and insured up to £5M for Public Liability underwritten by Lloyds under permission No. UAV3063.
In February 2009 Andy completed his Reiki attunement. In February 2017 Andy completed his Reiki II attunement and is now a Reiki II Practioner being a member of the Reiki Association, Membership No. 8389, and insured by Henry Seymour & Co and underwritten by Lloyds.