I'd like to start up a business offering subscription e-mail services (POP3 and quite possibly IMAP) to a number of retail users. I'll also be running a website with discussion forums, news etc.; and I'd like to be able to (re)sell web hosting to those of my customers who request such services.
My business would be targeting a particular niche; consisting of private persons and small (micro) business owners. I'd like to start out small, but need the ability to expand quickly. Initially, I imagine the number of users to be around 50-100. However, if my plans work out well, that number could rise to as many as 3-5000.
I should also point out that I plan to market these e-mail services particularly towards mobile use; which means that a large percentage probably only will be accessing the mail server from mobile devices (PDAs and smartphones). This again means that I expect the average user to be "light" in terms of data storage and transfer.
What I'm basically looking for is reseller hosting of good quality - and that can deliver on the following points:
1) Hosting of .no domains, as well as quick and stable connections to Europe, as my customers reside in Norway.
2) The ability to handle e-mail services as described.
3) Hosting of unlimited domains/subdomains, unlimited e-mail accounts, mySQL etc.
4) Access to webmail, preferably without branding, or better yet - with the ability to brand it as my own.
5) Control panel of the proper calibre.
I'd be very glad to hear any suggestions/comments you may have with regards to which hosting companies would be right for this project, as well as tips on specific issues I need to be aware of for this to work out...