Browsing all articles from April, 2010

30 Second Interview with Bob Bentz

World Telemedia recently did its 30-second interview with Advanced Telecom Services’ Bob Bentz.  If you are REALLY BORED, check it out here.

World Telemedia interview with Bob Bentz.


ATS New Service Bureau

Los Angeles — Advanced Telecom Services announces the completion of its new SB3000telecom service bureau platform to handle automated, interactive IVR telephone calls.

After 21 years of operating its equipment in its office space in suburban Chicago and suburban Philadelphia, Advanced Telecom Services has moved its primary telecom and IVR equipment to Los Angeles and Rochester, New York.  Equipment is located the prominent co-location facility at 1 Wilshire in Los Angeles and in a co-location facility in Rochester.  A level three facility is also available in Buffalo.  Each of Advanced Telecom Services’ facilities is triple-redundant so in the unlikely event of an outage at any one facility, calls are able to be re-routed to the one of the others.

The company will continue to operate its service bureau at the Verizon co-location facility in Westmont, Illinois, although that facility is expected to be shuttered sometime in 2011.  Advanced Telecom Services’ original telecom hub located in Wayne, Pennsylvania was closed shortly after its purchase of Evanston, Illinois-based Spark Network Services in 2006.

The project of establishing the new service bureau locations has been an eight month project of the Advanced Telecom Services’ engineering department, overseen by 15-year ATS veteran Frank Butler.  “It’s exciting to expand our IVR capabilities with things like VOIP and more internet-related services,” said Butler.  “With internet protocols, we can service global markets from one large service bureau.”

With the advent of SIP and VOIP protocol, Advanced Telecom Services’ new solution will handle calls from not only the United States, but also from Puerto Rico and 17 Caribbean island countries.  Canadian callers will also benefit from the increased capacity and speed offered by the new solution.  Canadian calls will terminate in Toronto, and then will be sent via SIP to the Los Angeles, Rochester, or Buffalo facility.

“With SIP and VOIP, the location of the service bureau equipment has become irrelevant,” said Bob Bentz, president of Advanced Telecom Services.  “In fact, we are now bringing in calls to the new facilities from international locations as well.”

Enhancements created by SB3000 include: faster connectivity; increased redundancy; greater capacity; quicker deployment time; improved maintenance capabilities.

The internet facilities operated by Advanced Telecom Services and its partner companies, Spark Network Services and Advanced Mobile Solutions, will continue to operate in the following cities: Miami; Houston; Provo, Utah; Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Advanced Telecom Services, originated in 1989, offers interactive telephone solutions to media, advertisers, and advertising agencies.  Its product line includes 800 and 900 numbers, interactive voice response, online dating, and mobile marketing solutions.  Advanced Telecom Services has offices in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Austin, plus international offices in Calgary, London, Dublin, Prague, and Bratislava.


ATS Sponsors World Telemedia

Philadelphia – For the second straight year,  Advanced Telecom Services will be a principal sponsor of the World Telemedia international exhibition in Malta, June 9 – 11, 2010.

World Telemedia is the premiere interactive media event in Europe. It brings together many of the leading interactive marketing providers not only from Europe, but from the rest of the world as well. It is the only such event focusing on premium rate services and all aspects of interactive telephone.

Advanced Telecom Services will be promoting its Canadian and American premium rate services and mobile marketing offerings at this year’s show. Since the event last year, Advanced Telecom Services has seen significant growth spurred by successful European content providers that have expanded services to the United States and Canada. Television programs such as Call TV and esoteric services have been a big part of the growth. In addition, chat programs promoted primarily on the internet have also found success in North America.

“In many cases, it’s as simple as adding a USA and a Canadian 900 number to an existing internet-based offering,” said Bob Bentz, president of Advanced Telecom Services. “If a program is successful in a European country, there’s no reason that it can’t expect similar success in the USA and Canada. I’ve always believed that consumers all over the world are very much the same.”

Bentz has seen growth in the American market in the past year as the industry has been able to stabilize chargebacks and offer a broader width of content. Less competition n the market and cheaper advertising rates caused by the recession has increased ROI for many of its information providers.

But, the most exciting market for ATS, and its content providers, in the past year has been Canada.“Canada is the strongest premium rate market in the world today,” said Bentz, who backs up that bold comment on having been directly involved in over a dozen premium rate markets in his 21-year career in audiotext. “If you operate a successful telemedia program and you haven’t brought it to Canada, you are clearly leaving money on the table.”

The Canadian telemedia market is burgeoning thanks to the recent deregulation of the Canadian market. “In any country, when the government removes itself from business, it almost always good for the industry as a whole,” added Bentz.

Behind all strong country markets are a plethora of approved billing mechanisms. Of Advanced Telecom Services’ offerings, 900 numbers in Canada have shown the greatest growth thanks to the deregulation. In fact, Advanced Telecom Services reports that its chargebacks on 900 numbers in Canada have decreased by 68% since deregulation thanks to improved customer care. Customer support calls are now being taken by third parties and the customer support function has been taken away from the staid provincial carriers who were anxious to simply offer a refund rather than fight to hold charges for services that, in most cases, were successfully and properly rendered.

Moreover, the newly introduced “pound code” (voice short codes) has opened up the cellular market to premium rate calls. Historically, in North America, cell phones have not been able to call 900 numbers, but now the pound codes offers companies a chance to provide what essentially is essentially a convenient variation of a 900 number for the cell phone.

“There is no better place in the world to find the movers and shakers in our industry than at World Telemedia,” said Bentz. “This show just isn’t about an excuse to go party with old friends. There’s real business getting done there.”

And, the parties aren’t bad in Malta either.

Advanced Telecom Services provides 900 number and 800 number IVR solutions and mobile marketing services to media, advertising agencies, and entrepreneurs. It also provides a variety of dating services, including internet dating and text message dating. The Philadelphia-based company has international offices in Toronto, London, Dublin, Prague, and Bratislava.


Stadium Text Message Applications

Advanced Telecom Services’ Bob Bentz is quoted in the March, 2010 issue of Stadia Magazine on page 55.

The article is about ways that stadiums can use text message solutions during games and concerts to help the fans.  Advanced Telecom Services provides stadium text message alerts for fans to report other fans that are behaving poorly without making a personal confrontation.  Advanced Telecom Services technology is used at NASCAR and college football venues in many stadiums around the nation.

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