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Jun
16

We’re 25 Years Old – Time Flies By

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It doesn’t seem like it was a quarter of a century when a group of entrepreneurs joined forces to open the doors to Advanced Telecom Services in Wayne, Pa. in the summer of 1989.

George Bush, the elder, was President, a Cornell University student became the first person to be indicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for unleashing a computer virus, and baseball’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose accepted a lifetime ban for betting on the sport.

It was also in the infancy of the burgeoning 900 number pay-per-call, audiotext industry, with crossword puzzle devotees having an option of finding an answer instantly, for a nominal fee, by dialing a 900 number on their landline phone.  Newspapers around the country soon adapted the service, including the venerable New York Times. 

From 900 numbers dispensing news, sports and entertainment in the U.S. and Canada, to pay-per-call programs debuting in several countries throughout the 1990s including the U.K. and Czech Republic, Advanced Telecom Services quickly became a global leader in processing audiotext programs.

In 2001, the eventual full conversion to a digital, mobile-first agency began with the introduction of one of North America’s first membership-based ringtone websites, Ringingphone.com, which grew to over 60,000 paying members.

By 2007, the push to mobile was fully underway with website and app development, the introduction of the do-it-yourself text platform at 84444.com, and sister company Advanced Mobile being purchased by mobile automotive giant AutoByTel, and Advanced Telecom’s name change to ATS Mobile, both occurring in 2013. 

Following another change last year, a move into our new offices in the Valley Forge Casino complex and resort in King of Prussia, Pa., we currently specialize in engagement strategies in the mobile space.  ATS seeks to partner with growing businesses, define ambitious goals, and develop and execute strategies to achieve them.  

For more on the history of Advanced Telecom Services and ATS Mobile click here.

Apr
16

Earn $$$ With Sports Handicapping 900 Numbers

Could there possibly be a better way to earn money than by working in the sports business?

If you love sports, you probably consider yourself pretty good at predicting the outcomes of games.  But, gambling on sports is risky in so many ways.  That’s why offering a sports handicapping 900 number is a great idea for the upcoming football season.

At Advanced Telecom Services, we’ve been offering sports handicapping 900 numbers for more than two decades.  We know sports.  At Advanced Telecom Services, we know that “ATS” stands for more than just our company’s acronym.

And, the carriers love sports handicapping as well.  Getting a sports 900 number approved at MCI 900 is no problem at all.  That’s because gamblers tend to pay their debts, including their phone bills.  Moreover, sports handicapping 900 numbers tend to be short in duration, but high in cost–exactly the type of call that the carriers love.

When it comes to fans calling sports handicapping 900 numbers, there is no doubt that football is the king.  Many American gamblers bet only on football and many bet only on the NFL.  So, when September rolls around, many of these (mostly) men have a full bankroll to use.  But, surprisingly, our research and experience shows that October, not September, is the best time of the year for sports handicapping 900 number calling.  That’s because players think they can make a go of it on their own in September, only to find that they hit a losing streak and seek out professional advice come October.

When it comes to offering a sports handicapping service, it is good to offer at least two price points on two separate 900 numbers.  Offer the low cost pick in your advertising and upsell the customer to a more expensive service as your premium pick.

Finally, when it comes to sports handicapping services, you can’t simply use 900 numbers any more.  Since mobile phones cannot dial 900 numbers and many of the internet home phone carriers (Vonage, Comcast, for example) don’t permit 900 number calling, you are going to need an alternative.  That’s where an automated credit card program comes in.  You’ll need both a 900 number and an automated credit card 800 number program to fully maximize your sports handicapping services.

You’ve shown you can pick winners when it comes to football and others sports.  Offering a sports handicapping service is a great way to parlay that expertise into a nice second income for yourself–an income that may eventually become a full-time job.

And, what could be better than working in sports every day?

Nov
18

Study: Why People Don’t Call Premium Rate Numbers

PhonePayPlus, in its 2010 research, polled 5001 people about why or why they don’t use premium rate numbers.  The numbers are interesting and give 900 number entrepreneurs some insight on what they should be doing to get more consumers involved in calling premium rate numbers.

premium rate numbers study

LACK OF INTEREST: Why most don’t call 900 numbers.

The single biggest reason cited as to why consumers don’t call premium rate 900 number is that they don’t find the services interesting enough to call.  In fact, 76.6% of all consumers that don’t use premium rate numbers said this was the reason.  Among those aged 11 – 19, however, only 47.7% said the services were not interesting so perhaps this is a good single for the premium rate industry of the future.  No doubt that innovation would be a great boon to the 900 number industry and entice some of those previously not interested in the services to give them a try.

Interestingly, trust of services was not a major reason why people don’t use premium rate numbers.  14.4% of non-users say the don’t trust paying in this way.

One other major reason for not using such services is a perceived lack of clarity of pricing for services billed by premium rate numbers.  45.1% said they typically were not certain as to the eventual cost of such services.  71.1% said that this uncertainty had stopped them from using such services.  This further enforces the reason to put the price in the advertisement and not try to hide it.  Perhaps another way to promote 900 numbers is to say how long an average call will last if it is billed on a per minute basis.

Nov
1

UK Premium Rate Service Revenues 2009

UK premium rate phone regulator PhonepayPlus has published research that shows the amount of revenue that is allocated per category in the UK market in 2009.

2009 premium rate revenue by category UKHoroscopes remain a mainstay in the UK PRS industry.

According to the study, the oldest category for premium rate services, directory assistance, is still the largest share of the industry, although it continues to show drops annually as more options remain for directory inquiries.

The study places the value of the UK premium rate services market at 810 million pounds annually.  Categorically, it breaks down as follows:

  1. Directory assistance - 220.5 million pounds
  2. Adult entertainment – 131.1 m
  3. 087 business information – 72.3 m
  4. Mobile games – 55.3 m
  5. Information services – 55.2 m
  6. Competitions and quizzes – 53.6 m
  7. Mobile phone entertainment – 53.2 m
  8. Gambling and lotteries – 36.3 m
  9. Participation TV Shows – 31.7 m
  10. Mobile personalization (ringtones) – 27.2 m
  11. Dating – 19.6 m
  12. Tarot & Astrology – 17.4 m
  13. Payment for non-adult content -  11.6 m
  14. Charity donations – 10.8 m
  15. Call services – 6.9 m
  16. 087 flirt and chat lines – 5.9 m
  17. Virtual gifts – 1.5 m

Advanced Telecom Services operates a service bureau with offices in London.  It is primarily a service bureau for newspaper dating services and charitable donations.

Jul
11

New 855 Toll Free Exchange to Debut

Beginning October 1, 2010, the new 855 toll free exchange will debut in the United States.

Advanced Telecom Services is now taking orders for toll free numbers utilizing the 855 exchange. If you are seeking a vanity number for your business, now is the time to reserve the best toll free vanity numbers before they are all gobbled up.The 855 exchange will debut October 1, 2010.

Toll free 800 numbers are the original numbers that flourished in the 1980’s, as businesses added them to their customer service and advertising.  During the decades of the 1980’s and 1990’s, it seemed as though every major corporation was adding an 800 number for customer service or automated consumer information.

An 800 number gave a small business the image of being much bigger and when small businesses got involved in the toll free craze, it wasn’t long before there were no 800 numbers left.  Hence, 888 numbers, then 877 numbers, and then 866 numbers were introduced.  This temporarily satisfied the business need for toll free numbers until recently.

Now, with the toll free business continuing to expand with cheaper telephone rates, there is need to introduce the 855 exchange.  Don’t worry, however, when we are out of 855 numbers, its brothers 844, 833, and 822 are waiting in the on-deck circle.

Apr
14

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.

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