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Around the ATS Office: Spain


This week, President of Advanced Telecom Services Bob Bentz will be in Spain to speak on the mobilization of Cars2Go.

As a featured presenter at World Telemedia 2012, a global audience of over 400 marketers, app developers, advertisers, and more will receive an in depth look at the successful mobilization of Cars2Go.  World Telemedia has invited Bentz to speak for Advanced Telecom Services the past four conferences.

World Telemedia is being held in Marbella, Spain from Wednesday, October 17th to Friday, October 19th. For more information visit



Telemedia 360 Review

Liverpool, England – There’s a brand new show on the European audiotext scene.

Almost 300, mostly British, members of the telemedia industry converged on Liverpool’s Albert Dock for the first annual Telemedia 360 on October 20-21, 2009. And, if the business done at this first ever Telemedia 360 is any indication, the

Liverpool's Albert Dock hosted Telemedia 360

Liverpool’s Albert Dock hosted Telemedia 360

show will be around for a long time.

The show was sponsored by the same folks who put on the annual show, World Telemedia, which has been held in fun places such as Malta, Budapest, Prague, Amsterdam, and London in recent years. Industry veterans Jarvis Todd and Annika Micheli were on hand to make sure that everything ran smoothly and that everybody had a good time and that the sponsors were pleased with their investments.

It was hard not to have a good time at Telemedia 360. The event got off to a quick start with a sponsored party at Alma de Cuba—a converted church that now makes a fun bar and restaurant. Lots of telemedia veterans were there early and did their part to show that the British are some of the hardiest drinkers in the world. The party didn’t close until after 2 am at which time some energetic, unnamed souls continued partying while watching native Liverpudlians dance in g-strings.

The crowd was mostly male and certainly showed an aging business population than was present at past Telemedia shows; 45 seemed to be the median age of attendees. Telemedia veterans continue to show that there is significant money to be made in pay per call and the vast breadth of billing mechanisms and exciting new mobile applications that were displayed. Nevertheless, it is clear that the industry could use some new and younger blood and some greater female participation.

The crowd arrived early the next morning and the trade show and presentations got under way at 9:30. Those who stayed out late the night before were there and ready to do business, as any professional would, although some ended up telling the same stories that they did the night before, thankfully at a lower volume.

Mark Challinor, European director of INMA, made the opening welcome address to the attendees. The presentations had two tracks representing moving the media to a cross-platform pay for content model and generating traffic for premium rate content across multiple platform. A total of 16 presentations were made with 64 industry leaders speaking.

The lone negative of the show was the complimentary lunch that was served which my British colleagues described as “rubbish.” Nevertheless, lunch time was a good way to meet others in the industry given the small second floor venue that hosted it. Certainly, nobody had to worry about the bad manners of talking with their mouths full.

Advanced Telecom Services’ president Bob Bentz was there along with the operating partners of the ATS-London service bureau, Ian Scott and Cindy Aspland.

Advanced Telecom Services presented the Canadian 900 number market as: “the best premium rate market in the world.” Advanced Telecom Services’ theme for the show was “Mount Your Next Program in Canada” with a sexy female Canadian Mountie as the mascot. Signage and the Telemedia 360 power point touted some of the features of the newly de-regulated Canadian premium rate market including lower fees, less content restrictions and an improved ability to control chargebacks that had previously plagued the Canadian 900 number industry.

In the afternoon, Toby Padgham of AIME spoke to us about the possibility that British Telecom will be raising its claw back on uncollectible billing. Currently, BT takes 3.04% for chargebacks from all service bureaus. This in itself seems unfair as some companies in the more liberal IVR categories are probably under-assessed based on this process. Padgham indicated that BT has talked about increasing its claw back to 9% and stressed the importance of the industry banding together to fight this unwarranted increase.

The conclusion of the show was highlighted by an auction of several autographed football items, including autographed jerseys of the Chelsea and Arsenal teams, donated by O-bit Telecom. Proceeds from the auction were donated to an organization that fights breast cancer, Her Breast Friends.

But, activity was not completed from Telemedia 360. An evening dinner at Pan Am on Albert Dock had outstanding food that redeemed the rubbish served at lunch. The final evening of musical entertainment from The Cheatles highlighted the Liverpool event. It was easy to find the few 20-somethings in the audience as they were the only ones not mouthing the words to the songs made famous by Liverpool’s and the world’s most famous band ever.

As the delegates began to say good-bye, many wondered where we’d see each other next as the location for World Telemedia 2010 has yet to be confirmed. A reliable source said that Copenhagen, Denmark had the inside track to hosting the April event.

Regardless of where World Telemedia is held, however, this group knows how to do business, yet also knows how to have a good time simultaneously.


ATS Promotes Canada 900 Numbers at Telemedia 360

Liverpool — Advanced Telecom Services has announced that it will be promoting its Canadian 900 numbers at the upcoming Telemedia 360 Show in Liverpool, England.

telemediaSince the deregulation of the Canadian 900 number business, entrepreneurial carriers have entered the market to compete with the provincial carriers.  This has led to a much stronger premium rate market in Canada.

Bob Bentz, president of Advanced Telecom Services will be attending Telemedia 360 and Bentz said in a recent interview that Canada is now “the best premium rate services market in the world.”

“Canada is the best premium rate services market in the world.”

Read more about the Canadian premium rate services market at Telemedia-News.


Telemedia Meets Media in Liverpool

Advanced Telecom Services will be a silver level sponsor of the Telemedia 360 Show in Liverpool on October 20-21, 2009.  Members of the management team from the USA, Canada, and ATS-London offices will be present at the event.


The Telemedia industry usually attracts all the wrong kind of attention from the media: just look how the TV and the press went to town on the industry when PTV became a bit mired in controversy. But next month we are turning all that on its head



as the media – both print and TV – will join a range of brands, marketing experts, agencies and network operators in Liverpool for the Telemedia360 event.

The event has been born out of the need for the media to look at new ways of generating revenue from its content. Rupert Murdoch has publicly laid down the gauntlet that his mighty News International organisation is not going to give content away for free anymore online (or indeed on mobile). Other media organisations, while not as vocal as Murdoch, are all in the same boat. Even the music industry is now looking at how to sell its content over the web and mobile in such a way that pirate bit torrent sites are no longer an attractive option for consumers.

While all these media outlets are agreed that they have to start charging for their precious content, none of them really knows how to go about it. That’s where Telemedia360 comes in. The telemedia industry has, over the years, pioneered the best ways to generate, market, sell and bill for premium content. Despite the PRS landscape changing – shifting from the telephone and network operator billing to a more freestyle online, IP-based model – the industry still has the gift of how to get people to part with cash for content. And Telemedia360 Liverpool on 21 October has become the place for the media, hungry as they are for new ideas, to come and learn all about how to realise Murdoch et al’s dream.

“We have a variety of billing mechanisms that can help the media out of its dilemma with declining advertising revenue,” said Bob Bentz, president of Advanced Telecom Services which has offices in Philadelphia, Calgary, London, Dublin, and Prague.  “It’s just a matter of merging the technology of the landline and mobile phone to help make the media more interactive with its consumers.”

Telemedia 360 is a call to arms for the industry to consider how it can bring its huge expertise, technology and general cheekiness to bear on making the media and marketing industries more effective at turning free content in premium, billable content.

The event will of course focus on billing, particularly in terms of the various new billing tools available and how they’re suited to different things: not just monetising media content, but also apps, charity donations and much more. There will also be an essential view of who regulates what in this increasingly complex chain of cross-platform suppliers.

Telemedia 360 has already brought together an impressive role call of very high level speakers and sponsors representing some very big brands. To reinforce its importance further, cooperation with the International News Media Association (INMA) and the Online Publishers Association (OPA), who run their own annual event (Outlook 2010) the very next day, will attract even more international representatives keen to understand how to use cross platform technology to generate revenue and eyeballs.

So we’re going down to Liverpool on the 21st Oct and we’re hoping to see you there.


ATS Sponsors Telemedia 360 Show

Advanced Telecom Services will be a sponsor of the 2009 Telemedia 360 event to be held in Liverpool on October 20-21.  Members of the Advanced Telecom staff from the USA, Canada, and UK offices will be attending and displaying products at the event.


Liverpool, England — Rupert Murdoch’s pronouncement that News International is to charge for online content has, overnight, totally reshaped the media and telemedia industries. While ad revenues have plummeted across media outlets and

Advanced Telecom Services will be a sponsor of the 2009 Telemedia 360 Show in Liverpool

Advanced Telecom Services will be a sponsor of the 2009 Telemedia 360 Show in Liverpool

money making opportunities for telemedia have contracted, these two industries that have such a history together are now, once again, finding that they can work together to great mutual benefit.

For telemedia holds the key to unlocking the hitherto impossible task of monetising the free; billing the unbillable – and in doing so will unlock a whole new world of revenue opportunities for both the media and the telemedia sectors. Now that’s what we call synergy. And giving life to this synergy Telemedia360 in Liverpool is the event that has the express aim of demonstrating to the media and content owners – be they print, broadcast, marketing, branding, online or mobile – just how, using cross platform technology, innovative billing techniques and good old fashioned marketing, free content can be made into something that consumers will pay for, will enjoy paying for and will continue to pay for.

The event brings together media companies, network operators, service providers, billing experts, trade associations and regulators to discuss, in a dynamic, interactive one-day forum how to reshape the media landscape to monetise free content cross platform and how to generate traffic for these premium content services.

Working in conjunction with the International News Media Association (INMA) and the Online Publishing Association (OPA), Telemedia360 – a sister brand of Telemedia magazine – brings a wealth of industry expertise to bear in this must attend event.


The Malta Conference

Telemedia experts from across the world enjoyed the fun (despite not a lot of sun) in Malta at the WT09 World Telemedia Show last week at the Corinthian San Gorg Hotel in St. Julians, Malta.

Business was the order of the two day show, and by the looks of the packed meeting tables, there was a lot of deal making getting done.  The show sported 313 attendees, significantly less than in previous years when 900+ attended, but those there

ATS's Bob Bentz was a featured speaker at World Telemedia 2009 in Malta.

ATS’s Bob Bentz was a featured speaker at World Telemedia 2009 in Malta.

were clearly the movers and shakers of the telemedia industry.

That didn’t mean that there wasn’t time for fun.  Many of the delegates found time to visit the many nightclubs in nearby Paceville.  On Sunday, the day before the actual start of the show, World Telemedia’s Jarvis Todd hosted a three-hour “schmooze cruise” that left from the hotel docks and sailed to the Maltese capital of Valetta.  The hits of the boat cruise were clearly the text chat girls led by Lorna Williamson and Helen Allen of Text121Chat.  On Monday night, industry veterans Nigel Tatlock of Talkster and Nigel Barnes of Paul Raymond Mobile hosted an outstanding party at Club 22 on the penthouse floor of the Hilton Hotel.  The view from the tallest building in Malta was great, although some delegates left earlier than they would have liked due to the smoke.

For the first time ever, World Telemedia hosted experts from the internet gaming industry at the show.  As Malta is the most important international i-gaming licensing country for the European Union, local representatives did not have to travel far to meet with the group.  Topics of discussion included marketing, billing, and the regulatory environment for online sports books, online poker, and online bingo.

There were also the normal sessions of panelists from various European countries who gave their opinions on the future of the key industries of telemedia, including the mainstays of voice and internet dating and chat lines.  Much of the dating and chat industries that was once the exclusive bastion of premium rate service lines is now part of the premium SMS and click to call billing methods via cell phones.  One especially impressive mobile dating product was shown by Alisdair Anderson of  IsoMob.

While all countries around the globe are mired in a worldwide recession that is seeing the auto and banking industries suffering, there appears to be little concerns in the telemedia industry.  Most indicated that the industry is not suffering from the worldwide recession because more people are staying home for their entertainment.  That, along with the increased penetration of iPhone technologies, is spurring continued growth of the industry.

The show had a definite international flavor to it with attendees from most European countries plus the United States and Canada.  The United Kingdom was clearly the most well represented country; attendance represented the continued strength of the UK premium rate services market.

International markets were also the focus of a series of speeches about country-specific markets, including the United States and Canada, India, Italy, Germany and Austria, and eastern Europe.  The speech by Bob Bentz, of Advanced Telecom Services, was the best attended of the international market speeches and Bentz had the audience very involved with his informative and entertaining presentation about the United States and Canadian 900 number markets.

World Telemedia 2009 showed once again that it is an important part of a telemedia industry that continues to show growth and innovation despite a sagging worldwide economy.  The author looks forward to a chance to attend the 2010 World Telemedia Show.  But, next year, let’s do something about that wind and lack of sun.

Anthony Wayne is a writer for Get Clickz which reports on the internet and telemedia industries.

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