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Using Local Phone Numbers to Increase Global Lead Generation

local phone numbers international leads

For almost any business in the world today, the choice to not expand globally is practically like handing your business over to your competitors. With this said, like any other …Read More »

Localphone International Calling: Rates and Features For Business

Localphone

Localphone aims to make things easier and more affordable for people using phone lines for business. Ease and affordability are the main benefits of the VoIP phone number, in addition …Read More »

Zoiper Softphone Not Working? How To Fix

Zoiper Softphone Not Working

Do you pay for Zoiper softphone for your commercial business to reach local or international clients? Is your Zoiper softphone not working? If so, you’re not alone. Here at Global …Read More »

Best Sales Strategy for an International Finance Bank

Best Sales Strategy for International finance Bank

Do you work as part of the marketing department for an international finance bank? Whether you’re employed by a national finance company or corporation bank, boosting sales through optimized advertising …Read More »

How To Improve Lead Generation Services with Virtual Numbers

lead generation with virtual phone numbers

Growing your business is directly linked to the strength of your lead generation services. With no new leads, your company must rely on a well-established customer base. This is something …Read More »

What Makes a Good Customer Service Agent

what makes a good customer service agent?

As you may be aware, competent call center customer service agents are hard to find. And it’s no wonder, as dealing with the needs of customers can be a daunting …Read More »

Lunch Breaks are SO Important at Work

According to historians, the lunch break, as we know it in America today, originated in New York, which makes sense as the Big Apple has been at the forefront of large American manufacturing hubs for decades. The focus of people’s daily lives was work, and lunch was the meal that had to fit conveniently into their work schedules. As the first meal eaten outside the home, lunch led to some new developments in scheduling for it. It had to be fast, so workers could have time to eat before returning to work. It had to be affordable, so they didn’t spend too much of their earnings on it. These changes led to innovations such as the birth of drugstore lunch counters, soda fountains, spreadable peanut butter, and wrapped sliced bread.

These days, lunch has become a less honored tradition, with many employees not even leaving their desk for lunch, and only 29 percent of workers receiving a full hour’s lunch break. But if you are one of the many Americans who tend to skip lunch, read on, because you might be surprised to find out that your munch break is much more important than you realize.

Why your Lunch Breaks are a Crucial Part of your Work Day

If you think you are more productive by skipping lunch, think again. Your brain functions and your capacity to perform complex tasks depend upon the type of food you eat. For example, if you stop for a greasy burger on your lunch break, you will be struggling to concentrate for the rest of the day. The results will be even worse if you decide to skip lunch altogether because you’re weight-watching; those calories you’re depriving yourself of are necessary for proper functioning of your body!

Boost your Brain with Better Food

To power-up your mental energy for the rest of the day, your lunch should be packed with foods that nourish and support your body’s demands. Consider creating lunches that include such fare as oily fish, fruit, and veggies, and a bite or two of dark chocolate. These are the foods that stimulate brain activity, and they will also help you to stay productive until the end of your shift.

Take a Proper Lunch Break

Far too many people are spending their lunch breaks at their desk. That is not a break at all. A proper lunch break is one that takes you out of the environment where you normally work, where you have been sitting all morning and will return to for the afternoon. If you don’t take a proper break, you will come to the inevitable crash fatigue sooner or later. Twenty minutes to an hour away from your workspace will help you maintain energy levels through the afternoon. It will also help you focus on the rest of your tasks. The longer you try to work without taking a break, the longer it’s going to take you to get your work done.

Be Mindful of your Time

By now, most people are aware of the practice of mindfulness. Linked to yoga and meditation, it means giving your mind a break. It has many positive effects including:

  • Promoting general well-being
  • Improving your working memory
  • Lowering your blood pressure
  • Destressing your mind and body
  • Reducing your risk of depression
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Boosting your energy
  • Helping you concentrate
  • How Food Fuels Your Brain

Your brain needs a constant supply of energy to keep it working, so skipping lunch is going to lead to a serious slump in your productivity.

The best thing you can do for your brain is eat a lunch which provides a well-balanced combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Numerous studies have shown that carbs are the brain’s primary source of energy, and these same studies reveal that your memory function improves shortly after eating carbs, particularly slow-release carbohydrates like vegetables and whole grains. But don’t be tempted to skimp on the protein and fat, because they have important roles too. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the optimal brain-boosting lunch must contain all three dietary staples: carbs, protein (preferably in the form of lean meat, soy protein, eggs, beans or nuts), and healthy fats like avocado or olive oil.

Increase Your Workplace Satisfaction

Okay, so you have packed a healthy lunch, but before you eat it “al desko” consider this: eating lunch with your co-workers can increase your workplace satisfaction. This means you will like your colleagues better and enjoy your job more. Socializing with workmates is something like exercising, in that you get the benefits of reduced stress levels and lower blood pressure and you tend to feel happier than before you started.

Power Naps are Your Friends

Power up your lunch break with a power nap. A ten-twenty minute nap in the middle of the day if you didn’t get a good night’s sleep the night before may be the perfect way to maximize your effectiveness through the latter half of the workday. The fact of the matter is, even if you did have a restful night’s sleep, a midday nap can still help because it will reset your body’s internal clock. It also helps to boost your concentration and improve your memory.

nap at work

Squeeze Some Exercise into Your Lunch Break

Your lunch break is also a good time to take on some exercise. Twenty minutes in your office gym or a brisk walk around town will leave you feeling more alert. It’s also a great way to reduce stress. To save time getting hung up in the locker room, find a way to wear some of your gym clothes, such as sneakers and leggings, to work. If you’re going to a gym, take your lunch hour before or after peak time. During your weekends off, spend some time planning your weekly workouts so you will be prepared in advance.

In spite of the fact that lunch breaks are important for your health and productivity, in the U.S. state laws vary on whether a lunch break is mandatory or not. More and more employers are demanding that workers eat lunch at their desks while continuing to work, which may seem to be a tall order, considering the benefits of taking proper breaks. If this is the case for you, this should not be considered an actual “lunch break,” and your employer should be paying you for this time.

How Well do you Communicate with Others?

We started with grunts, moved onto crude paintings, took the leap into spoken language, then written language was born, and now we speak roughly 6,900 languages. Most of us like to think we are at the pinnacle of sophistication in our ability to communicate with other people. Then Elon Musk proposes the concept of direct brain-to-brain transmission… what can’t this guy do? The purpose of communicating is to share ideas, feelings, emotions, thoughts, etc. Aside from creating differing avenues through which we can communicate (phone calls, texting, emailing), the way we communicate hasn’t changed much since speech first came to be.

And if we think about it, we aren’t always that great at it. Try having an argument with your significant other, or reason with your boss about why their new plan is awful. We aren’t always in touch with exactly how we feel or think, and then when we try to communicate these vague or confusing concepts, we choose which words (sometimes correctly, sometimes not) to convey the message to somebody else. Then, the other person hears those words from their point of view, with their own feelings and thoughts influencing the meaning of these words. And we go back and forth in what we call a conversation.

Musk wants to eliminate the guesswork and bias that goes into communication to allow us to literally wire our thoughts and feelings to another person. Obviously, we aren’t there yet, so it’s worth talking about how we can improve our current methods and modes of communication to eliminate professional mistakes and personal flounders.

Effective Communication is Key to your Success and Happiness

As a highly social species, we rely on relationships for our happiness and survival. Everything from the clothes we wear to the words that come out of our mouth communicates who we are to other people. It’s crucial to our success in business to be able to communicate effectively, and it’s definitely necessary to foster strong relationships.

An excellent communicator is self-aware and can easily identify and label their emotions and motivations. Having the insight required to self-reflect leads to an increased ability to convey how you are feeling, and why you are feeling a certain way. When you can do this, it becomes possible to enlist someone’s help in finding a solution. This is beneficial in both professional and personal settings. When you let emotions exist inside of you without seeking to identify their source or define their purpose, they can have control over you.

For example, it is difficult to act rationally when you are angry. Having the capacity to feel your anger, sit with it for a moment, and then tell your partner why it makes you angry that they constantly leave dishes in the sink will come across much more effectively than yelling at them for the 7th time this week to “PUT YOUR DISHES AWAY!”

Word choice, tone, volume, and body language all serve to help or hinder us in our ability to communicate effectively with another person. Try it now. Think of a sentence, maybe something you’ve been wanting to say but haven’t had the courage to.

First, say it softly and without confidence, then say the same sentence with hand movements and a loud voice. Try it again with an angry tone, then say it with a smile on your face. You’ll be able to see, even without an audience, the different effect the words can have on the meaning and effectiveness of your message. But remember, the first step in communicating well is developing a strong sense of self-awareness and a willingness to be introspective to better understand yourself before you toss words out into the universe.

Communication Made Simple

There is a saying that goes, “I’m sorry for the long email, I didn’t have time to write a short one.” It’s time-consuming and frankly, an art, to convey meaning in fewer words. In our very digital age, the rules of communication are more complex. Much of what we say is sent through text or email, and the spoken word still requires attention to tone and volume. Here are some communication “musts” that will take you far in your business interactions.

Texting

Even though texting has become the go-to for a quick message, the casual tone you use to find out which bar your friends are at does not convey professionalism. Make sure you stick with proper capitalization and punctuation.

Email

Email communication is a large part of business communication, especially if you work remotely. The key here is to put in the extra effort to send a short concise message that gets your message across in as few words as possible. The longer it is, and the more you try to dress it up with big words, the more you risk muddling your message. Try sticking to the Five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, Why. This can also be applied to texts and spoken communication.

Danger of Assumptions

Never assume. Don’t assume your reader knows how you feel or where you are coming from. Be direct, clear, and polite about your position. Don’t over-explain, but make sure whoever is reading your email will not be forced to fill in any blanks. It could create an uncomfortable or even expensive situation in the future. If you are unclear, the reader is given the freedom to infer. They may infer incorrectly.

Saying Too Much

Since we’re talking about communication here, for the most part that involves speaking or writing. But sometimes, a well-placed pause is far more powerful than the impact of any statement. Additionally, let the others do all the talking; too much talking can confuse the message. If you can sit in on a meeting and stay out of the gossip and emotional excitement of a passionate debate, so that when you do finally speak, it will carry more weight and value. You will be known as somebody who contributes value instead of just noise.

867-5309: The History of America’s Most Catchy Phone Number

You’re probably hearing it in your head right now. The infamous song 867-5309, also called “Jenny” is impossible to read without associating it with the catchy tune. It’s one of the reasons why it’s so popular, even years after the song’s release in the 80’s. What you may not know is that this unique phone number is called far more often than you think.

 

If you listen to the song or read the lyrics online, you can “call Jenny for a good time.” As a result, people all over the country have done exactly that. There are many recorded instances of creative (but not necessarily original) prank callers who dial the famous phone number in conjunction with as many area codes as they can think of.

So who are the lucky recipients of this number, and what is their response to callers looking for Jenny? For the most part, these numbers either belong to a private residence, a public business, or the number is out of service altogether. However some enterprises purposefully choose or purchase the number in hopes of earning more notoriety and revenue for their business.

Owners of the number admit it’s a headache when prepubescent teens call the line asking for the title character Jenny. Sometimes they let the calls go straight to voicemail, and other times they simply give their own funny response in return, so they don’t try to dial it again in the future.

About the Song’s History

The band Tommy Tutone first wrote and performed the song around 1981 – 1982. The singers names are Jim Keller and Tommy Heath. What they did not anticipate was how fast it would rise in the ranks. The song even made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 in just a short period of time. Jenny’s number wasn’t just popular in the United States. 867-5309 also made top charts in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada as well. The memorable words are now sung over the radio and in karaoke bars, carrying on the music of this period of the 80’s with other top hits such as “Eye of the Tiger” and “Maneater.”

The song itself is about a man who sees a number on a bathroom wall. The songwriter of the band claims the girl, Jenny, is a fictional character and the phone number “just kind of came out.” Though many claim that Jenny is a real girl who may or may not have dated a member of the band, it is widely believed that she never existed at all.

There are plenty of other instances of famous phone numbers people love to sing. Another infamous one is Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1-800-MIX-A-LOT in the song Baby Got Back. Sir Mix-A-Lot uses what’s called a vanity number, where the numbers are arranged to spell out a memorable word or phrase. However, if you dial this one yourself, you will only hear a dial tone as it’s out of service.

555: The Solution to Unwanted Callers

There used to be a time when numbers just like 867-5309 were frequently used in pop culture.
However it’s fairly unavoidable that people will get curious and attempt to call a number like this one. But what about other songwriters, television and movie producers who want to make good content but avoid all the fuss?

This problem is easily solved with the prefix 555, mainly reserved for works of fiction. This is why, when you watch a movie or read a book with a character’s phone number, you’re most likely to see “555” instead of other area codes or prefixes. This is a widely used practice because the code doesn’t connect to any line, and there is no way for a person in real life to dial it. It’s also used because creators don’t want to broadcast a real family’s phone number by accident.

For example, the answer to “Who you gonna call?” in the cult classic “Ghostbusters” is their signature phone number, 555-2368. And in “Billy Madison,” Danny’s phone number is 555-0840. Check out some other famous “555” numbers for yourself here.

Want Jenny’s Number?

Those who want to own Jenny’s number for themselves may have to wait a while.

Some businesses that have used the number in the past include local DJs, plumbers, advertising agencies, heating and cooling services, realtor offices, trucking companies, and more. For many of them the assignment was coincidental, but for the most part these companies made a conscious decision to purchase it. For instance, 867-5309 has been put up for sale on eBay with various area codes attached to it. You’ll even find, when researching the history of the number even further, that some companies have battled in court over the legal rights to use it.

Since there are theoretically only dozens of versions of the phone number available, Jenny unknowingly started a bidding war online. For instance, a Philadelphia-based resident owns the toll free 800 and 888 versions. He states that the value of these numbers is in the millions. Even though he rejected a million dollar offer for ownership, he currently licenses the numbers for a few different advertisers.

Technically speaking, carriers own phone numbers, but they can be changed over based on your provider. Making the switch, however, will take some research and probably a healthy financial investment.

Make Your Business More Memorable

You might want to be called just as often as the above enterprises. If this is the case, it’s time to give us a call at Global Call Forwarding. We can set you up with a vanity number or digital number that can forward to any line in the U.S. and beyond.

Vanity numbers, local numbers, and toll free numbers improve business because they communicate a “theme” present in your marketing tactics, such as quality or dependability. Not only that, vanity numbers make your company unforgettable. More calls equal more sales, so don’t discount them! This is a little-used, but highly effective competitive advantage. Get in contact with Global Call Forwarding today for your custom business numbers.

Toll Free Number Providers

How Toll Free Numbers Can Save Your Startup

According to Forbes, 90% of startups fail. That’s a staggering number, considering how many new companies try to get off the ground every year.

In the United States, startups are becoming more and more common. There’s a lot that goes into these businesses, too. Finding the right products, creating a marketing plan, securing funding, and exacting a location can take months or even years to prepare. Many people choose to leave the stability of their “9 to 5” job just so they can chase this dream. This is why it’s so important to make sure every detail of your startup is just right.

Sometimes new entrepreneurs feel like they’re constantly fighting an uphill battle to become profitable. Not only are they competing with other startups and mid-size companies, but they are going up against large organizations with greater resources. All of them are clamoring for the same customer base.

As a startup you have to establish an advantage for yourself, otherwise you may face a shutdown, or even worse, bankruptcy. So how can you differentiate yourself in the market and get clients to spend their hard earned money on your products and services?

Small Brand, Big Branding

Your brand is small now, but you don’t want to be seen as small. That’s why it’s all about brand recognition. You may have heard it said that a consumer needs to hear your company’s messaging at least seven times before finally making a purchase. One way to do this is through having an easy to remember toll free number. It doesn’t matter if you’re only one person working the business or a group of twenty, an 800 number shows that you’re a small company that means big business. By fielding client inquiries and making sales calls from a toll free number provider, you instantly increase your “presence” and make yourself look like a real organization.

You may have heard of vanity numbers before, which can be a local or toll free number. For instance, 1-800-FLOWERS, 1-800-PET-FOOD, and 1-800-ATTORNEY are pretty popular ones that come to mind. Vanity numbers help people remember your name faster than your competitors’! You can choose a vanity toll free number that works just as well for your startup, allowing you to give the impression of being well established. Your vanity number should be a word or short phrase that’s catchy and relates to your industry. Toll free number providers can conduct a search to make sure your perfect number hasn’t already been taken.

An 800 toll free number is also great for startups that provide products and services all across the country regardless of location. So for example, if your main startup office is based in Miami, Florida, you don’t want Los Angeles, California clients to know your Miami area code. They may think you’re too “small” or too far away to give them what they need. Toll free numbers show that your company is accessible from literally anywhere.

Get More Client Satisfaction

One of the biggest struggles a startup can face is how to achieve customer satisfaction. Even just a few unhappy customers at the beginning of your business can really hurt your company, especially if they leave unhappy reviews online for others to read. People associate toll free numbers with credibility and professionalism. There’s an aesthetic appeal that comes with getting an 800 number. They give everyone the impression that you’re in it for the long haul and are dedicated to excellent customer service.

Toll free number providers help connect your toll free numbers to the lines of your choice. So no matter where you are, everyone can reach you on a portable 800 number without needing to change your extension. If your startup has a call center overseas, then toll free number providers give people a way to reach your brand twenty-four seven. They can call no matter what time of day it is, whether it’s 2pm or 4am, and anywhere in between. No one has to face an answering machine and can get their issues resolved quickly.

Make Your Job Easier

Startup owners have many uneasy responsibilities when growing their company. They must make difficult decisions that can change the course of their entire business model. Just one of these decisions is properly understanding how to make the most out of their limited marketing budgets before they run out of funding.

As we stated earlier, toll free numbers are also digital. This means each 800 number you receive can be tracked for sales and marketing purposes. So for instance, if you set up several lines in one city, you can test them against each other and see which ones serve your startup best. If a line just isn’t working out, you can cut it with no further issues.

Toll free number providers can also help you scale your startup correctly. You may have one working line now, but what happens when you have a sudden and unexpected surge of callers? Your company needs to have the right infrastructure to make it work. So if you’re fine using a personal cell phone line for now, this method will not hold you for long. Otherwise customers will always get a busy signal or answering machine when trying to connect with you. When paired with just the right amount of manpower, toll free numbers scale your business by handling a much larger call volume.

Want to take a break from the office life? Even startup owners need a vacation now and then to refresh their creative side, and you don’t have to feel guilty about doing it. Toll free number providers can help you forward the 800 number to any landline or cell phone. Customers can freely call any other member of your team and you won’t have to be bothered if you’re out of town.

Contact Global Call Forwarding

Are you ready to give your startup the push it needs to be a part of the thriving 10% to success? Global Call Forwarding is a toll free number provider with years of experience helping startups turn into large businesses and international corporations. Contact a member of our team today for assistance if you’re interested in purchasing toll free numbers for all of your business needs or order here on our website for a free trial and instant activation.

International Phone Calls Are Illegal In North Korea

North Korea has been in the news for many years for reasons that are far from positive. The country has remained in the spotlight due to the approach of the government toward international relations under Kim Jung Un’s rule.

 

Several issues such as the crisis between North and South Korea, the nuclear program and testing, and a gross violation of human rights and freedoms, have all been in the forefront of the country’s reputation.

There are necessities that are being enjoyed by the rest of the world, for example, public access to communication in North Korea, which are extremely monitored by the government. Another instance, as far as North Korea telecommunications is concerned, is in regards to the fact that international phone calls are illegal in North Korea. There is also a very strict regulation of any usage of technology in North Korea.

Why Are International Phone Calls Illegal In North Korea ?

The North Korean government holds the use of communication technology in the country with a very tight grip, especially to countries that are referred to as “enemies.” This was revealed in a report by Amnesty International.

North Korea has a popular mobile phone service which serves more than 3 million subscribers. But international phone calls are not permitted on this network as it is restricted to only local calls.

Only a select few citizens and foreigners are allowed access to the internet. However, some North Koreans have access to a closed-off network which can connect to only domestic websites and email services that are also closely monitored by the government.

Ordinary North Koreans are not allowed to use mobile phones to call members of their families who have defected as they risk being sent to detention camps or political prisons.

“Nothing can ever justify people being thrown in detention for trying to fulfill a basic human need – to connect with their family and friends” stated Arnold Fang, an East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International.

The restrictions by the North Korean Government on international phone calls as well as information coming from outside reveals the intimidation and oppression of the North Korean populace since Kim Jung Un became the leader in 2011.

Arnold Fang also states, “To maintain their absolute and systematic control, the North Korean authorities are striking back against people using mobile phones to contact family abroad.”

Several reports have affirmed that the North Korean government sees the absolute control of communication in the country as a weapon by which they can suppress the voices of the people. Their stance on international calls and communication technology is in a bid to obscure the realities and information about the extent of human rights violations in the country.

Most people who have fled the country often live in a constant state of fear due to not knowing the situation of their families. The inability to contact their loved ones leaves both parties in the dark about whether they are alive or dead, imprisoned or being investigated.  

How Do North Koreans Communicate With The Outside World?

Many North Koreans have relied on the booming private economy to gain access to smuggled clothing, food, and other goods from China. Along with this trend includes the smuggling of mobile phones and SIM cards. This practice is however not without great risks.

In a 2016 report by the New York Times, it was revealed that North Koreans have had to rely on smuggled-in mobile phones from China in order to connect to the rest of the world. People who live near the border with China are at an advantage as they can easily take advantage of some of China’s mobile networks to make international phone calls. For people in other areas, however, the ability to communicate with the outside world is much less easily done.

Government Crackdown on Illegal China Phones

Making calls at the border has become increasingly difficult to take advantage of as Kim Jung Un ordered that there be more measures put in place to prevent the exchange of information between North Korea and the outside world. This major government move has also cut down the number of North Koreans defecting to South Korea from 2,914 in 2009 to about 1,276 last year (Source: New York Times).

The North Korean government strengthened the crackdown on mobile phones that are being smuggled in from China with measures such as deploying surveillance devices and more soldiers along the border. High tech devices that jam communication signals have been deployed and used to trace calls back to those who used the banned mobile phones. The level of risk involved is massive, and North Korea has no issue going to the most drastic measures possible to halt the ability of their nation to communicate with those beyond their country’s borders.

Arrests and Incarceration

There is always a high price to pay whenever someone gets caught making illegal international phone calls in North Korea using smuggled Chinese mobile phones. Those who get caught are often sent to reform facilities and prison camps. In some cases, they are made to pay a certain fee as a bribe, if they have connections to influential people. According to several interviews by amnesty international, it appears that bribery is the motive behind many arrests.

Being sent to a reform facility is usually seen as a better scenario as this means a person would spend only about a year or two. Many people have been released with the assistance of bribing. Political prison camps are seen as much worse cases because they carry a longer, harsher sentence.

For those willing to take the risk, creativity and ingenuity are used. Many North Koreans who have a need to make international phone calls often come up with methods to avoid detection. When making international phone calls, they make use of pseudonyms and kept their conversations very short. Sometimes they climb up remote mountains to prevent their calls from being jammed or from being spotted while making illegal international phone calls.

The High Price of Communication

The imminent desperation and need for communication with the outside world has given rise to middlemen who offer the service to those who do not own a Chinese mobile phone. These middlemen get paid to set up phone calls so that the communication can be executed. This style of broker system is also used by defectors to send money to their families in North Korea.

Generally, the cost for this service can be quite high. The middlemen can take up to 30% of every USD1000 cash transfer as commission. However, the downside is that there are no guarantees that the money will reach the recipients. This is due to the fact that security agents are always on a mission to intercept money transfers, whenever possible.

There are also cases where family members send Chinese mobile phones, SIM cards, and money by bribing border patrol agents. With an increasingly tightened border, the bribes also tend to increase in value, reaching as high as USD500 per instance.

Despite the difficulties and dangers involved, communication comes at a high price for North Koreans with the ability and need to gain access to it.

What is a Toll Free Number?

A toll free number is a telephone number that customers can call for free. A businesses will subscribe to a toll free call forwarding service, and bear the calling costs, because customers are more likely to dial a toll free number.

Background

AT&T introduced automated toll free 800 services in 1966 for intrastate calls and in 1967 for interstate calls. Inward Wide Area Telephone Service (InWATS) was the system name. The issuance of US Patent 4191860A on March 4, 1980, to Roy P Weber of Bell Telephone Laboratories, allowed AT&T to replace the InWATS system. The patent title was, “Data Base Communication Call Processing Method”.

At the time, long-distance calls were very expensive. This new processing method reduced costs significantly, which allowed small business to subscribe to the 800 service.

Presently, there are six toll free codes in the US: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844. Area codes 833, 822, 880 through 887, and 889 are in reserve for future use. Unlike the US, foreign countries use various number prefixes.

The FCC is responsible for regulating the use of toll free numbers. Toll free international calls are facilitated using international call forwarding, the best service that GCF provides.

The FCC designated SOMOS, Inc (formerly SMS/800) to administer the Service Management System (SMS) Database for the RespOrgs and the Service Control Points (SCPs). The SCPs help control intelligent network telephone systems.

How Does Toll Free Work?

The following steps outline the process for connecting toll free calls.

  1. The caller makes the call.
  2. The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) receives the call.
  3. Service control points at the PSTN route the call to a gateway based on the area codes, the gateway being a domestic or international call-forwarding network.
  4. The local carrier for the destination’s locale receives the call.
  5. Finally, the call reaches the designated destination.

What Are Vanity Numbers?

A vanity number is one that uses mnemonics to aid in remembering the number. For example, 800-GOT-JUNK is easier to remember than 800-468-5865. Studies, of video and broadcast advertisements, have shown an 84% improvement in recall when vanity numbers are used in place of numeric toll free numbers.

Are Toll Free Numbers Obsolete?

In 1967, long-distance calls were very expensive. As a result, the use of toll free numbers spread quickly. However, 50 years later, many landline phone services offer free long distance. In addition, time and number of calls determine cell phone fees; this applies to domestic and long distance calls. So what is the benefit of toll free?

Communication and marketing studies have consistently shown that toll free numbers and international call forwarding are beneficial to businesses by maintaining connections to customers. The toll free numbers give a virtual presence in all advertising and promotional media. Customers have one number to call, and the calls reach the appropriate destinations via call forwarding. Some of the special features offered by Global Call Forwarding include advanced call forwarding, simultaneous or sequential ringing, call recording, and voicemail. The answer to the above question is that toll free is definitely not obsolete.

Telephone versus Digital Media

Internet-driven communications play an increasing role for businesses. Having an online presence is very important. However, sales managers agree that live conversations provide a direct path to sales. Studies show that customers prefer to speak directly to their suppliers. In addition, a recent American Express study found that 90% of respondents wanted live representatives to handle their questions over the telephone.

There are differences, however, in the types of toll free number subscriptions. Global Call Forwarding provides vanity 800 toll free numbers, numeric toll free numbers and local phone numbers. Subsequent paragraphs discuss these differences.

Vanity 800 Toll Free Numbers

Vanity numbers are the easiest to remember. Many studies prove this. (However, a suitable one may not always be available.) Cell tracking systems associated with these numbers provide valuable call data for businesses.

Numeric Toll Free Numbers

Numeric toll free numbers are harder to remember than vanity numbers, but they still provide users with valuable call data. They also provide a single point of contact for promotional displays, advertisements, and web pages.

Local Numbers

Local numbers are best for smaller businesses, which cover a limited geographic area, or for rural businesses. The area code recognition resonates with local customers, and it is effective for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for locally based, internet searches.

Conclusions

Since 1967, using toll free numbers in advertising has produced results by allowing businesses to connect with their customers. As we all know, effective communication leads to increased customer satisfaction, which leads to increased sales. Social media, web pages, and other digital content are important elements of business identity. However, many clients and customers still prefer direct telephone contact.

The History of Mobile Phones

The History of Mobile Phones

Mobile phone technology has progressed significantly since ‘cell phones’ were first invented. The first modern portable handset was invented by Dr. Martin Cooper in 1973. Motorola sought to build a personal telephone that belonged to an individual rather than a home or a desk.

 

hands raising cellphones

1973 – 1980s – 1G

Dr. Cooper was an engineer and general manager at Motorola at the time he invented the cell phone. The prototype developed by Dr. Cooper weighed almost two and a half pounds and was larger than today’s office phones. In 1973, he placed the first call from a portable phone – to a rival engineer at Bell Labs.

After Dr. Cooper’s revolutionary creation, it took nearly ten years for mobile phones to reach the market. Motorola rolled out the first commercial mobile phone in 1983, the DynaTAC 8000X, costing $3,995. The cost of Motorola’s first phone today would be $9600 after accounting for inflation! Mobile phone technology was relatively underdeveloped at the time, operating on an analogue cellular network.

1990s – Digital Cellular

Consistent with the rapid technological advancements of the 1990s, cellular phone technology improved exponentially. In the 1990s, a 2nd generation of mobile phone systems was created. Two systems vied for global supremacy: the U.S. developed CDMA standard and the European developed GSM standard.

Along with the new ways of transmitting information, cellular phone technology was advancing. Smaller batteries and improved energy-efficiency devices enabled companies to create smaller cell phones. While the brick-sized Motorola DynaTAC 8000 weighed 28 ounces, newer phones in the 90s weighed between 3.5 and 7 ounces.

The 2nd generation of phone systems introduced text messaging and the ability to access web content from mobile phones. Custom ringtones were incredibly popular among mobile phone users. Of course, SMS/text messaging has been a huge success. ‘Texting’ is the preferred medium for communications among millennials. In addition, four out of five people use texting for business communications.

Nokia was a leader in the mobile phone industry during the 1990s. Nokia launched an early mobile phone with vibrations, and later introduced ‘Snake’ to cell phone users.

The first full internet service on a cell phone was introduced in 1999. However, this internet access was different from accessing the mobile internet.

2000s – 3G/4G

During the 1990s, cell phone use started to become commonplace and the demand for cellular data increased. More people sought access to the internet from their mobile phones and people sought faster data speeds.

Engineers in the industry began developing ‘Mobile Broadband’ to satisfy mobile phone users. 2G technology utilized circuit switching for data transmission. The major change from 2G to 3G was the use of packet switching to replace circuit switching. It wasn’t until 3G technologies that mobile phone users could access the mobile internet.

In 2007, Apple rolled out the first iPhone in the United States. The iPhone was a revolutionary device with full internet access, a touch screen and all the functions of a traditional camera phone and mp3 player. Apple has continued to make improvements to the iPhone and there are now more than 100 million iPhone in the United States.

By 2009, engineers began developing a 4th generation of technology to accommodate bandwidth consuming applications like streaming media. The 4th generation is called Native IP Networks.

Cell Phones Today

Like most electronics, improvements in mobile phone technology came about exponentially. Today’s cell phones have capabilities that are likely beyond the imagination of Dr. Martin Cooper. There are almost as many cell-phone subscriptions as there are people on this earth. The advancement of mobile phone technology is bound to continue in future years. What innovations would you most like to see in coming years?

The History of Toll Free Numbers

Many successful businesses today subscribe to a toll-free number service. A toll free number allows callers to reach an individual or business without needing to pay for the call. Businesses will often advertise their toll free numbers as a free way of calling, because the toll free subscriber pays for the call.

Before the existence of toll free numbers, the only way to call long-distance for “free” was to place a collect call. Some people still place collect calls from a payphone or a prison phone, but collect calling is now almost extinct.

Manual toll-free systems

Collect calling was the first real means of reverse charging phone calls. In a collect call, the calling party would place a call to the operator (press ‘0’) and ask the operator to reverse charge the call. Next, the operator would manually dial the other party, provide the caller’s name, and ask if the called party accepted the call and the call’s fee.

It was still impossible to call another country at this time!

Many telephone companies provided this manual version of free calling. However, the process of reverse charging thousands of phone calls was taxing on the phone company’s’ staff.

InWATS

AT&T rolled out a new service called InWATS as an alternative to operator-assisted collect calling in 1966. InWATS was primitive, lacking the complex routing features provided by modern toll-free services and collecting no call detail records.

800 numbers were little more than a novelty. Some companies owned toll free numbers, but AT&T had a monopoly and charged a premium for the service. Customers were required to sign up for a fixed-rate bulk service that required special trunks. The service was suited to large volume users.

It wasn’t until competitors entered the game that toll free numbers for business became commonplace.

End of a monopoly

A federal judge ordered the monopoly formerly known as “Ma Bell” to split into over 12 different regional companies in 1984. Competition caused rates to drop, and 800 numbers became more affordable than ever.

Most businesses owned 800 numbers. So many numbers were in use that area codes were born.

Modern direct-dial systems

After the transition from a manual switching system to a computerized system in 1966, toll free calls could be routed based on instructions found in central databased. 800 calls could be directed anywhere.

Vanity numbers came into existence shortly after the dissolution of Ma Bell. Vanity phone numbers allowed users to choose their own phone number. Clever vanity numbers were created like 1-800-BUY-BEER.

Then a law passed that guaranteed number portability in 1994. This law ensured that a company could keep its vanity number or toll free number when changing providers.

800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, 8-X-X?

The demand for toll free numbers skyrocketed in the 1990s, exceeding the supply of 800 numbers. To satisfy the market, 888 numbers were created in 1996. 877 and 866 numbers became available in 1998 and 1999. 855 debuted in 2010.

There is such a vast market for toll free numbers that new toll free prefixes have been created. Surely, the demand for the six prefixes will one day outpace the supply and a new prefix will be available as a toll free number.

Toll free numbers today

While the internet and email have drastically altered business communication, toll-free numbers for business are still very effective. A toll free number enables a business to project a professional image. In addition, toll free numbers allow customers to call the business for free.

Collect calling gave way to toll free services and long-distance communication was altered forever.

The Invention of the Telephone

Earlier today, Apple unveiled two new iPhones: the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus. The tech giant announced newer models in its immensely popular line of smartphones. Smart phones today come with advanced mobile operating systems, which combine features of a mobile telephone with features of a personal computer.

Mobile telephones like the iPhone are currently some of the most widely used communications devices in the world. In the United States, nearly everyone has a cell phone – including your kids! China has an astronomical 1,100,000,000 cell phones in use.

Although in existence for more than 100 years, telephone usage and demand has been steadily increasing. There is tremendous use for telephones in business in addition to the use of personal mobile phones. For such a widely used device, the history of the telephone is rarely discussed.

The history of the telephone

Alexander Graham Bell’s greatest success was accomplished on March 10, 1876, when he completed a monumentally successful experiment with the telephone. According to his journal entry dated 10 March 1876, Bell spoke these famous words, “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.” This marked the first time he was able to “talk with electricity.”

However, the story behind the invention of the telephone has been surrounded by controversy. Two inventors in the 1870s both independently designed devices that could transmit speech electronically. Within hours of each other, Elisha Grey and Alexander Graham Bell rushed their designs to the patent office.

According to official records, Bell was the first to register his patent by a matter of hours. The two entered a notorious battle over the years regarding the true inventor of the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell emerged as the winner of the legal battle, and thus was declared the official inventor of the telephone.

Telegraphs as a way of communicating

Telegrams were the major form of communication before telephones were invented. For those unfamiliar with telegraphy – a telegram is a message sent by an electrical telegraph operator using Morse code. Users were limited to receiving and sending one message at a time. Telegrams were used to transmit and receive messages over long distances.

Imagine for a second how difficult it was to communicate with somebody using telegraphy. The process required electric telegraph operators, Morse code and wires! Cell phones are so easy to use.

The wire-based telegraph system was highly successful for more than 30 years. The Western Union Telegraph Company bought out smaller companies during the 1800s and rapidly extended its lines to become the dominant player in the early telecommunications industry. In fact, Western Union even built the first transcontinental telegraph line. However, two inventors in the 1870’s would drastically change telecommunications for a long time.

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh Scotland. Bell’s parents and grandparents were instructors in elocution and the correction of speech. Bell dropped out of high school and university, and his early career involved teaching deaf people. He taught at the Clarke School for the Deaf and at the American School for the Deaf.

While pursuing a teaching career, Bell began researching telecommunications on the side. Bell imagined potential innovations to the telegraph system.

Multiple message telegraphs

Alexander Graham Bell imagined sending multiple messages over the same wire simultaneously. He envisioned a multiple message telegraph that would allow users to send and receive several messages at the same time, rather than a single message.

In 1974, Bell received funding from father-in-law/Boston attorney Gardiner Greene Hubbard to create the “future of telecommunications” – the multiple message telegraph.

Bell worked on the multiple message telegraph and eventually enlisted the services of Thomas Watson, a young electrician. However, the pair began exploring a new idea – developing a device that would transmit speech electronically.

The harmonic telegraph

The two discovered that different tones would vary the strength of an electric current in a wire. Bell and Watson realized they only needed to build two devices for this to work. First, a working transmitter that is able to vary electric currents. Second, a receiver that would reproduce these varied currents.

On June 2, 1875, Alexander Graham Bell was first able to hear sound – a twanging clock spring – over a wire using his “harmonic telegraph” device. Less than one year later, the telephone was born, marking the death of the multiple telegraph idea.

Being able to “talk with electricity” presented vast opportunities to communicate with others.

The future of the telephone

Apple’s announcements today did more than unveil the newest iPhone 7. The announcements showed how far telephones have come. Alexander Graham Bell would probably not recognize his “harmonic telegraphs” today.

Still, the innovations to telephones have been so useful to hundreds of millions of people. Telephones are still widely used in business today and new features exist that enable landlines to do so much more than transmit voices. Major innovations have altered the field of telecommunications. What’s next?