Telecommunications in Georgia include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Radio and television

Caucasus Online ( service center ) / კავკასუს ონლაინი ( სერვის ცენტრი ) [37 Vazha Pshavela, Tbilisi] - მდებარეობა: თბილისი, ვაჟა - ფშაველას გამზ. 37 Location: 37, Vazha Pshavela ave, Tbilisi, Georgia მომსახურებე...
  • Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 12, shortwave 4 (1998).
  • Radios: 3.02 million (1997).
  • Television broadcast stations: 25 (plus repeaters) (2011).
  • Televisions: 2.57 million (1997).


  • Calling code: +995
  • Main lines: 830,222 lines in use (2009).
  • Mobile cellular: 3.1 million lines (2009).

There are three cellular telephone networks of GSM 900 and 1800 standard and two UMTS 2100 standard: MagtiCom LTD, Geocell LTD, and Mobitel Georgia Beeline group. The cellular network market counts more than 3,000,000 registered customers in total (the commercially active number is not known). Coverage extends to over 98% of the populated territory as of 2010; In urban areas there are 20 telephones per 100 people and in rural areas 4 telephones per 100 people. Fiber-optic lines connect the major cities and Georgia and Bulgaria are connected with fiber-optic line between Poti and Varna (Bulgaria).


  • Internet Service Providers: at least 10 ISPs, with most of them ADSL/DSL/Cable services (2003).
  • Top-level domain: .ge

Internet censorship and surveillance

Listed as engaged in selective Internet filtering in the political and conflict/security areas and as no evidence of filtering in the social and Internet tools areas by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) in November 2010.

Access to Internet content in Georgia is largely unrestricted as the legal constitutional framework, developed after the 2003 Rose Revolution, established a series of provisions that should, in theory, curtail any attempts by the state to censor the Internet. At the same time, these legal instruments have not been sufficient to prevent limited filtering on corporate and educational networks. Georgia’s dependence on international connectivity makes it vulnerable to upstream filtering, evident in the March 2008 blocking of YouTube by Turk Telecom.

See also

  • Georgian National Communications Commission


  •  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.

External links

  • Georgian National Communications Commission, website.
  • Sidorenko, Alexey, "Internet, Society and Democracy in Georgia", in Caucasus Analytical Digest No. 15.
  • Robakidze, Nino, "Georgia: Immature Media", in Caucasus Analytical Digest No. 25.

Telecommunications In Georgia (country) – Internet Service In Georgia


A toll-free telephone number or freephone number is a telephone number that is billed for all arriving calls instead of incurring charges to the originating telephone subscriber. For the calling party, a call to a toll-free number from a landline is free of charge.

A toll-free, Freecall, Freephone, 800, 0800 or 1-800 number is identified by a dialing prefix similar to a geographic area code, such as 800. The specific service access numbers vary by country.


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The features of toll-free services have evolved as telephone networks have moved from electro-mechanical call switching to fully computerized stored program controlled networks.

Originally, a call billed to the called party had to be placed through a telephone company operator as a collect call. The operator had to secure acceptance of the charges at the remote number before manually completing the call.

A few large businesses and government offices received large numbers of collect calls, which proved time consuming for operators.

Manual toll-free systems

Prior to the development of automated toll-free service many telephone companies provided a manual version of caller free service.

Examples of operator-assisted toll-free calling include the Zenith number introduced in the 1950s in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the original manual 'Freephone' service introduced by the British Post Office in 1960.

Both systems were similar in concept. The calling party would ring the operator (now '100' in the UK, '0' in Canada/U.S.) and ask for a specific free number. In the U.S., the caller would ask for a number like "Zenith 1-2345" (some areas used "Enterprise" or "WX" instead of "Zenith", but in the same pattern of a free service name and a five-digit number). In the UK, the caller would ask the operator to ring "Freephone" and a name or number (such as "Freephone Crimebusters" to pass on tips about a crime to the constabulary).

In either case, the operator would look up the corresponding geographic number from a list and place the call with charges reversed.

A Zenith number was typically available from a predefined area, anything from a few nearby cities to a province or state, and was listed in local directories in each community from which the subscriber was willing to accept the charges for inbound calls.

Until the introduction of InWATS toll-free service by the Bell System on May 2, 1967 and the Linkline (later "Freefone") 0800 services by British Telecom on 12 November 1985, manually ringing the operator was the standard means to place a toll-free call. More than a few established manual "Freephone" or "Zenith" numbers remained in use for many years after competing automated systems (0800 in UK, 1-800 in U.S.) were deployed in parallel for new toll-free numbers.

Initial direct-dial systems

An automated toll-free service was introduced by AT&T in 1966 (US intrastate) and 1967 (US interstate) as an alternative to operator-assisted collect calling and manual "Zenith" or "Enterprise" numbers. This Inward Wide Area Telephone Service (InWATS) allowed calls to be made directly from anywhere in a predefined area by dialling the prefix 1-800- and a seven-digit number.

The system was primitive by modern standards. It initially provided no support for Automatic Number Identification and no itemised record of calls, instead requiring subscribers to obtain expensive fixed-rate lines which included some number of hours of inbound calling from a "band" of one or several U.S. states or Canadian provinces. Early InWATS 800 calling lacked the complex routing features offered with modern toll-free service. After competitive carriers were allowed to compete with AT&T in establishing toll-free service, the three digit exchange following the 800 prefix was linked to a specific destination carrier and area code; the number itself corresponded to specific telephone switching offices and trunk groups. All calls went to one central destination; there was no means to place a toll-free call to another country.

Despite its limitations (and the relatively high cost of long distance in that era), the system was adequate for the needs of large volume users such as hotel chains, airlines and hire car firms which used it to build a truly national presence.

For small regional businesses who received few long-distance calls, the original InWATS was prohibitively expensive. As a fixed-rate bulk service requiring special trunks, it was suited only to large volume users.

Modern direct-dial systems

Modern toll-free service became possible when telephone companies replaced their electro-mechanical switching systems with computerized switching systems. This allowed toll-free calls to be routed based on instructions located in central databases.

In the United States, AT&T engineer Roy P. Weber from Bridgewater, New Jersey patented a 'Data Base Communication Call Processing Method' which was deployed by AT&T in 1982. The called number was an index into a database, allowing a 'Toll-Free Call' or '800 Call' to be directed anywhere.

In the United Kingdom, BT introduced "Linkline" on 12 November 1985. No more need to manually ring the operator, two new prefixes 0800 (an automated toll-free service which became "Freefone") and 0345 (a shared-cost service marketed as "Lo-Call" because initially its rates resembled those of local calls) could be reached by direct dial. Cable and Wireless used 0500 and 0645, in much the same way, just a few years later.

Vanity numbering

A toll-free vanity number, custom toll-free number, or mnemonic is easy to remember; it spells and means something or it contains an easily recognized numeric pattern. An easily remembered number is valued as a branding and direct response tool in business advertising.

In the United States, Federal Communications Commission regulations mandate that numbers be allocated on a first come, first served basis; this gives vanity number operators who register as RespOrgs a strong advantage in obtaining the most valuable phonewords, as they have first access to newly disconnected numbers and to newly introduced toll-free area codes. In Australia, premium numbers, such as the 13-series or the vanity phone words, are distributed by auction separately from the administrative procedure to assign random, generic numbers from the available pool.

Shared use

In toll-free telephony, a shared-use number is a vanity number (usually a valuable generic phoneword) which is rented to multiple local companies in the same line of business in different cities. These appear in Australia (1300 and 1800) and North America (1-800- and its overlays); in the U.S., the RespOrg infrastructure is used to direct calls for the same number to different vendors based on the area code of the calling number.

As one example, a taxi company could rent shared use of 1-800-TAXICAB in one city. The number belongs to a company in Van Nuys, California, but is redirected to local cab companies on a city-by-city basis and promoted by being printed on everything from individual taxi cab hub caps to campaigns against drunk driving. Another example is Mark Russell's 1-800-GREATRATE, a shared-use number rented to lenders in various cities nationwide for a monthly fee.

One former Mercedes dealer obtained 1-800-MERCEDES, charging other dealers to receive calls to that number from their local areas. The automaker unsuccessfully sued MBZ Communications of Owatonna, Minnesota, operated by former Mercedes dealer Donald Bloom, alleging deception and trademark infringement. Mercedes was ultimately forced to obtain a different number, 1-800-FOR-MERCEDES.

A company renting 1-800-RED-CROSS at a premium price to individual local Red Cross chapters as 'shared use' was less fortunate; the Federal Communications Commission reassigned that number to the Red Cross as an emergency response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Shared use can be used as a means to circumvent restrictions on warehousing, hoarding and brokering toll-free numbers as technically the number is not being sold, only rented one city or region at a time. The practice is nonetheless potentially problematic as it leaves local businesses advertising numbers which they do not own and for which they therefore have no number portability. The cost per minute and per month is typically far higher for a shared-use number than for a standard toll-free vanity number which a local business controls outright and there is little protection if the shared use company fails to meet its obligations or ceases operation.

There are also technical limitations; voice over IP users in particular are difficult to geolocate as their calls may be gated to the public switched telephone network at a point hundreds or thousands of miles away from their actual location. A roaming mobile or Internet telephone user is effectively (like the user of a foreign exchange line) attached to a distant rate centre far from their physical address.

If a program like Crime Stoppers is inherently regional or local, but its national 1-800-222-TIPS number is shared between multiple exchanges, the exchange accepting the call must determine whether the call belongs to some other region.

Around the world

Countries around the world use various dialing prefixes to denote toll-free services in their telephone networks.

  • In Argentina, the prefix for toll-free numbers is "0800", followed by seven digits (the first three of them are fixed for each operator, so the user may know which carrier is serving the party they are calling). These numbers are called "0-800" (cero ochocientos) or "líneas gratuitas" (free lines). There is also a local-rate service named "0-810" (cero ochocientos diez) where the calling party pays the fee for a local call and the called party pays for the long distance fees.
  • In Armenia, the toll-free prefix is "800" followed by a five-digit number.
  • In Australia, the toll-free prefix is "1800". Toll free numbers are phone numbers similar to Phonewords that are free for the customer to call, at least from a land line.
  • In Austria, the prefix for toll-free numbers is also "0800", but only followed by six digits. They are commonly referred to as "Null-achthunderter Nummern" (Zero-eighthundred numbers).
  • In Belgium, the prefix "0800" is used for toll-free numbers, followed by 5 digits. They are commonly referred to as "Groen nummer" (Dutch) and "Numéros verts" (French) or "Null-achthunderter Nummern" (Zero-eighthundred numbers) in the German speaking area.
  • In Brazil, The prefix is "0800" - although phone numbers are 8 digits - it is followed by 7 digits - 6 digits are being phased out. Toll-free numbers in Brazil can be accessed from any telephone (by default) in Brazil, with many exceptions. They can be accessed from outside Brazil only with a calling service (such as voice-over-Internet services or MCI Worldcom calling service) that accesses numbers from within the called country. Many toll-free numbers are not available from cell phones (usually blocked by the cell phone provider rather than the provider of the toll-free number in an effort to prevent low-price competition from calling card providers). Some toll-free numbers are not available from phones listed by the owner of the number, including many payphones. For example, the MCI Worldphone calling service blocks usage from the pay phones in international airports (Rio and São Paulo) and many downtown pay phones due to "excessive fraud" from those phones (July 2003). In addition, Brazil has a system of regular and international pay phones (designated with the symbol "DDD"). Toll-free numbers to international calling plans can be reliably used from non-DDD pay phones, as of 2005.
  • In Bulgaria, the toll-free prefix is "0800" followed by a five-digit number (up to now, only 1XXXX and 20ххх numbers have been allocated). These numbers are called "Зелен номер" (Green Number) by BTC and "Зелена линия" (Green Line) by M-tel.
  • In Canada, toll-free numbers are drawn from the US SMS/800 database. A seven-digit number 310-xxxx (not a true toll-free, but may be called from anywhere in its home area code at local rates) is available in Bell Canada and Telus territories. From a landline, these are free. From cell phones, airtime is not covered, but there are no long distance charges.
  • In Chile, the toll-free prefix is "800" followed by a six-digit number. These numbers are called "número 800" (800 number). These numbers can not be accessed from abroad.
  • In Colombia, toll-free numbers start with 018000
  • In Croatia, the prefix for toll-free numbers is "0800"
  • In Czech Republic, the toll-free prefix is "800".
  • In Denmark telephone-numbers have eight digits. The toll-free numbers all begin with "80" followed by six further digits.
  • The Dominican Republic is assigned specific 1-800 exchanges in the North American Numbering Plan; the 1-809-200-xxxx exchange is also free for domestic callers in that country.
  • In Egypt, it starts with (800) followed by the number.
  • In Ecuador, it starts with 1800 followed by 6-digit number. Some numbers have either regional or nationwide access. Calls from cellphones are only allowed by the operator Alegro which charges a few cents for these calls. PORTA and movistar does not allow the service.
  • In France the "0800" or "0805" prefix is used for toll-free numbers. They are also known as numéros verts (green numbers).
  • In Finland, the toll-free prefix is "0800".
  • In Germany, the toll-free prefix is "'0800" followed by a seven-digit number. The "0801" prefix is already reserved for future use. The prefix used to be "0130". Deutsche Telekom calls these numbers "freecall 0800", most Germans refer to it simply as "Null-achthunderter Nummern" (Zero-eighthundred numbers).
  • In Greece, the toll-free prefix is "800" followed by a seven-digit number or "807" followed by a four-digit number, used for phonecard services only.
  • In Hong Kong, toll-free numbers have "800" prefix
  • In Hungary, toll-free numbers have "80" prefix.
  • In Iceland, the toll-free prefix is "800" followed by a four-digit number.
  • In India, the toll-free prefix is "1800" followed by a seven digit number. Free if calling from a mobile phone or a land line. Prefix of "1860" followed by a seven digit are local rate numbers. Calling party pays the local rate and the called party pays long distance call charges (if any).
  • In Indonesia, the toll-free prefix is "0800" followed by a seven-digit number.
  • In Ireland, 1800-xxxxxx numbers are freephone, with the 1800 71xxxx reserved for services that expect unusually high volumes of calls e.g. radio station phone-in lines.
  • In Israel, toll-free numbers are prefixed with "1800" followed by 6 digits (for local businesses), "180" or "189" followed by 7 digits (usually refers to a free call to an overseas operated calling center). The called party pays the charges for the call. As of 2012 calls from local cellular phone service providers to these prefixes are also free. Numbers prefixed with "1700" followed by 6 digits are local rate number for the first 3–4 minutes after which the charges for the remaining length of the call are transferred to the receiving party (on a "shared cost" basis).
  • In Italy, toll-free numbers are dialed with the "800" or "803" prefix and are commonly referred to as "Numero Verde" (green number) or "Linea Verde" (green line). The "Numeri Verdi" used to begin with "1678" and later with "167".
  • In Japan, the prefixes "0120" and "0800" are officially assigned for toll-free numbers and are often referred to as "free dial" (フリーダイヤル) or "free call" (フリーコール) telephone numbers. Several telephone carriers also provide toll-free services under their own company prefixes such as "0077" (these prefixes are also used for other tolled services; the prefix "0570" is officially assigned for Navi Dial, a special tolled service).
  • In South Korea, toll-free numbers are prefixed with "080" (not to be confused with "060" or "070", which are used for pay-per-call/pay-per-minute information services or digital home phone services). It is to be noted that not all numbers with the "080" prefix are toll-free when called from a mobile phone.
  • In Latvia the prefix 8000-xx-xx is used for toll-free services. They are toll-free only when dialed from landlines, and charged the same as a land line when dialed from cell phones.
  • In Malaysia the prefix is 1800-xxxxxx. Free if calling from a land-line and VoIP only. Calling from mobile phone will be considered a local call, with varying charges depending on the mobile network providers.
  • In Mexico the prefix is 01-800.
  • In Nepal the prefix is 1660-01-XXXXX.
  • In New Zealand, both "0800" or "0508" prefixes are referred to variously and interchangeably as "free phone" or "toll-free". Originally these "Oh-eight-hundred" numbers were provided by Telecom NZ and "0508" by rival company Clear (now Vodafone New Zealand), although now both numbers can be provided by either company. Some older toll bar services designed to restrict toll calls (including long distance or calls to mobile phones) will also block calls to these free phone numbers, although this has become less common since the mid-1990s. A limited number of companies utilizing toll-free numbers will not accept calls from mobile phones. Some other free phone services exist, such as "*555" ("star five five five"), which can be dialled from cellular phones to report traffic conditions and incidents of dangerous driving.
  • In the Netherlands, the prefix "0800" is used for toll-free numbers. Calling 0800 numbers from fixed- and mobile phones is free by law. UIFN's "00800" are generally free from fixed lines and charged for the air-time from mobile phones. Access of UIFN is not enforced by law, causing certain phone providers to not honor the standard.
  • In Norway most telephone-numbers have eight digits (some exceptions). The toll-free numbers all begin with "800" followed by five further digits.
  • In Pakistan,toll-free numbers have the following format "0800-xxxxx".
  • In Paraguay, the prefix "0800" is used for toll-free numbers, followed by 6 digits.
  • In the Philippines, the prefix for toll-free numbers is "1800" followed by either one, two, or four digits (examples include 8, 10, and 1888) followed by either a four- or seven-digit phone number. However, there are restrictions. Toll-free numbers are only limited to the telephone network where the toll-free number is being handled. So subscribers of a different telephone network company will not be able to call the toll-free number handled by a different telephone network. International toll-free numbers can only be accessed if the calling party is a subscriber of PLDT.
  • In Poland, toll-free numbers have the following format "800 xxx xxx". There are also Split-Charge numbers "801 uxx xxx" (caller's cost depends on the digit u) and Universal Numbers "804 uxx xxx", where the caller is automatically connected to the nearest office (are toll-free if u=3).
  • In Portugal, the prefix is "800" so the 9-digit number is "800 xxx xxx". It is referred as "Chamada Gratuita" (Free Call) or as "Número Verde" (Green Number).
  • In Qatar, toll-free numbers have the following format "800' xxxx".
  • In Romania, toll-free numbers have the following format "0800 xxx xxx". The service is referred to as "Număr Verde".
  • In Russia, the prefix is "8" "800", followed by 7 digits (8-800-XXX-XX-XX).
  • In Serbia, the prefix "0-800" followed by a 6 or 7 digit number is used
  • In Singapore, the prefix "1800" followed by a 7 digit number is used. Calling from a mobile phone network will be considered as a local call and charges varies among service providers.
  • In Slovakia, the toll-free prefix is "0800", followed by six digits. The local rate prefix is "0850".
  • In Slovenia, the prefix "080" is used for toll-free numbers, followed by four more digits.
  • In South Africa, the prefix "0800", followed by 6 digits is used. It is referred to as a "toll-free" or "0800" number (Afrikaans: tol-vrye).
  • In Spain, the "900XXXXXX" or "800XXXXXX" numbers are always toll-free (800 numbers are not usually used), "909XXXXXX" is used for dial-up Internet service and toll-free dialup Internet service (under subscription). Also "1002", "1004", "14XX", "15XX" and "16XX" are free and are used for the telecommunication providers call centers.
  • In Sweden, the prefix is "020" or "0200" for toll-free numbers. (Additionally, 0800 is reserved for future use.) These numbers are unreachable from other countries.
  • In Switzerland, the toll-free prefix is 0800; it used to be 155. These numbers are called « grüne Nummer/numéro vert/numero verde » (green number).
  • In Taiwan, the toll-free prefix is 0800-xxx-xxx or 0809-xxx-xxx, but not all Taiwanese mobile number can call the toll free numbers. A toll-free subscriber can decide to restrict a number due to high per minute mobile rates. This is cumbersome for the caller, who is told to dial another land line number, usually at the highest toll rate within the country as a mobile to landline call. Some small VOIP operators also cannot call toll free numbers. (0701-xxx-xxx cannot call toll free numbers directly, but can call through a live operator by dialling "123" and have them redirect the call).
  • In Thailand, Call Free, Free Call, Toll-Free, or Free Phone,the prefix used is "1800"xxxxxx. Calls are free for all fixed line calls. Mobile carriers AIS and CAT (60+%of Thailand's subscribers) offer 1-800 service for cell phones. At present DTAC and True mobile providers do not, however it is expected they will offer the 1-800 service for subscribers by late 2009.
  • In Turkey, the prefix for toll-free numbers is "0800".
  • In the UK, Freephone numbers are usually only free when calling from a landline. All 0500 numbers have 9 digits, 0808 numbers have 10 digits and 0800 numbers have 7, 9 or 10 digits after the "0" trunk prefix.
  • In Ukraine, toll-free numbers have "0" "800" and 6 digits after, i.e., 0 800 123456. Before October 2009 "8" "800" prefix was used.
  • In Vietnam, the prefix "1800" followed by a series of numbers, usually from 4 to 9 digits. All "1800" numbers are free of charge, but some of them cannot be dialled from all telephones.

United States

Toll-free numbers in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) are commonly called "800 numbers" after the original area code which was used to dial them. They include the area code 800 (since 1966), 888 (since 1996), 877 (since 1998), 866 (since 2000), 855 (since 2010), and 844 (December 7, 2013). Area codes reserved for future expansion include 833, 822, 880 through 887, and 889.

The original Wide Area Telephone Service is obsolete. North American toll-free numbers are controlled by an intelligent network database (SMS/800) in which any toll-free number may be directed to a local or long-distance geographic telephone number, a T-carrier or primary rate interface line under the control of any of various RespOrgs. Direct inward dialing and toll-free number portability are supported; various providers offer gateways which receive freephone calls on PRI lines and deliver them to voice over IP or pager users.

Toll free numbers usually capture the telephone number of the caller for billing purposes through automatic number identification, which is independent of caller ID data and functions even if caller ID is blocked.


In addition to NANP toll-free numbers, carriers Bell Canada and Telus offer 310- numbers that can be accessed at local-call prices as shared-cost service (free from landlines, incurs local airtime charge from mobiles and local price from payphones). There are a few special mobile-only numbers (like *CAA to call the Canadian Automobile Association) which are free from cell phones.


  • Calling an 800 number is free of charge. Calling a 400 number incurs a local access charge.
  • 800 numbers are accessible only to land-line subscribers, while 400 numbers are accessible to all land-line and mobile users.

800-toll-free numbers

  • 800 toll-free numbers are commonly called "800 免费电话". The official name is "被叫集中付费业务" (called party collect paid service), which means the cost of the call is borne not by the caller but by the party receiving the call.
  • 800-toll-free numbers in China are ten-digit numbers beginning with "800". There is no prefix before "800".
  • 800-toll-free numbers are not accessible to mobile network subscribers and some land-line subscribers. For instance China Tietong Telecom land-line users cannot access 800 numbers.

400-toll-free numbers

  • 400-service is called "主被叫分摊付费业务" (calling party and called party split-paid service), which means the calling party pays for the local access fee and the called party pays the toll (long distance) fee.
  • 400-toll-free numbers in China are ten-digit numbers beginning with "400".
  • 400-toll-free numbers can be accessed by all fixed-line and mobile phones.
  • Callers have to bear local access charges from their service providers.
  • 400-toll-free numbers with prefix "4001" are international toll-free numbers which can be routed to destination numbers inside or outside China. 400 toll-free numbers with prefix "4000", "4006", "4007" or "4008" are national toll-free numbers which can be routed to China destination numbers only.



  • Toll-Free numbers in Australia are ten-digit numbers beginning with the prefix "1800".
  • 1800 numbers can also be found in Phonewords via an online auction.
  • For all types, the recipient business pays for incoming toll charges.
  • In some cases, 1800 numbers can be accessed from international lines.
  • Callers to an 1800 number are not charged a connection fee from a domestic fixed line. Calls from a mobile phone may incur charges depending on the provider.
  • The original prefix was 008. Such numbers were nine digits long. For example, the Crime Stoppers toll-free hotline was 008 333 000, however some would write (008) 33 3000. Such numbers were dialable outside Australia, for example +61 08 333 000.

Local Rate numbers

A system similar to 1800 numbering exists where 6 or 10 digit numbers prefixed with 13 (one-three), 1300 or 1301 (colloquially one-three-hundred) can be called at local call rates regardless of location.

  • Callers to a 13 number are charged a "connection fee" by their telephone provider.
  • 13 and 1300 numbers are often "smart routed" to the local outlet of chain stores or fast food premises. They may also be used by different companies in different regions.
  • 13 numbers, 1300 numbers and 1800 numbers are relocatable across Australia, and can be transferred between different telecommunications suppliers.
  • 13 numbers are a premium number scheme, subject to charges from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) of approximately $10,000 per annum collected by the supplying carrier.
  • Premium numbers, such as those that spell a word using keypad letters, are regularly auctioned by the ACMA

Mobile phones

  • Mobile callers are charged to phone a 1300 number or 1800 number, usually at their normal per minute rate, but sometimes at predatory rates. These expensive numbers can be decoded to ordinary landline via and organisations usually offer a landline number on their websites, though it may be hard to find.
  • Smart routed 1800 or 13(00) numbers often do not work on mobile telephones due to issues with owners of the numbers barring incoming calls from mobile devices due to higher call charges associated with such calls.


The introduction of 0800/0900 numbers in the Netherlands in 1986 has led significant growth of call centres and an increase in outsourcing.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, toll-free telephone numbers are generally known as "freephone" numbers (British Telecom numbers are officially Freefone) and begin with the prefixes 0800, 0808 or the Cable & Wireless Freecall prefix 0500. The most commonly used prefix is 0800. Additionally, numbers in the range 0808 80x xxxx are reserved for not-for-profit helplines.

Since 1 July 2015, all 0800 and 0808 numbers have been free to call from landlines and mobile phones alike. Most mobile phone operators had charged for such calls previously, with Orange being the final major network to introduce such charges during December 2005. Certain helplines, such as those in the 0808 80x xxxx series had remained free from most networks on a voluntary basis and some niche operators, such as Giffgaff always offered freephone calls at no charge.

The UK mobile operators offer an alternative product to organisations who wish to provide toll-free services - 5-digit voice short codes which are sold through mobile aggregators.

0500 numbers, introduced by Mercury Communications in 1982 (and later Cable and Wireless, now Vodafone), will be withdrawn by Ofcom on 3 June 2017. A three-year transition will allow existing subscribers to migrate to 080 85 numbers with the same final 6 digits. While the numbers are portable, 0500 has been closed to new allocations since 1997/98.

Universal International Freephone Service

Universal International Freephone Service is an international service, assigned the country code 800 by the International Telecommunication Union. The intention is that any customer in the world can dial the same number to reach a business subscribing to a number, and at no charge to the calling party. However, only a limited number of countries yet participate. In order to participate, countries must agree on the amount of revenue they will retain (to cover their costs of network transport) while still forwarding sufficient revenue to cover the recipient's costs of subscribing.

A Universal International Freephone Number (UIFN) is a worldwide toll-free "800 number" issued by the ITU. Like the 800 area code issued for the NANP in the U.S. and Canada and 0800 numbers in many other countries, the call is free for the caller, and the receiver pays the charges. UIFN uses ITU country code 800, so that no matter where the caller is, only the international access code (IAC), the UIFN country code (800) and the 8-digit UIFN need to be dialed. A few carriers in about 65 countries participate in the UIFN program; free access to the numbers (as international calls) from mobile and coin telephones is not universal. Registration of a +800 number incurs a 200 swiss franc ITU fee (as of 2013) in addition to any charges levied by the individual carrier. The number must be activated for inbound calls from at least two telephone country codes within 180 days.

UIFS is analogous to intra-national toll free numbers such as 800 service in Canada and the United States, and Freephone services in most other countries. The +800 UIFN service is one of three ITU-administered non-geographic codes with a similar numbering scheme. The +808 Universal International Shared Cost Number (UISCN), billed at the price of a domestic call, shares the same eight-digit format; the +979 Universal International Premium Rate Number (UIPRN), billed at a high premium cost, carries one extra digit to indicate price range.

See also

  • SMS/800 and RespOrg
  • 900 number
  • Freepost
  • Collect call
  • Mobile dial code
  • Wide Area Telephone Service
  • Zenith number


Toll-free Telephone Number – 800 Telephone Service


Remote service software is used by equipment manufacturers to remotely monitor, access and repair products in use at customer sites. It’s a secure, auditable gateway for service teams to troubleshoot problems, perform proactive maintenance, assist with user operations and monitor performance. This technology is typically implemented in mission-critical environments like hospitals or IT data centers – where equipment downtime is intolerable.


Episode #337: Introduction to Remote Desktop Software - Description: In the episode Eli the Computer Guy discusses Remote Desktop Software usage in the real world. He talks about business aspects of using Remote ...

Remote service software helps to:

  • Increase uptime, improve performance and extend the life of a device
  • Control service costs by deploying patches and upgrades remotely, and ensure a first-time fix when an onsite visit is required
  • Streamline administration of pay-per-use models, with automated usage monitoring
  • Focus highly trained service teams on preventative maintenance, by diagnosing and repairing issues before they cause system failure
  • Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty

Manufacturers are using aftermarket service a competitive differentiator. Remote service software provides a platform for manufacturers to offer and meet stringent service level agreements (SLAs) without increasing the size of their service team.

Key characteristics of remote service software

  • Proactive: Remote monitoring of devices in use allows service teams to detect potential issues before they escalate, degrade performance or cause a system failure. This early warning system is a key component to issue avoidance and ability to meet more stringent key performance indicator (KPIs) in SLAs. Once an issue is detected, service professionals can also use remote service technology gateways to push patches or resolve issues.
  • Secure: Secure access is a core consideration of remote service. Solutions should adhere to compliance guidelines and protect the remote connection between the manufacturer and the customer – ensuring that no data has been stolen and no outsiders have been granted access.
  • Auditable: [ SOX, HIPAA and PCI ] compliance regulations require businesses to keep track of who does what on their network. Auditors require forensic logs to trace the steps of every interaction a remote service technician has with every device.

Other names for remote service software

  • IDM: intelligent device management
  • SSM: strategic service management
  • RDM: remote device management


Remote Service Software – Remote Support Service


T-Mobile US, Inc. is a wireless network operator in the United States and the German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom (DT) is a majority shareholder, through its holding company, T-Mobile International AG. Its headquarters are located in Bellevue, Washington.

T-Mobile US provides wireless voice, messaging, and data services in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands under the T-Mobile, MetroPCS and GoSmart Mobile brands. The company operates the third largest wireless network in the U.S. market with over 58.9 million customers and annual revenues of $29.56 billion. Its nationwide network reaches 96 percent of Americans, through its EDGE 2G/HSPA 3G/HSPA+ 4G/4G LTE networks (see section: Radio frequency spectrum chart). As of 2011, J. D. Power and Associates, a global marketing-information-services firm, ranked the company highest among major wireless carriers for retail-store satisfaction four years consecutively and highest for wireless customer care two years consecutively.

The company traces its roots to the 1994 establishment of VoiceStream Wireless PCS, originally a subsidiary of Western Wireless Corporation. Western Wireless spun off VoiceStream Wireless to shareholders in 1999, creating a public independent company, VoiceStream Wireless Corporation. In July 2002, VoiceStream Wireless Corporation was renamed T-Mobile USA.

After a failed attempt by AT&T in 2011 to purchase the company in a $39 billion stock and cash offer (which was withdrawn after being faced with significant regulatory and legal hurdles, along with heavy resistance from the U.S. government), T-Mobile USA announced its intent to merge with MetroPCS, the sixth largest carrier in the United States, to improve its competitiveness with other national carriers; the deal was approved by the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission in March 2013. On May 1, 2013, the combined company, renamed T-Mobile US, Inc., began trading as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol TMUS.


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T-Mobile US, Inc. traces its roots to the 1994 establishment of VoiceStream Wireless PCS as a subsidiary of Western Wireless Corporation. Spun off from parent Western Wireless on May 3, 1999, VoiceStream Wireless was purchased by Deutsche Telekom AG in 2001 for $35 billion and renamed T-Mobile USA, Inc. in July, 2002.

VoiceStream Wireless

VoiceStream Wireless PCS was established in 1994 as a subsidiary of Western Wireless Corporation to provide digital wireless personal communications services (PCS) in 19 FCC-defined metropolitan service areas in several western and southwestern states. VoiceStream Wireless' digital, urban service areas complemented the analog, rural service areas marketed by Western Wireless under the Cellular One brand.

Western Wireless spun off its VoiceStream Wireless division into a new company called VoiceStream Wireless Corporation in May 1999. VoiceStream Wireless completed mergers with Omnipoint Corporation in February, 2000 and Aerial Communications Inc. in May 2000.

Omnipoint and Aerial acquisitions

In 2000, VoiceStream Wireless acquired two regional GSM carriers. Omnipoint Corporation, a regional network operator in the Northeastern U.S., was acquired on February 25, 2000. Aerial Communications Inc.; a regional network operator in the Columbus, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Pittsburgh and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Orlando markets; was acquired on May 4, 2000. The combined company retired the Omnipoint and Aerial brands and completed integrating the three companies by converting to a single customer billing platform, implementing standard business practices and launching the VoiceStream brand and "GET MORE" marketing strategy in all markets.

Deutsche Telekom acquires VoiceStream and Powertel

On June 1, 2001, Deutsche Telekom (DT) completed the acquisition of VoiceStream Wireless Inc. for $35 billion and Southern U.S. regional GSM network operator Powertel, Inc. for $24 billion. By the end of 2001, VoiceStream Wireless had 19,000 employees serving 7 million subscribers.

In June 2001, VoiceStream Wireless Inc. took the name, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and began rolling out the T-Mobile brand, starting with locations in California and Nevada. T-Mobile USA, Inc. is the U.S. operating entity of T-Mobile International AG, the mobile communications subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG.

SunCom acquisition

On September 17, 2007, the company announced the acquisition of SunCom Wireless Holdings, Inc. for $2.4 billion; the acquisition closed on February 22, 2008. By September 8, 2008, SunCom's operations were integrated with those of the company. The acquisition added SunCom's 1.1 million customers to the company's customer base and expanded the company's network coverage to include southern Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, northeastern Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Attempted acquisition by AT&T

On March 20, 2011, DT accepted a $39 billion stock and cash purchase offer from AT&T for the company. The acquisition was subject to regulatory approvals, a reverse breakup fee in certain circumstances, and customary regulatory and closing conditions.

According to an industry analyst, after the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, T-Mobile began to lose contract customers, who dropped to 78 percent of subscribers in 2010, compared to 85 percent in 2006. Its high churn rate of 3.2 percent, compared to 1.2 percent at Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, and the drop in contract customers made necessary investments in network upgrades and additional spectrum too risky, reinforcing DT's decision to sell.

Randall Stephenson, the chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T, expressed his confidence in the deal being approved based on the benefit to the public of expanding wireless access and relatively robust competition in the wireless market. The Alliance for Digital Equality, the Hispanic Federation, the National Black Chamber of Commerce and California Democratic representatives Loretta Sanchez and Joe Baca all supported the deal. Consumer groups Public Knowledge, Media Access Project, Consumers Union and the Computer & Communication Industry Association opposed the deal. Opposition groups stated numerous concerns with industry consolidation resulting in a reduction in competition and job losses.

If the merger had been completed, AT&T Mobility would have had a customer base of approximately 130 million users, making it the largest wireless carrier in the U.S.

On August 31, 2011, the United States Department of Justice sued to block AT&T's merger with T-Mobile on the grounds that it would "substantially lessen competition" in the wireless market. Further reports indicated that the FCC would likely oppose the merger.

On December 19, 2011, in the face of this heavy resistance from the U.S. government, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson announced that the company had officially withdrawn its $39 billion bid. In an official statement, Stephenson addressed the continuing spectrum shortage (due to a significant increase in wireless demand), hinting that the company will continue to seek other options to solve the shortage in the short term.

Job cuts

On May 16, 2012, T-Mobile USA announced that it was cutting 900 jobs in an effort to preserve cash for further investment into its mobile network. This is in addition to the 1900 job cuts that were announced March 18, 2012, which included the shutdown of several call centers.

Merger with MetroPCS Communications

On October 3, 2012, MetroPCS Communications reached an agreement to merge with T-Mobile USA. MetroPCS shareholders would hold a 26% stake in the merged company, which retained the T-Mobile brand. While the merged company was still the fourth largest carrier in the United States (at the time), the acquisition gave T-Mobile access to more spectrum and financial resources to maintain competitiveness and expand its LTE network. The merger between T-Mobile USA Inc. and MetroPCS was officially approved by MetroPCS shareholders on April 24, 2013. The deal was structured as a reverse takeover; the combined company went public on the New York Stock Exchange as TMUS and became known as T-Mobile US Inc. on May 1, 2013. The merger agreement gave Deutsche Telekom the option to sell its 72% stake in the merged company, valued at around $14.2 billion, to a third-party before the end of the 18-month lock-up period.

Additional wireless spectrum acquisition

On June 28, 2013, T-Mobile agreed to buy wireless spectrum for the Mississippi Valley region from competitor U.S. Cellular for around $308 million, allowing the company to expand its 4G network across a further 29 markets.

On January 6, 2014, T-Mobile signed agreements with Verizon Wireless to purchase some 700 MHz A-Block spectrum licenses for $2.365 billion. Further, a transfer of some AWS and PCS spectrum licenses with a value of $950 million has been agreed upon by T-Mobile and Verizon. The acquisition reportedly will give T-Mobile additional coverage for approximately 158 million people in 9 of the top 10 and 21 of the top 30 US markets.

Attempted acquisition by Sprint

In December 2013, multiple reports indicated that Sprint Corporation and its parent company Softbank were working towards a deal to acquire a majority stake in T-Mobile for at least US$20 billion. The proposed merger, which would result in the country's major national carriers being controlled by only three companies, would further bolster T-Mobile's position in the overall market. Members of the government were skeptical that such an acquisition would be approved by regulators, citing antitrust concerns and an explicit goal by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to maintain four national carriers in the United States. On April 30, 2014, Bloomberg reported that Sprint was in talks with its lenders to ensure that the company would be financially prepared for the bid, now valued at $24 billion and planned for "summer 2014". It was also reported that due to his success within the company, current T-Mobile CEO John Legere was the top contender to be named CEO of a merged Sprint/T-Mobile, and that Sprint had insisted on a low termination fee to prevent regulators from being given an incentive to block the deal, as had occurred with AT&T's failed attempt to purchase T-Mobile.

On August 1, 2014, Xavier Niel's Iliad SA publicly announced a US$16 billion all-cash counter-bid to acquire a 56% stake in T-Mobile US, which would be funded using equity and debt. Iliad is the parent company of French carrier Free Mobile, which had—similarly to T-Mobile, performed disruptive business moves to undercut its competitors, triggering a "price war" among them upon its launch in 2012. Credit Suisse analysts felt that the bid would not be "attractive" to the company's current shareholders due to its lower value in comparison to Sprint's bid, but could "put pressure on Sprint to move sooner rather [than] later."

On August 4, 2014, Bloomberg reported that Sprint had abandoned its bid to acquire T-Mobile, considering the unlikelihood that such a deal would be approved by the U.S. government and its regulators.

Wireless networks

The company owns licenses to operate a cellular communications network in the 1900 MHz (PCS) and 1700 MHz (AWS) bands with coverage in many parts of the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as licenses in the 700Mhz (block A) band available in certain parts of the country. With respect to technology, depending on the location, in the 1900Mhz band it deploys GSM, UMTS/HSPA+, and/or LTE (B2); in the 1700Mhz band it deploys UMTS/HSPA+ and/or LTE (B4); and LTE (B12) only in the 700A band. Its LTE network also supports VoLTE. It provides coverage in areas where it does not own radio frequency spectrum licenses via roaming agreements with other operators of compatible networks.

Cellular network

The company's predecessor, VoiceStream Wireless, began building a regional, 2G, 1900 MHz GSM, circuit switched, digital cellular network in 1994 and first offered service in 1996 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Salt Lake City, Utah. From that starting point, the network has expanded in size through acquisitions of other cellular-network operators and additional spectrum purchases. The network has expanded in capabilities through the introduction of new technologies. VoiceStream upgraded the 1900 MHz network to include packet switching via General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), then increased packet switched data transmission speeds via Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE). In 2006, the company spent $4.2 billion to purchase 120 D, E or F block 1700 MHz AWS licenses and began rolling out 3G UMTS services in those frequency bands. Most recently, the company has been upgrading network equipment and back-haul capabilities to enable first HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), then HSPA+ (Evolved HSPA) services in the AWS bands. It is marketing its HSPA+ services as 4G.

As of 2010, the company's network reached over 293 million potential subscribers. (96% of the US.)

Packet-switched data upgrade

Packet-switched data service first became available to users in the form of General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). Packet-switched data speeds increased when Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) was incorporated into the network. EDGE coverage was available within at least forty percent of the GSM footprint.

Both voice capacity and packet-switched data speeds improved when 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) equipment was installed in the network. On January 5, 2010, the company announced that it has upgraded its entire 3G network to HSPA 7.2 Mbit/s, an improvement from its previous peak of 3.6 Mbit/s. It also said that it plans to be the first U.S. carrier to deploy HSPA+ across its network by mid-2010. The company has finished HSPA+ trials in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has begun deploying HSPA+ across its network.

3G upgrade

In September 2006, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auctioned licenses in the first Advanced Wireless Services band. This band was an area of wireless spectrum, half in the 1700 MHz (1.7 GHz) and half in the 2100 MHz (2.1 GHz) frequencies, that was already in use by government services. The spectrum was planned to become available after the government users migrated to different frequencies.

The auction made numerous licenses available in overlapping market-areas, economic-areas, and regional levels. Each license was individually bid upon, and T-Mobile USA was the winner in 120 license auctions, at an aggregate price of $4.18 billion. As part of its winnings, T-Mobile USA gained nationwide coverage of 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz, with numerous areas being supplemented with additional licenses. Examples include New York City, Chicago, and Boston where T-Mobile USA acquired one-third (33 percent) of the available spectrum, or San Francisco, Houston, and Miami where they acquired 45 percent of the available spectrum.

October 6, 2006, two weeks after confirming its winning bids, the company announced its intentions to create a UMTS third-generation, or 3G, cellular network with the spectrum it had won. It said it would utilize and build on the experience of T-Mobile International's European subsidiaries, which already implemented 3G networks. At the time of initial roll-out, the company intended to offer 7.2 Mbit/s service, making the company's 3G network the fastest in the U.S. The upgrade was forecast to cost $2.6 billion, in addition to the $4.12 billion spent to acquire the spectrum licenses.

In the same announcement, the company indicated it had already begun to deploy about half of the upgraded equipment, beginning in major markets such as New York City. With the equipment in place, it would be able to activate its network as soon as the government agencies vacated the spectrum. The company had hoped to have its network activated by mid-2007, but as of September 2007, the government users had not vacated the AWS band.

The company began selling its first 3G-capable phone, the Nokia 6263, in November 2007 and announced in February 2008 that its 3G network would finally be activated "within the next few months". and released in the New York City market on May 1, 2008.

To date, the company has launched its 3G network in most of its top markets. They plan to launch in additional markets as they are tuned for optimal performance, and in conjunction with marketing programs for new services and handsets. In 2009, the company upgraded more than 200 markets, covering some 208 million points of presence (POPS).

HSPA/HSPA+ upgrade

The company has begun rolling out its HSPA+ capabilities throughout its cellular network, planning to complete an upgrade of the entire network by the end of 2010, covering 185 million potential subscribers. On September 2, 2009, Nokia launched the N900, which was the first device to support the upgraded HSPA+ network.

On June 28, 2010, the company announced that it would begin to upgrade the network from HSPA+ 21 to HSPA+ 42 beginning sometime in 2011. T-Mobile is marketing its HSPA+ services as 4G.

4G LTE upgrade

On February 23, 2012, during the Q4 Earnings Call, T-Mobile laid out the future of their 4G upgrade path. They will roll out the LTE network on the AWS spectrum, and transition their HSPA+ network to the PCS band. To achieve compatibility with other networks and phones in the USA, T-Mobile began this transition in March 2013, and the rollout of LTE is currently underway as T-Mobile expands to more markets. Due to the failed acquisition of T-Mobile USA by AT&T, T-Mobile USA received additional UMTS frequency band IV (AWS) spectrum. On March 26, 2013, T-Mobile began rolling out LTE in 7 markets: Baltimore, San Jose, Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Houston. T-Mobile is continuing to push forward its HSPA+ 42 network as well, alongside implementing LTE into its nationwide network.

On August 21, 2012, the FCC approved a deal between T-Mobile and Verizon in which T-Mobile gains additional AWS spectrum licenses in 125 Cellular Market Areas.

On February 25, 2014, T-Mobile announced in their Q4 2013 earnings call that their 4G LTE network covers 209 million people in 273 metro areas. They also plan to start rolling out their 700 MHz A-Block spectrum by the end of 2014, which by the end of the roll out will cover 158 million people. This spectrum will lead to improved LTE coverage overall in these areas, particularly indoors.

On March 13, 2014, T-Mobile announced a new plan to upgrade its entire 2G/EDGE network to 4G LTE. They expect 50% to be done by the end of 2014, and it to be "substantially complete" by the middle of 2015.

On December 16, 2014, T-Mobile announced during CEO John Legere's Un-carrier 8.0 interview that their 4G LTE network covered 260 million people and their 700 MHz Band 12 LTE had been rolled out in Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. They expected to cover 280 million with LTE by mid-2015 and 300 million by the end of 2015. They also stated that they covered 121 metro areas with their Wideband LTE.


T-Mobile has roaming arrangements with a number of regional mobile network operators, including Centennial Wireless (a subsidiary of AT&T Mobility), Dobson Cellular (a subsidiary of AT&T Mobility), and Rural Cellular Corporation (a subsidiary of Verizon Wireless) and with the national mobile network operators AT&T Mobility and the former Alltel Corporation (a subsidiary of Verizon Wireless) GSM network. These carriers predominately provided service using the GSM 850 MHz band, and a dual-band phone is required to use both the native and affiliate networks. When roaming on these affiliated networks, airtime is deducted from the user's plan, effectively expanding T-Mobile US's nationwide coverage.

As of 2008, prepaid customers have almost all of the postpaid domestic roaming privileges and restricted international roaming to Canada and Mexico.

On June 29, 2010, the company launched voice service in the Gulf of Mexico on GSM via roaming agreement through Broadpoint. T-Mobile USA was scheduled to launch data service in Fall 2010.

In 2009, T-Mobile USA began removing AT&T Mobility roaming coverage in many locations across the country, and updated its on-line coverage maps to reflect the smaller coverage area. AT&T Mobility roaming remains available in select locations, primarily on smaller carriers that were acquired by AT&T Mobility after long term roaming contracts were in place between T-Mobile and the smaller carriers, including Centennial Wireless and Edge Wireless.

On October 9, 2013, T-Mobile announced Simple Global, a service included with eligible Simple Choice plans. This service allows one to roam in over 100 countries with unlimited text and speed-limited data, and make calls at $0.20/minute. High-speed data passes will be available for purchase. On March 7, 2014, T-Mobile announced this number will be increasing to 122 countries. If one is connected to WiFi in one of these countries, and their phone supports WiFi calling, all calls to and from the USA are free, and texting works the same it would on cellular.

On July 15, 2015, T-Mobile announced Mobile Without Borders, a service included with all new T-Mobile plans and available as an add-on to grandfathered or promotional plans for $10. This service allows the user to use their normal voice, text message, and data allotments while roaming in Mexico and Canada. Most T-Mobile services are available while roaming, with the notable exception of using the data in one's Data Stash.

Radio frequency spectrum chart

The following chart describes radio frequency spectrum bands accessible by the company's customers using compatible GSM-based devices.

GSM Network
CDMA network (MetroPCS)

The following table lists bands formerly accessible by MetroPCS CDMA phones. T-Mobile has discontinued selling CDMA phones through any channel. Starting from June 2013, T-Mobile sells MetroPCS branded GSM phones that access the network above. T-Mobile has shut down the CDMA network and integrated LTE networks on June 21, 2015. As of early 2015, 92% of MetroPCS subscribers had migrated to GSM devices, and the shutdown of the CDMA network in markets such as Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas and Sacramento started in July 2014.

T-Mobile HotSpots

T-Mobile has used the term "Hotspot" to represent various products and technologies.

Wi-Fi network (public)

The company operates a nationwide Wi-Fi Internet access network under the T-Mobile HotSpots brand. The T-Mobile HotSpots network consists of thousands of Wi-Fi access points installed in businesses, hotels and airports throughout the U.S.

The T-Mobile HotSpot service offers access to a nationwide network of approximately 8,350 access points, installed in venues such as Starbucks coffeehouses, FedEx Office Office and Print Centers, Hyatt hotels and resorts, Red Roof Inns, Sofitel hotels, Novotel hotels, the airline clubs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways, and airports.

The T-Mobile HotSpots network can be traced to the company's 2002 purchase of bankrupt wireless ISP MobileStar, which began building its network in 1998. After completing the purchase, the company expanded the network into 400 Borders bookstores, as well as 100 of the most-frequented airport clubs and lounges operated by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

Wi-Fi network (private)

T-Mobile has also used the term to describe Wi-Fi Access Points that it sold to end users to expand their cell phone network to phones equipped to also receive Wi-Fi using a VOIP-like technology. (The models included at least two by Linksys: the WRTU54G-TM and the WRT54G-TM and one by D-Link: the TM-G5240.)

T-Mobile products and services

The "Un-carrier"

In March 2013, T-Mobile introduced a new streamlined plan structure for new customers as part of an initiative called Un-carrier, which drops contracts, subsidized phones, overage fees for data, and early termination fees.

Simple Choice (Un-carrier 1.0)

The contract-free Simple Choice Plan offers unlimited calling and text messaging and 500MB of unthrottled data monthly for a base price of $50. The data can be upgraded to 2.5 GB or unlimited for an extra monthly fee. In March 2014, these amounts were changed to 1 GB free or 3 GB, 5 GB or unlimited upgrade, for the same $50 per month. Under the arrangement, customers pay a portion of their device's price up-front, and pay off the remainder through monthly payments for two years. The cost of that monthly payment depends on the device. The customer fully owns the phone and no longer makes any future payments once they have completed paying off their phone. A second line costs $30 extra, while any additional line beyond this costs $10 extra (before extra data) Family plans begin at $80. There is also a prepaid plan that gives 100 minutes of calling, unlimited text, and 5GB of data up to 4G (HSPA+ and/or LTE) speeds for $30 a month.

Value-added services (Un-carrier 2.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and Amped 2.0)

On July 10, 2013, T-Mobile introduced Jump as their second phase of the "Un-carrier", a new add-on for its monthly plans which allows customers to upgrade their phone up to two times per year, by trading in their phone to purchase a new one at the same price as a new customer. T-Mobile users with Jump! as of Feb 14th are no longer required to wait 6 months for the first upgrade. AT&T and Verizon require that customers wait 2 years before they can upgrade their phone.

On June 18, 2014, T-Mobile also announced that data used on certain streaming music services would no longer count to users data limits. At the time of the announcement, these services include: Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, Google Play Music, iTunes Radio, Slacker, Milk Music, Beatport, and iHeartRadio. In addition, users are also able to vote for more music services to be selected for inclusion into this program. T-Mobile has partnered with Rhapsody to offer "UnRadio," a streaming radio service with unlimited skips, no ads, and offline playback. The service will be free to unlimited T-Mobile customers, and will be available to all others for a nominal fee, which varies between T-Mobile and non-T-Mobile customers. On November 24, 2014 this was expanded to add an additional 14 music services.

On September 10, 2014, T-Mobile announced an agreement with Gogo Inflight Internet to provide free text messages and visual voicemail to T-Mobile customers on Gogo-equipped U.S. flights. Second, all customers were made eligible to upgrade to a device that supports Wi-Fi Calling. Third, the T-Mobile Personal CellSpot home router allows users to make calls from their home using their broadband connection.

On December 16, 2014, T-Mobile announced "Data Stash", which lets users carry over unused high-speed data usage for up to one year. The feature applies to customers of eligible post-paid plans who purchase qualifying amounts of additional high-speed data.

On March 16, 2015, T-Mobile announced that Data Stash would be extended to Simple Choice prepaid customers.

On June 27, 2015 T-Mobile announced the JUMP! On Demand program which permits three upgrades per year instead of the two offered by the original JUMP!, and it dropped the $10/month fee for the original JUMP! plan.

Roaming (Un-carrier 3.0 and Amped)

On October 9, 2013, T-Mobile introduced their third phase of the "Un-carrier", which was the introduction of basically free international roaming. See section Roaming for more information.

On October 23, 2013, T-Mobile announced a Un-carried 3.5 promo offer, which gave customers 200MB of free data for their tablets. They also announced $0 down for most tablets, including the newly to them arrived iPads.

On July 9, 2015, T-Mobile launched Mobile Without Borders to offer high speed data roaming while in Canada and Mexico at no additional cost, in addition to providing unlimited talk and text roaming in these countries via Simple Global. The domestic high speed allowance is used while roaming, after which slower speeds or deprioritization may apply. Furthermore, calls and texts to Canada and Mexico from the U.S. carry no extra fee.

Incentives for new customers (Un-carrier 4.0 and 5.0)

On January 8, 2014, T-Mobile announced its Un-carrier 4.0, which gave customers the chance to "Get Out Of Jail Free". T-Mobile is offering to pay ETFs, up to $375 per line, when one trades in current devices.

On June 18, 2014, T-Mobile announced that they would give users iPhone 5Ss to test out T-Mobile's network for a week. This offer is limited to once per household per year. Apple is providing T-Mobile with free iPhones for this promotion.

Un-carrier for Business (Un-carrier 9.0)

On March 18, 2015, T-Mobile announced their new business initiatives, including simplified pricing, a special 24/7 business support team, and extending existing un-carrier benefits (global roaming, WiFi calling and texting for compatible devices, free in-flight texting, etc.) to business lines. Families of employees can also receive discounts through this program.

T-Mobile also emphasized a dramatic coverage expansion initiative for 2015, planning to reach an additional 1 million square miles of native coverage in the lower 48 states, and expanded their "Contract Freedom" (now called "Carrier Freedom") promotion to cover device and lease payoffs.

T-Mobile additionally announced that its customers' prices they pay are good forever, as long as they keep service on their lines, including if they utilize promotional pricing.

Former (Un-carrier 4.5)

On April 9, 2014, T-Mobile released their first of three parts to their "Un-carrier 4.5" initiative. This was a new, low-cost called "Simple Starter". Like "Simple Choice", it includes unlimited talk and text. The main difference is that "Simple Starter" only included 500 MB of data, after which Internet access was disabled until the next billing cycle or until more access was purchased. Other "Simple Choice" features, such as Simple Global and Music Unleashed, are unavailable on "Simple Starter". This plan was later replaced by a slightly pricier variant, featuring 2 GB of Internet access instead of 500 MB. "Simple Starter" has since been discontinued for new customers.

On April 10, 2014, T-Mobile released their second part of the "Un-carrier 4.5" initiative, specifically for tablets. This included a promotion that, for a limited time, sold tablets with built-in 4G LTE modems at the same price as a tablet without said modem. The initiative also included the ETF payoff program extending to tablet customers. The final part was a promotional price for mobile Internet.

On April 14, 2014, T-Mobile announced their final part to their "Un-carrier 4.5" initiative. T-Mobile abolished overages for all T-Mobile customers on all plans, current and grandfathered. CEO John Legere also started a petition to other carriers to do the same.

Capping unlimited data users

On August 31, 2015, T-Mobile announced it will ask users who abuse its unlimited on-smartphone data plan by violating T-Mobile's Terms & Conditions regarding tethering (which like unlimited on-smartphone data, remains unlimited, however, offers a 5-7 GB high speed allotment before throttling takes effect), by permanently removing user access to unlimited plans and migrating users to a tiered data plan. By doing so, all plans after a selecteamount of inclusive high-speed data, result in automatic thottled speeds, preventing unlimited high-speed tethering use and abuse of the network. T-Mobile stated that there are a small handful of users who abuse the tethering plan by altering device software and/or the use of an Android app that masks T-Mobile's ability monitoring whether data is on-smartphone, or through smartphone mobile hotspot (tethering) by mimicking all data as on-smartphone use, with some customers abusing the service by using as much as 2 TB's per month, causing speed issues for all other customers.

InReach program

The InReach program provides a free cell phone and a limited number of voice minutes each month for low-income-eligible families (one per family) who do not use Lifeline services offered by any other phone or wireless company. It is funded through the Universal Service Fund, but is only operational in a limited number of states and Puerto Rico.


MetroPCS was taken over by T-Mobile in 2013, the new company formed T-Mobile US and currently continues to offer prepaid wireless services under the MetroPCS brand.

GoSmart Mobile

GoSmart Mobile is a T-Mobile US subsidiary brand service that launched in Beta on December 7, 2012, and became officially available nationwide on February 19, 2013. GoSmart offers no-contract SIM wireless services.

Phones and SIMs

  • GoSmart Mobile SIM kit
  • Alcatel OT 838
  • ZTE V768

Authorized Dealers

GoSmart Mobile sources its services to dealers who work as independent contractors under their own company name. Such sellers are known as "Authorized Dealers" with either physical or online stores.

Banking Cards

On January 22, 2014, T-Mobile announced that it would expand its products into banking. T-Mobile would provide Visa card with banking features and a smartphone money management application with reduced-fee or zero-cost services for T-Mobile wireless customers. In addition, customers would have access to over 42,000 ATMs with no fees.

Customer service


From as early as 2004, the company has captured multiple J. D. Power annual awards in the areas of retail sales satisfaction, wireless customer care, and overall customer satisfaction. In 2011, J. D. Power and Associates stated that T-Mobile retail stores achieved the highest ratings among major wireless carriers for customer satisfaction for the fourth consecutive year, performing particularly well in price and promotions. Also in 2011, J. D. Power and Associates ranked T-Mobile USA highest among major providers in wireless customer care for the second consecutive year.


Sidekick data outage

On October 1, 2009, Sidekick users lost all data functionality and some users also experienced personal data loss including contacts, notes, and calendars. On October 8, most data services were restored to some users but the company and Microsoft announced on October 10 that data "almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger." On October 15, Microsoft said it had been able to recover most or all data and would begin to restore it. A few weeks later, all Sidekick customers were able to recover their data via Danger's sync website using a restore file, or had the option to wait until data was restored to the device itself. Due to this outage, many users abandoned the Sidekick for another device, or left T-Mobile USA for another carrier entirely.

Network outage

On November 9, 2009, the company's subscribers lost the ability to send and receive calls and text messages. The company confirmed the outage via Twitter and later stated that five percent of its user base had been affected. It blamed a software error for the service interruption, stating that a backend system software error had generated abnormal congestion on the network. The root cause was determined and steps were taken to update a patch on the backend as a permanent resolution.

On February 13 and March 25, 2015; T-Mobile suffered LTE outages along the east coast causing users to lose data connections.


Jamie Lee Curtis was the spokesperson for T-Mobile USA's predecessor, VoiceStream Wireless, since 1998. VoiceStream's advertising slogan was: "Get more from life". During the transition to the T-Mobile brand, Jamie Lee Curtis continued as spokesperson for a short time and the slogan was changed to "T-Mobile. Get More."

Starting in 2002, the company's spokesperson was Catherine Zeta-Jones who was the main figure in its branding strategy. As of September 2006, Zeta-Jones had officially been dropped as the "face" of the company for its advertising campaigns due to a corporate rebranding strategy. The company also relied on rapper Snoop Dogg as the spokesperson for its T-Mobile Sidekick in a series of commercials late in 2004, the company also released a series of Sidekick phones known as the D-Wade Edition for basketball player Dwyane Wade.

The company is also an official sponsor of the Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the NBA Rookie Challenge and the Women's National Basketball Association.

In 2009, it changed its approach to advertising, and moved from the "Get More" slogan to a "Stick Together" slogan to focus more on the personal aspect of staying together with those who matter the most to its customers. The slogan was also meant to promote its MyFaves calling-circle plan. With this the company also ended its relationship with Zeta-Jones, and now use mainly non-celebrity spokespeople (though Dwyane Wade, Charles Barkley, and Dwight Howard are featured in some commercials, in association with the company's sponsorship of the NBA as official wireless provider).

In late May 2009, Zeta-Jones was brought back as a company spokesperson to show customers how to pay less for their wireless plan in a new "Mobile Makeovers" advertising campaign that refers customer to third-party comparison site

In late 2009, commercials for the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G featured the song "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out" by Cat Stevens and celebrities such as Chevy Chase, Molly Shannon, Dana Carvey and Darrell Hammond. Another commercial with the same song performed by a different artist showed Wyclef Jean, Avril Lavigne and Brad Paisley.

Carly Foulkes is the spokeswoman for the myTouch 4G in commercials that parody the Get a Mac campaign. The model is known for Rugby Ralph Lauren ads. Although Foulkes is often identified with the color pink, T-Mobile actually has a color trademark for the color magenta, and markets itself using its corporate colors. Virgin Mobile has, in turn, parodied the Carly Foulkes ads.

In September 2010, the company launched "Kids are free till 2012" for family lines.

On December 1, 2011, a group of 100 Chicago-area women, along with Carly Foulkes, were featured in a flash-mob style performance at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, where the group, dressed in magenta dresses, sang and danced through the mall's atrium to their cover of (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays. The performance was filmed and edited into a holiday commercial, which was a success.

Labor relations

T-Mobile US employees and two labor unions have led multiple unionization attempts beginning as early as 2001.

Formation of TU

Hundreds of T-Mobile employees, with the backing of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the German union ver.di, have joined together as TU to gain representation at T-Mobile. In July, 2011, technicians in Connecticut, voted for representation by the Communications Workers of America-TU. On September 25, 2013, MetroPCS workers in Harlem, NY, voted for a union voice and representation by CWA-TU.

2009 coordinated organizing effort

In 2008, the CWA and ver.di launched a coordinated effort to unionize company employees. A spokesman for the CWA called on the company to stop resisting mobilization efforts and allow company employees to unionize as German employees of T-Mobile USA's parent company, DT, have done. In response, the company released an employee satisfaction study showing that more than seventy percent of the company's 40,000 workers were "very satisfied" with their jobs. Through a spokesman, the company stated, "Despite the Communication Workers of America's periodic organizing efforts for more than nine years, no group of T-Mobile employees has ever chosen to be represented by a union. While our company is always striving to find ways to improve, year after year, employees continue to view T-Mobile as a good place to work where they have no need for, or interest in, a union."

Political pressure

In 2009, a number of politicians, in one case acting after lobbying efforts by CWA union activists, wrote letters to René Obermann, DT's chief executive officer, in an effort to influence T-Mobile USA's labor practices in the U.S.

In a March 13, 2009, letter, U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) asked "why the company's approach to labor rights are different in Germany than in the United States". In an April 30, 2010, letter sent after lobbying by Communications Workers of America activists, 26 Democratic members of Congress called on DT to protect and respect workers' rights in the U.S. A separate July 1, 2010, letter from seven Republicans addressed the same issue. On August 10, 2010, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released a statement in support of the worker's efforts to organize a union at the company. In a letter, dated September 21, 2010, fifteen Californian Members of Congress urged Obermann to take action and implement fair and equitable labor relations.

In a November 5, 2009, letter, Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller and Trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, stated concerns about "the potential impact on the value of T-Mobile that may result from a disenfranchised workforce and the associated negative publicity that may impact T-Mobile's profitability."


On December 9, 2009, the non-profit organization American Rights at Work published a report written by Prof. John Logan, Director of Labor Studies at San Francisco State University, titled "Lowering the Bar or Setting the Standard? Deutsche Telekom's U.S. Labor Practices". The report details behavior by the company that the author perceives as anti-union including dissemination of anti-union materials, intimidation and threats directed at pro-union workers, "captive audience meetings" and the retention of anti-union specialists. In the report, which is based on documents from the National Labor Relations Board, internal company memos and handbooks, and interviews with workers, Logan asserts that the company engaged in a systematic campaign to prevent employees from forming a union and that DT was guilty of operating by a double standard. He claims that Deutsche Telekom respects workers' rights in Germany, where it cooperates closely with unions, but mistreats workers in the United States and interferes with their right to organize.

On September 2, 2010, Human Rights Watch released a report written by Lance Compa titled "A Strange Case: Violations of Workers' Freedom of Association in the United States by European Multinational Corporations". The report concludes that "company policy has translated into practices that leave the workforce fearful about even seeking union representation." DT proclaims its adherence to international labor law and standards that are embodied in German domestic laws. But HRW found that "T-Mobile USA's harsh opposition to workers' freedom of association in the United States betrays Deutsche Telekom's purported commitment to social responsibility, impedes constructive dialogue with employee representatives, and in several cases, has violated ILO and OECD labor and human rights standards".

Workplace activities

At the company's Allentown, Pennsylvania, call center, security guards were ordered by company managers to write up incident reports whenever union supporters appeared on nearby public grounds and to record the license plate numbers of employees who stopped to take leaflets. In 2006, the National Labor Relations Board found that these activities violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act.

In 2008, company management in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest Retail Divisions sent a memorandum to store managers instructing them to immediately report any union activity to their supervisors. Human Rights Watch states, "The NLRB has long held that such activity interferes with, restrains, and coerces employees in the exercise of Section 7 rights in violation of workers' right to freedom of association."

Information Security

Nicolas Jacobsen was charged with intruding into the company's internal network in January 2005. Reports indicated that for about a year Jacobsen had access to customer passwords, e-mail, address books, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and Sidekick photos. Affected customers included members of the United States Secret Service. Secret Service informant identified Jacobsen as part of "Operation Firewall" which provided evidence that Jacobsen had attempted to sell customer information to others for identity theft. T-Mobile USA and the Secret Service did not elaborate on the methods Jacobsen used to gain access but sources close to the case indicated that Jacobsen exploited an unpatched flaw in the Oracle WebLogic Server application software used by the company. Additional SQL injection vulnerabilities with the company's web site were reported by Jack Koziol of the InfoSec Institute.

T-Mobile offers access to voice mail without the input of a password by default. Parties acting in bad faith may be able to access such voice mailboxes via Caller ID spoofing. To avoid this possibility, T-Mobile recommends that all customers password protect their mailboxes, but still offers the no password configuration by default due to customer demand.

On June 6, 2009, a message posted from an email account "" to the Full Disclosure mailing list claimed that the company's network had been breached and showed sample data. The sender offered "databases, confidential documents, scripts and programs from their servers, financial documents up to 2009" to the highest bidder. On June 9, the company issued a statement confirming the breach but stating that customer data was safe. It claimed to have identified the source document for the sample data and believe it was not obtained by hacking. A later statement claimed that there was not any evidence of a breach.

Privacy and surveillance

T-Mobile USA received a portion of the 1.3 million largely warrantless law enforcement requests for subscriber information (including text messages and phone location data) made in 2011, but refused to state how many requests it received. It did say that in the last decade, the number of requests have increased by 12 to 16 percent annually.

Data retention policies

According to T-Mobile's privacy policy highlights, "Retention and Disposal", information is retained for as long as there is business or tax need or as applicable laws, regulations, or government orders require. T-Mobile notes that it disposes of Personal Information, uses reasonable procedures designed to erase or render it unreadable (for example, shredding documents and wiping electronic media).

In 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a document entitled, "Retention Periods of Major Cellular Providers," to advise law enforcement agents seeking to obtain cell phone records. This document was uncovered by the ACLU's coordinated records request on cell phone location tracking by police. Notably, the document showed that T-Mobile subscriber information was retained for 5 years and call detail records were kept for 2 years (prepaid) and 5 years (postpaid).

In 2013, Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey revealed responses from the top four U.S. wireless providers as well as U.S. Cellular, C Spire, and Cricket/Leap Wireless, to his inquiry regarding user information disclosed to law enforcement officials. The following was T-Mobile's response regarding data retention: T-Mobile US retains customers' historic cell site information and cell tower dump information (180 days); call details records (7–10 years); text message content, data requests, and geo-location data not stored; voicemail content (up to 21 days); subscriber information (6 years after account is closed).

Comparing the 2010 DOJ memo released by the ACLU and Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey's 2013 wireless data retention disclosures, it should be noted that T-Mobile increased the retention period for subscriber information from 5 years to 6 years. T-Mobile also increased its call detail record retention from 2 years (prepaid) and 5 years (postpaid) to 7–10 years.

See also

  • MetroPCS, a T-Mobile US brand
  • Lycamobile, an MVNO based on T-Mobile in the US.
  • NET10 Wireless, an MVNO based on T-Mobile and other carriers in the US.
  • Simple Mobile, an MVNO based on T-Mobile in the US.
  • List of companies based in Bellevue, Washington
  • List of United States wireless communications service providers


External links

Official websites

  •, T-Mobile US, company's official website
  •, Deutsche Telekom AG homepage Parent company
  •, MetroPCS's official website
  •, GoSmart Mobile's official website

Business Data

  • T-Mobile US at Google Finance
  • T-Mobile US at Yahoo Finance
  • T-Mobile US at Reuters
  • T-Mobile US SEC Filing at Securities and Exchange Commission

T-Mobile US – T Mobile Business Customer Service Phone Number


A video hosting service allows individuals to upload and share personal, business or royalty-free videos and to watch them legally. Users generally will upload via the hosting service's website, mobile or desktop applications or APIs. The type of video content uploaded can be anything from short video clips all the way to full length movies. The video host will then store the video on its server, and show the individual different types of embed codes or links to allow others to view this video. The website, mainly used as the video hosting website, is usually called the video sharing website


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With the increasing prevalence of technology and the Internet in everyday life, video hosting services serve as a portal to different forms of entertainment, whether it be comedy, shows, games, or music. Content may be either both user-generated or commercial product. The entertainment industry now uses this medium to release music and videos as well as movies and television shows directly to the public. Since many users do not have unlimited web space, either as a paid service, or through an ISP offering, video hosting services are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the explosion in popularity of blogs, internet forums, and other interactive pages.

The mass market for camera phones has increased the supply of user-generated video. Traditional methods of personal video distribution, such as making a DVD to show to friends at home, are unsuited to the low resolution and high volume of camera phone clips. In contrast, current broadband Internet connections are well suited to serving the quality of video shot on mobile phones. Most people do not own web servers, and this has created demand for user-generated video content hosting.

Purpose of video hosts (for users)

  • Save on bandwidth and hosting costs, often eliminating costs entirely.
  • Creating a common place
  • Make a hassle-free experience, where uploading a video and streaming or embedding would normally require advanced programming knowledge. It is now commonly achieved through a web browser, with little programming experience.

History of video hosting services

Before Vimeo and then YouTube changed the way videos were hosted on the web, the first internet video hosting site was Just like the modern hosting services, it allowed users to upload clips or full videos in different file formats. It was founded in 1997 by Chase Norlin and it ran till 2001 where it closed due to budget and bandwidth problems.

Free video format support

Some web sites prefer to use open video formats such as Ogg or WebM. See also VP8 and HTML5-TV and free video software. In particular, the Wikipedia community advocates the Ogg format and some web sites now support searching specifically for WebM videos.

Copyright issues

On some web sites, users share entire films by breaking them up into segments that are about the size of the video length limit imposed by the site (e.g. a 15 minute video length limit). An emerging practice is for users to obfuscate the titles of feature-length films that they share by providing a title that is recognizable by humans but will not match on standard search engines. It is not even in all cases obvious to the user if a provided video is a copyright infringement.

Mobile video hosting

A more recent application of the video hosting services is in the mobile web 2.0 arena, where video and other mobile content can be delivered to, and easily accessed by mobile devices. While some video-hosting services like DaCast and Ustream have developed means by which video can be watched on mobile devices, mobile-oriented web-based frontends for video hosting services that possess equal access and capability to desktop oriented web services have yet to be developed. A mobile live streaming software called Qik allows the users to upload videos from their cell phones to the internet. The videos will then be stored online and can be shared to various social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Videos will be stored on the servers and can be watched from both the mobile devices and the website.

See also

  • List of video hosting services
  • Comparison of video hosting services
  • Flash Video
  • Streaming media


Video Hosting Service – Cloud Video Hosting


SureWest is an American telecommunications company based in Roseville, California, serving the Greater Sacramento Valley and Kansas City region markets.


Consolidated Communications To Acquire SureWest Communications - KCRA 3 money expert Kelly Brothers has the latest business news.

SureWest was founded in 1914 by William Doyle as the Roseville Telephone Company – SureWest became the official name in 2003.

By late 2000, SureWest's territory had grown to serve (incumbent local exchange carrier) the California areas of Roseville, Citrus Heights, Granite Bay, Rocklin and Anteloupe. With the purchase of the bankrupt WINfirst in 2002, service was extended and has continued to grow in (competitive local exchange carrier) the California areas of Sacramento, Carmichael, Elk Grove and Lincoln.

Services provided are telephone, voice over IP, DSL (15 Mbit/s/1 Mbit/s, 10 Mbit/s/768 kbit/s, 6 Mbit/s/768 kbit/s, 3 Mbit/s/768 kbit/s, 1 Mbit/s/128 kbit/s), FTTH for competitive local exchange carrier areas up to 50 Mbit/s data both ways, IPTV in HD for copper customers with a bonded DSL modem, and IPTV in HD for FTTH customers.

In May 2004, SureWest Telephone introduced new "unlimited" calling plans for residential and small business customers, which offered significant savings when services are bundled with any combination of high-speed Internet, digital television, and wireless service.

On December 6, 2007, SureWest acquired Everest Communications in Kansas and Missouri. Following the acquisition, SureWest had a presence in California, Kansas and Missouri.

On January 22, 2008, SureWest announced the sale of its wireless network assets and spectrum licenses to Verizon Wireless. The sale closed in the second quarter of 2008.

On April 6, 2009, SureWest launched a weekly 30-minute youth and high school sports program that can be viewed on SureWest digital television and online.

On February 5, 2012, SureWest was acquired by Consolidated Communications for $23 per share in a combination of cash and stock, a 47% premium above Friday's close. Including net debt, that put the total purchase price at about $535 million: $340 million plus $195 million. Consolidated arranged financing of $350 million through Morgan Stanley for the cash portion plus the refinancing of SureWest's debt.

In early 2014, SureWest officially took on the Consolidated Communications name, encouraging consumers to call it "CCI".

See also

  • List of California companies
  • List of United States telephone companies


External links

  • My Surewest
  • SureWest Communications
  • SureWest Sports Show
  • History of Surewest article in Roseville Press-Tribune

SureWest – Surewest Phone Service

Traffic pumping, also known as access stimulation, is a controversial practice by which some local exchange telephone carriers in rural areas of the United States inflate the volume of incoming calls to their networks, and profit from the greatly increased intercarrier compensation fees to which they are entitled by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

As of March 2010, traffic pumping is the subject of an ongoing legal and regulatory dispute involving AT&T, Google Voice, rural phone carriers, and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

How it works

SIPPulse TFPS: IP Telephony Fraud Protection System - SIPPulse TFPS is designed to address one of the fastest growing fraud mechanism over telephony systems: Traffic pumping over Premium Rate Numbers.

Under the regulatory mechanisms of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, wireless, and long distance carriers (such as AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon) pay access fees to local exchange carriers (LECs) for calls to those carriers' local subscribers. Rural carriers are allowed by the FCC to charge substantially higher access fees (as high as 10-20 cents/minute) than carriers in more urban areas, based on the rationale that they must pay for substantial fixed infrastructure costs while handling lower call volume.

In order to increase their incoming call volume, and thereby fees owed, rural carriers partner with certain telephone service providers to route their calls through the rural carrier. These services typically include phone sex and conference call providers, which expect a high volume of incoming calls. Notably, these service providers do not need to establish a physical, local presence in order to route their calls in this way. As a consequence of this arrangement, the rural carriers can receive millions of dollars of fees, which they then share with the ostensibly "local" service providers, who are responsible for vastly increasing call volume above typical rural usage.

Payment for inbound long distance calls to small rural telephone companies is normally handled through a shared pool, the National Exchange Carrier Association (“NECA”). Individual telcos are free to opt out of this process. For the first two years, they are then free to bill interexchange carriers directly at an initially-high rural rate of five to thirteen cents a minute. After two years the carrier either rejoins the NECA pool, provides evidence to support continuing to charge the high rural rate or reduces rates to a level that can be supported. A sudden increase in inbound calling volume at about the same time as a telephone company leaves the NECA pool therefore can represent a very profitable two years for that firm.

The numbers used will normally belong to a competitive local exchange carrier or independent telephone company and be located in a highly rural area code in one of a few sparsely-populated states, such as area code 218 in northern Minnesota or area code 712 in western Iowa.

Voice over IP

In 2006, various startup companies began to offer voice over IP or Internet fax services which purported to be "free"; these operated from Iowa or used Iowa local numbers. One such service,, invited users to call a number in Iowa's area code 641 to reach a voice-over-Internet gateway from which calls could be made to China (country code +86) at no additional cost. Another,, operated under multiple names (FreeDigits, TalkDigits, OfficeDigits, FaxDigits, ClickDigits, and SIPnumber) to offer a "free US phone number" to receive "free inbound calls" and voicemail or "free fax service" with "unlimited incoming faxes" which would then be delivered outside the region via broadband Internet.

By 2007, the calls to China for the price of a call to rural Iowa were no more as AT&T disputed millions of dollars in calls. By 2008, the offer of a free Iowa number for inbound Internet voice and fax calls had also been withdrawn. As of 2014, Ipkall continues to offer "free" Washington (state) numbers to voice over IP subscribers anywhere on the Internet, but appears to be one of the last to do so.


End-users of traffic-pumped phone services often do not pay directly for the high fees collected by rural local carriers and service providers. Many wireless and land line customers now have unlimited long-distance plans, and thus the entire inflated cost of using these services is borne by their long-distance carrier. Providers of traffic-pumped conference calling service assert that these long-distances carriers still profit when their customers use traffic-pumped services.

In 2007, AT&T estimated that it would spend an additional $250 million to connect such calls, and has warned that it may have to raise its customers' calling plan prices unless regulators address the issue of traffic pumping. However, providers of traffic-pumped conference calls claim that AT&T has refused to provide evidence of these costs, and that it is a ploy by AT&T to leverage its market power to put competing conference calling providers out of business.

AT&T and other long-distance carriers have in some cases attempted to avoid these costs by blocking their customers from calling the phone numbers of traffic-pumping services. However, the FCC has forbidden common carriers from this kind of selective blocking, and so the long-distance carriers are essentially obligated to complete these calls.

Based upon an independent study of 50% of long distance calls originating on wireless networks in U.S., calls terminating to carriers meeting a traffic pumping profile were estimated to cost $95 million annually, representing 11% of all long distance costs in the study. Extending to all wireless service providers, the cost is estimated to be more than $190 million annually.

Role in dispute between AT&T and Google

The Google Voice telecommunications service offers a service similar to long-distance telephone calling at no cost, using VoIP to connect users with their calling destinations. In order to avoid paying high connection fees to traffic-pumping carriers, Google Voice has blocked calls to some of these carriers.

AT&T has appealed to the FCC to intervene, charging that Google Voice ought to be required to connect these calls just as plain old telephone service (POTS) carriers are required to do so. Google has responded that its service, and those of VoIP providers such as Skype, is distinct from those of a traditional POTS common carrier, and that it should not be obligated to complete these calls. Google further charges that AT&T is trying to distract the FCC from concerns regarding network neutrality, and accuses AT&T of conducting regulatory capitalism, in which businesses exploit laws and regulations to stifle competition and slow innovation. Finally, Google urges the FCC to revise "outdated carrier compensation rules" to end the practice of traffic pumping.

AT&T has written to the FCC, stating that Google's blocking of calls to traffic pumping numbers gives it a substantial cost advantage over traditional carriers. AT&T further argues that the issue of network neutrality is highly relevant, since Google is violating its own statement of the principle of non-discrimination, that "a provider 'cannot block fair access' to another provider." AT&T agrees with Google that the FCC should act to forbid traffic pumping schemes in the first place, calling them "patently unlawful", but asks that Google be required to accept the same common carrier requirements even if they are not shut down.

A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives has joined in AT&T's complaint, urging the FCC to investigate Google Voice's practice of blocking calls to high-fee rural local exchange carriers. Some of these legislators have received significant campaign contributions from AT&T, and represent districts where rural carriers profit from traffic pumping. Sam Gustin of DailyFinance suggests that there may be issues of conflict of interest and pork barrel politics involved in these legislators' efforts.

Legal rulings

State Administrative Commission rulings

The Iowa Utilities Board recently issued its final order in a complaint proceeding brought by Qwest and intervened by AT&T and Sprint Nextel against eight rural telephone companies in Iowa. Except for one call blocking finding against Sprint, the decision was unfavorable for the rural carriers, which may have to return the fees they received for calls directed to traffic-pumped services by Iowa residents. However, damages have not yet been assessed and the Iowa Utilities Board does not have jurisdiction over the vast majority of disputed calls—those that were directed to Iowa from callers in other states—so the reach of its decision is limited. Moreover, the Board has indicated that it is reconsidering its decision and several appeals have been filed challenging the lawfulness of the Board’s order, thus it is not yet a final decision.

The FCC subsequently issued a ruling on this case.

Federal Communications Commission Administrative Rulings

In 1996, AT&T filed a Section 208 complaint with the FCC against Jefferson Telephone Company, a rural incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) based in Iowa, which entered into a commercial agreement with a chat-line provider. AT&T’s complaint alleged that Jefferson violated Section 201(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 because it “acquired a direct interest in promoting the delivery of calls to specific telephone numbers.” AT&T also argued that the access revenue-sharing arrangement with the chat-line provider was unreasonably discriminatory in violation of Section 202(a) of the Act, because Jefferson did not share revenues with all its customers. The FCC rejected both these arguments and denied AT&T’s complaint.

In 2002, the FCC issued two more orders, denying similar complaints by AT&T directed at LECs that shared access revenues with chat-line providers. In AT&T v. Frontier Communications, the Commission rejected AT&T’s allegations that “revenue-sharing arrangements” constituted unreasonable discrimination in violation of Section 202(a) or violations of the ILECs’ common carrier duties under Section 201(b). In AT&T v. Beehive Telephone, the FCC again denied AT&T’s complaint against a LEC that engaged in a commercial relationship with a chat-line provider for the same reasons.

The FCC has more recently issued an order in a case involving an Iowa carrier relating to interstate calls (calls made from any state other than Iowa to an Iowa telephone number). In that order, the FCC determined that the Iowa carrier was not entitled to collect the entire amounts it billed to a long distance carrier, but that it was nevertheless entitled to some compensation. The exact amount of payment has not yet been fixed by the FCC.

Court rulings

Cases remain pending in several courts across the country, including federal courts in Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Kentucky, and New York. Several courts have recently asked the FCC for additional guidance on determining the appropriate rate that should be paid by the long distance carriers for calls directed to traffic-pumped services, calling it an area of regulation “in dynamic flux.”

State legislation

Several long distance carriers lobbied the South Dakota legislature to propose legislation forbidding rural telephone carriers from entering into revenue-sharing agreements with traffic-pumped services. However, the legislation was defeated.

See also

  • Deregulation
  • Rent seeking


External links

  • Article containing AT&T's complaint to FCC about Google Voice
  • Article containing FCC inquiry regarding AT&T's complaint
  • Google's redacted response to the FCC about AT&T's complaint, with some technical details
  • Traffic Pumping definition on Federal Communications Commission site
  • Iowa Utilities Board Docket Summary FCU-2007-0002

Traffic Pumping – Google Conference Call Service


A file hosting service, cloud storage service, online file storage provider, or cyberlocker is an Internet hosting service specifically designed to host user files. It allows users to upload files that could then be accessed over the internet from a different computer, tablet, smart phone or other networked device, by the same user or possibly by other users, after a password or other authentication is provided. Typically, the services allow HTTP access, and sometimes FTP access. Related services are content-displaying hosting services (i.e. video and image), virtual storage, and remote backup.


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Personal file storage

Personal file storage services are aimed at private individuals, offering a sort of "network storage" for personal backup, file access, or file distribution. Users can upload their files and share them publicly or keep them password-protected.

Document-sharing services allow users to share and collaborate on document files. These services originally targeted files such as PDFs, word processor documents, and spreadsheets. However many remote file storage services are now aimed at allowing users to share and sychronize all types of files across all the devices they use.

File sync and sharing services

File syncing and sharing services are file hosting services which allow users to create special folders on each of their computers or mobile devices, which the service then synchronizes so that it appears to be the same folder regardless of which computer is used to view it. Files placed in this folder also are typically accessible through a website and mobile apps, and can be easily shared with other users for viewing or collaboration.

Such services have become popular via consumer products such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

Software file hosting

Authors of shareware, freeware and open source/free software often use file hosting services to serve their software. The inherent problem with free downloads is the huge bandwidth cost. To cover this cost, many sites intentionally delay the starts of downloads and slow down downloading speeds in order to persuade a user to buy a premium, paid account on the site for better service. These hosts also offer additional services to the authors such as statistics or other marketing features.

Content caching

Content providers who potentially encounter bandwidth congestion issues may use services specialized in distributing cached or static content. It is the case for companies with a major Internet presence.

Storage charges

Some online file storage services offer space on a per-gigabyte basis, and sometimes include a bandwidth cost component as well. Usually these will be charged monthly or yearly; for example, Carbonite. Some companies offer the service for free, relying on advertising revenue. Some hosting services do not place any limit on how much space the user's account can consume. Some services require a software download which makes files only available on computers which have that software installed, others allow users to retrieve files through any web browser. With the increased inbox space offered by webmail services, many users have started using their webmail service as an online drive. Some sites offer free unlimited file storage but have a limit on the file size. Some sites offer additional online storage capacity in exchange for new customer referrals.

One-click hosting

One-click hosting, sometimes referred to as cyberlocker, generally describes web services that allow internet users to easily upload one or more files from their hard drives (or from a remote location) onto the one-click host's server free of charge.

Most such services simply return a URL which can be given to other people, who can then fetch the file later. In many cases these URLs are predictable allowing potential misuse of the service. As of 2005 these sites have drastically increased in popularity, and subsequently, many of the smaller, less efficient sites have failed. Although one-click hosting can be used for many purposes, this type of file sharing has, to a degree, come to compete with P2P filesharing services.

The sites make money through advertising or charging for premium services such as increased downloading capacity, removing any wait restrictions the site may have or prolonging how long uploaded files remain on the site. Premium services include facilities like unlimited downloading, no waiting, maximum download speed etc. Many such sites implement a CAPTCHA to prevent automated downloading. Several programs aid in downloading files from these one-click hosts; examples are JDownloader,, Tucan Manager and CryptLoad.

Use for copyright infringement

File hosting services may be used as a means to distribute or share files without consent of the copyright owner. In such cases one individual uploads a file to a file hosting service, which others can then download. Legal assessments can be very diverse.

For example in the case of Swiss-German file hosting service RapidShare, in 2010 the US government's congressional international anti-piracy caucus declared the site a "notorious illegal site", claiming that the site was "overwhelmingly used for the global exchange of illegal movies, music and other copyrighted works". But in the legal case Atari Europe S.A.S.U. v. Rapidshare AG in Germany, the Düsseldorf higher regional court examined claims related to alleged infringing activity and reached the conclusion on appeal that "most people utilize RapidShare for legal use cases" and that to assume otherwise was equivalent to inviting "a general suspicion against shared hosting services and their users which is not justified". The court also observed that the site removes copyrighted material when asked, does not provide search facilities for illegal material, noted previous cases siding with RapidShare, and after analysis the court concluded that the plaintiff's proposals for more strictly preventing sharing of copyrighted material – submitted as examples of anti-piracy measures RapidShare might have adopted – were found to be "unreasonable or pointless".

By contrast in January 2012 the United States Department of Justice seized and shut down the file hosting site and commenced criminal cases against its owners and others. Their indictment concluded that Megaupload differed from other online file storage businesses, suggesting a number of design features of its operating model as being evidence showing a criminal intent and venture. Examples cited included reliance upon advertising revenue and other activities showing the business was funded by (and heavily promoted) downloads and not storage, defendants' communications helping users who sought infringing material, and defendants' communications discussing their own evasion and infringement issues. As of 2014 the case has not yet been heard.


The emergence of cloud storage services have prompted much discussion on security. Security, as it relates to cloud storage can be broken down into:

Access and integrity security

Deals with the questions: Will the user be able to continue accessing their data? Who else can access it? Who can change it?

Whether the user is able to continue accessing their data depends on a large number of factors, ranging from the location and quality of their internet connection and the physical integrity of the provider's data center to the financial stability of the storage provider.

The question of who can access and, potentially, change their data ranges from what physical access controls are in place in the provider's data center to what technical steps have been taken, such as access control, encryption, etc.

Many cloud storage services state that they either encrypt data before it is uploaded or while it is stored. While encryption is generally regarded as best practice in cloud storage how the encryption is implemented is very important.

Consumer-grade, public file hosting and synchronization services are popular, but for business use, they create the concern that corporate information is exported to devices and cloud services that are not controlled by the organization.

Data encryption

Secret key encryption is sometimes referred to as zero knowledge, meaning that only the user has the encryption key needed to decrypt the data. Since data is encrypted using the secret key, identical files encrypted with different keys will be different. To be truly zero knowledge, the file hosting service must not be able to store the user's passwords or see their data even with physical access to the servers. For this reason, secret key encryption is considered the highest level of access security in cloud storage. This form of encryption is rapidly gaining popularity, with companies such as SpiderOak being entirely zero knowledge file storage and sharing.

Since secret key encryption results in unique files, it makes data deduplication impossible and therefore uses more storage space.

Convergent encryption derives the key from the file content itself and means an identical file encrypted on different computers result in identical encrypted files. This enables the cloud storage provider to de-duplicate data blocks, meaning only one instance of a unique file (such as a document, photo, music or movie file) is actually stored on the cloud servers but made accessible to all uploaders. A third party who gained access to the encrypted files could thus easily determine if a user has uploaded a particular file simply by encrypting it themselves and comparing the outputs.

Some point out that there is a theoretical possibility that organizations such as the RIAA, MPAA, or a government could obtain a warrant for US law enforcement to access the cloud storage provider's servers and gain access to the encrypted files belonging to a user. By demonstrating to a court how applying the convergent encryption methodology to an unencrypted copyrighted file produces the same encrypted file as that possessed by the user would appear to make a strong case that the user is guilty of possessing the file in question and thus providing evidence of copyright infringement by the user.

There is, however, no easily accessible public record of this having been tried in court as of May 2013 and an argument could be made that, similar to the opinion expressed by Attorney Rick G. Sanders of Aaron | Sanders PLLC in regards to the iTunes Match "Honeypot" discussion, that a warrant to search the cloud storage provider's servers would be hard to obtain without other, independent, evidence establishing probable cause for copyright infringement. Such legal restraint would obviously not apply to the Secret Police of an oppressive government who could potentially gain access to the encrypted files through various forms of hacking or other cybercrime.

Ownership security

Deals with the questions: Who owns the data the user uploads? Will the act of uploading change the ownership?

Example: The act of uploading photos to Facebook gives Facebook an irrevocable, unlimited license to sell the user's picture.

See also

  • Cloud storage
  • Comparison of file hosting services
  • Comparison of file synchronization software
  • Comparison of online backup services
  • Comparison of online music lockers
  • File sharing
  • List of backup software
  • Remote backup service
  • Shared disk access


File Hosting Service – Online Storage Companies