Teleservices are telecommunication services that provide added processing or functionality to the transfer of information between users. Teleservices are categorized by their high level (application) characteristics, the low level attributes of the bearer service(s) that are used as part of the teleservice, and other general attributes. High level attributes include: application type (for example voice or messaging) and operation of the application. The low-level description includes a list of the bearer services required to allow the teleservice to operate with their data transfer rate(s) and types. Other general attributes might specify a minimum quality level for the teleservice or other special condition. The categories of teleservices available include voice (speech), short messaging, facsimile, and group voice.

Figure below shows a typical teleservice. In this diagram, a telephone user wishes to send a fax to a recipient who is traveling. The designated recipient has setup a fax forwarding service where the delivery of incoming faxes can be instructed. The sender is given the recipient’s fax number. When the sender dials the number, the call is routed through the telephone network to the fax forwarding service provider (step 1). When the incoming call is detected, the fax forwarding service receives the fax into a fax mailbox (step 2). Later that day, the recipient of the fax forwarding service calls in and enters a fax forwarding number (step 3). The fax forwarding service then checks the fax mailbox and automatically sends all the waiting faxes to the new number (possibly a hotel fax number) that has been updated by the recipient (step 4). Because this service involves both the transport and processing of information, it is categorized as a teleservice.


Custom Calling Features
Custom local area signaling services (CLASS) are telephone service features available in a local access and transport area (LATA) that are primarily based on information that can be processed inside the telephone network. CLASS features include call forwarding, caller identification, and three-way calling.

Voice Mail (VM)
Voice mail (VM) is a service that provides a telephone customer with an electronic storage mailbox that can answer and store incoming voice messages. Voice mail systems use interactive voice response (IVR) technology to prompt callers and customers through the options available from voice mailbox systems. Voice mail systems offer advanced features not available from standard answering machines including message forwarding to other mailboxes, time of day recording and routing, special announcements, and other features.

Central Exchange (Centrex)
Centrex is a service offered by a local telephone service provider that allows the customer to have features that are typically associated with a private branch exchange (PBX). These features include 3 or 4 digit dialing, intercom features, distinctive line ringing for inside and outside lines, voice mail waiting indication, and others. Centrex services are provided by the central-office switching facilities that are located in the local telephone network.

Call Center
A call center is a place where calls are answered and originated, typically between a company and a customer. Call centers assist customers with requests for new service activation and help with product features and services. A call center usually has many stations for call center agents that communicate with customers. When call agents assist customers, they are typically called customer service representatives (CSRs).

Call centers use telephone systems that usually include sophisticated automatic call distribution (ACD) systems and computer telephone integration (CTI) systems. ACD systems route the incoming calls to the correct (qualified) customer service representative (CSR). CTI systems link the telephone calls to the accounting databases to allow the CSR to see the account history (usually producing a “screen-pop” of information).

Operator Services
An operator service is a telecommunication service that uses an operator to assist in the handling of a call. These special handling services include collect calling (billing to a called number), third party charging (billing to another phone or calling card), identification of a person who has called (call trace services), call information services (assistance with directory number location), rate information services (call charge rates), or any other service that requires an operator for special call processing services.

Information Services
Information services involve the processing of information that is transferred through a communications system. Information services add value to information by generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications. Examples of information services include fax store and forward, electronic publishing, text to voice conversion, and news services.

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