International Toll Free Service (ITFS)
International Toll Free Service (ITFS)
Under China Telecom’s ITFS, users apply for one or more special numbers to one or more countries or regions through local telecom departments, enabling those countries’ callers to call the applicants free of charge, since the applicants bear all the communication fees. The special numbers are 800 numbers, and the international 800 service’s connection code is designated by the countries’ telecom departments.
The international 800 service includes outgoing and incoming international calls. For outgoing international calls, foreign users apply to China for international 800 numbers via their countries’ telecom departments, and people in China can call these 800 numbers to contact the foreign users. For incoming international calls, users in China apply to foreign countries for 800 numbers via the telecom departments in China, and people overseas can call these 800 numbers to contact the users in China.
ITFS’s coding format is 10800X1…X7 (12 digits in total): 10800 is the international 800 service’s connection code, and X1…X7 are the users’ 800 service numbers (of which, X1…X3 are the identification codes of the countries or companies, and X4…X7 are 0-9 Arabic numerals).
Universal International Freephone Number (UIFN)
UIFN, or the global 800 service, means that a user can be reached through a unique global 800 number by users worldwide, at the expense of the service applicant. This service’s connection code is uniform around the world. The global 800 service includes outgoing and incoming international calls. For outgoing international calls, foreign users apply to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for global 800 numbers via their countries’ telecom departments, and users in China can call the foreign users through these 800 numbers. For incoming international calls, users in China apply to the ITU for global 800 numbers via the telecom departments in China, and foreign users can call the users in China through these 800 numbers.
UIFN’s coding format is +800 X1…X8. Specifically, “+” is any country’s international call prefix, “800” is the global 800 service’s international code, and “X1…X8” is the number of the user of the global 800 service, which is allocated by the ITU.
- One number: While the users applying for the 800 service may have several corporate numbers, they just need to register one 800 number, as it can be connected to different destinations as needed.
- Call forwarding: If the calling party encounters a busy signal or no response when dialling an 800 number, they can forward the call to another pre-set number at most twice.
- Call barring: Users in some regions are barred from dialling 800 numbers, according to the area codes or office codes of local users.
- Routing by time: By dialling an 800 number, the user can select at most four periods of time to get connected to four different numbers. The periods of time can be divided by week, hour, etc.
- Pin access: When applying for an 800 service, users can require the calling party to enter a four-digit password to get through to them after dialling the 800 number.
- Routing by location: The calling party can select destinations according to their location.
- Call distribution: Incoming 800-number calls can be distributed to different numbers at different destinations, according to a certain proportion.
- Limitation on simultaneous calls to a destination: When the simultaneous calls to a destination of an 800 number add up to a certain limit, the connection service will be suspended and the calling party will be asked to leave a message.
- Limitation on calls to an 800-service user: Over a certain period (generally a month), an 800-service user can receive a maximum number of incoming calls. When this is reached, the subsequent incoming calls will not be connected and the calling party will be asked to leave a message.