What is the SMS800 and what role does it play?

The millions of subscribers signing on for toll free service each year are quickly learning about the vital role of the 800 Services Management System (SMS/800).

The SMS/800 Data Center houses the main database of available toll free 800, 888, 877 and 866 phone numbers for the United States and Canada. The SMS/800 maintains and updates the database and keeps records of the owners of each number and the service providers. Available numbers on the database are assigned to subscribers on a first-come, first-served, basis.

Additionally, the SMS/800 management team works with toll free service providers and with the owners and operators of the 800 numbers. The SMS/800 team is comprised of a representative of each of the Bell Operating Companies. The team has final authority on all issues that arise at SMS/800.

By law, all toll free phone service providers must deal with SMS/800 while assigning or reserving numbers for their customers. SMS/800 keeps records on the status of all 800 numbers, service providers, and call routing options.
The popularity of the 1-800 number, launched in 1967, led the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to add the new pre-fixes 888 and 877 in the mid-1990s. When availability of those numbers plummeted, 866 was added in 2000 to overcome the shortage. SMS/800, started in the mid-1980s, manages all these numbers.

While popularity soars, availability of new and used toll free numbers is plummeting. When an 800 number is disconnected, it goes into what is referred to as the aging process. At some point it becomes available on the SMS/800 database. Then, service providers can access the numbers and assign it to a customer in the United States or Canada.

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51 Responses

  1. more information can be found by visiting the website for sms800 at http://www.sms800.com

  2. Good article it answered my question

  3. Good article it answered my question

  4. This covers the whole USA right

  5. My company uses the 8MS interface to SMS/800. It really works great and speeds up our provisioning. Check their website. http://8msweb.com

  6. good point

  7. Toll free numbers have a number of features which make them different from standard 1+ switched numbers. All toll free numbers are registered with the national SMS database. Not to be confused with “Short Message Service” on cell phones, the SMS database keeps track of ownership of a toll free numbers via RespOrg (Responsible Organization), and routing of toll free numbers, including time of day routing, area of service routing, and the ability to route toll free numbers across multiple carriers for rudundantcy purposes. At the carrier level, toll free numbers may be pointed to either a customer’s trunk group or to a POTS number.

    Toll free numbers cannot be slammed, the only way to change carrier on a toll free number is to write a letter of authorization to the RespOrg to release the number back to the national SMS database.

    In short, toll free numbers are industrial strength telecom. They’re not going anywhere until someone can build an infrastructure which offers the same or better guaranteed reliability.

  8. For those unfortunate times when you forget your cellphone at home and need to call a taxi (Or some other business), you can use Goog411 to make free phone calls from a payphone…

  9. My name is Werner Brandes, my voice is my passport. Verify me.

  10. This is great marketing. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  11. I guess next we will have to hack the gibson.

  12. I like PAYPAY’s number )

  13. Be of use, but don’t be used.

  14. One thing you can give and still keep: my word.

  15. He who can, does. He who can’t, teaches.

  16. It’s not that 800 #’s are doomed, it’s long distance calling is doomed. 800 #’s are just a reverse way of paying for a long distance call. Instead of you paying for the call, the person you are calling pays for it.

    This is normal anyway, as prices come down and competition it just makes sense that national long distance (within a country) be done away with and the companies focus on other services to make money.

  17. For those unfortunate times when you forget your cellphone at home and need to call a taxi (Or some other business), you can use Goog411 to make free phone calls from a payphone…

  18. thanks – good thoughts

  19. use drums? use smoke signals? 🙂

  20. I’m gonna have to say that the WRT54GL is the greatest router ever.

  21. Having one child makes you a parent; having two makes you a referee.

  22. A friend is someone who has the same enemies you have.

  23. A friend is someone who has the same enemies you have.

  24. A smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart.

  25. When people call me I just always try to sound out-of-breath and harassed, but polite. It makes them talk faster.

  26. Wisdom begins in wonder.

  27. If you’re not very clever you should be conciliatory.

  28. nice

  29. If you’re not very clever you should be conciliatory.

  30. thanks – good thoughts

  31. well, since 1960, 800 numbers have been increasing in popularity

  32. very insightful

  33. Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid all together.

  34. A wise man does not need advice and a fool won’t take it.

  35. HELLO – Sprint has starting doing this ages ago!!!!!!!!! With success!

  36. Could one of them introduce a product that connects you to a human being when you call?

  37. I no longer have the fear of being alone. It’s cool to find out that you don’t need a boyfriend to be happy.

  38. Life becomes useless and insipid when we have no longer either friends or enemies.

  39. lovely

  40. That’s the secret to life… replace one worry with another…

  41. Phone call for Al…Al Coholic…is there an Al Coholic here?
    Wait a minute…
    Listen, you little yellow-bellied rat jackass, if I ever find out who you are, I’m gonna kill you!

  42. HELLO – Sprint has starting doing this ages ago!!!!!!!!! With success!

  43. My PDF Download extension works fine with FFx 1.5

  44. well, since 1960, 800 numbers have been increasing in popularity

  45. […] Short answer: No. You just probably won’t want to do all that it takes to become a part of the SMS800. Click here to get more informed on the SMS800 database. […]

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