Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now
August 1, 1999
The Trouble with UIFN
By Liz Montalbano
Not only are some of the service providers listed on the ITU website
In 1997 the International Tele-communications Union (ITU) announced what pundits hailed
as the latest and greatest in international toll-free services: Universal International
Freephone Numbering (UIFN), which would assign companies a toll-free number that could be
dialed from anywhere in the world. This was considered an improvement upon already
available international toll-free services (ITFS), which required a specific toll-free 800
number to be dialed from each country.
With UIFN, someone could dial a company from anywhere in the world toll free by using
only an international prefix, 800 and an eight-digit Global Subscriber Number (GSN)
assigned by the ITU to the company itself. In theory, the service would eliminate having
to remember a different toll-free phone number from every country; the number would remain
the same, regardless of country or carrier.
If it seemed too good to be true, it apparently was. Two years later, UIFN seems dead
in the water. While the ITU lists 13 U.S. "service providers" on its website,
only a handful of them actually are providing the service to wholesale and/or retail
customers (see chart, "Status of UIFN for ITU’s List of U.S. Service Providers,"
below). Several of those carriers admit they have had problems that discouraged
implementation of the service.
Status of UIFN for ITU’s List of U.S. Service
Read more about:Agents
You May Also Like
CrowdStrike, SonicWall Cyber Threat Reports Highlight Attacks, Popular TacticsFeb 21, 2024
Zscaler, Juniper, Cato Launch New B2B Tech ServicesFeb 21, 2024
Meet Channel Futures' 50 Channel Influencers for 2024Feb 20, 2024
The Gately Report: Menlo Security Tackling Browser Attacks, AI ThreatsFeb 19, 2024