Value-added service (telecommunications)

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A value-added service ( English value-added service , VAS) in the telecommunications (TK) is a special service of a telecommunication service provider, which goes beyond the provision of the communication link. The telephone service only provides a connection between two communication partners; it is the basic service used. As soon as the transferred data is saved or processed in any way, it is a value-added service.

TC value-added services are usually complex TC services that enable sophisticated applications. They take advantage of the fact that telecommunications and its infrastructure, its telecommunications networks and telecommunications services are in principle available everywhere.

Classification according to the type of news

Linguistic value-added services (voice)

Services that save or process the spoken messages or provide extended functionalities when establishing a connection are called voice or telephone value-added services.

Value-added data services (non voice)

If the telephone service is used to transmit data other than voice in order to store or process them further, then the service is referred to as value-added data service or non-voice service. The importance of such services has declined sharply in the age of broadband Internet.

  • FAX
  • Intranet
  • E-commerce
  • e-mail

Classification according to area of ​​application

Messages are usually transmitted via the global, publicly accessible telephone network. Nevertheless, a distinction can be made between public and private areas of application.

Public services

Public value-added telecommunications services are available to anyone interested. Public providers can set up any telecommunications network and any services at home and abroad and enjoy national monopoly rights.

Private services

Non-public operators of telecommunications networks are called private providers. They are in mutual economic competition with their services.

economic aspects

From an economic point of view, a value-added service is a service that complements other services or products in order to increase the value or usefulness of those services or products. This can be used by the provider as an additional sales argument (in the sense of a unique selling point ) or, for example, to justify a higher price compared to the competition.


As a rule, value-added telecommunications services use additional electronic systems; computers often play an important role.

In public telecommunications , a TC service is supplemented by another service and both services are billed together.

The most widespread are value-added telephone services in which a telephone call is connected via special service numbers. The additional service is billed via the connection fees. These numbers are particularly suitable for services that can be provided over the phone and are charged according to the duration of the call, such as phone sex , call-in competitions , support , information or advisory services .

The respective national telecommunications regulatory authorities will set up special numbers for service numbers that are subject to a charge . In many countries, value-added services can only be processed using special numbers. The service provider can freely determine the price and issues its own invoice, which is billed via the telecommunications provider ("offline billing").

In addition, there are other service numbers that enable the billing of value-added services, but at fixed tariffs that are determined and billed directly by the telecommunications provider.

SMS are also increasingly used for billing value-added services.


This form of variable billing is also used for modem dial-in to the Internet. Partly legal and convenient with optional internet access, partly through so-called dialers , which can dial in illegally or simulate a very cheap tariff for the victim and cause disproportionately high telephone bills.


Consumers are often encouraged to dial or call back chargeable numbers through unsolicited fax , SMS , e-mail, etc. or phone calls (in particular by means of so-called teaser calls ), or numbers are automatically dialed by dialers . Often the person being called is explained by automatic announcement that it has a cash prize won ( earnings call ), he must retrieve phone.

In the event of improper use, providers often try to disguise the fact that they are value-added service numbers, for example by prefixing a call-by-call (low-cost) area code and grouping the series of numbers so that the layman cannot see at first glance can that it is a value-added service number.

Another abuse consists in the fraudulent use of "web subscriptions". Here, the consumer is prompted by entering his mobile phone number on various websites to conclude a subscription for a service on the Internet without being noticed (e.g. unsolicited sending of information by e-mail). The special feature here is that the monthly charges are now debited from the telephone bill under Value Added Services without a telephone connection being established or SMS being sent.


Chargeable service numbers


Value-added services in the narrower sense, so-called premium services , have only been allowed to be processed using special numbers with the 0900 area code since 2006.

Examples of service numbers at fixed tariffs:

Value-added services do not include telephone services that are limited to connecting subscribers, even if they can result in high costs for the caller or the person being called:


In Germany, the 0190 area code made a name for itself primarily through erotic services . Many dialers establish the connection to the dial-in server via a modem or an ISDN line. From here the user received the content of the website . If the connection was broken, no more pages could be loaded.

0190 numbers could be used until December 31, 2005. The lanes 0190-1 ... 0190-9 had fixed caller minute prices according to the number following 0190 ("online billing", still in use today with 0180 shared cost services), while the lane 0190-0, which was only established later Individual pricing of the services made possible by the service provider ("offline billing"), but could only be reached from the Telekom landline network. With offline billing, the operator can also receive a high, one-off amount and have it billed to the caller's telephone bill. For example, this method can be used to call up a code that can be obtained over the phone and then used to download software that is subject to a fee .


The 0190 "successors" are 09001, 09003, 09005 and 09009, all of which are billed from the landline network using offline billing (i.e. can be priced individually), although these 0900 numbers are often via alternative landline providers due to the lack of offline billing billing agreements cannot be reached.

Telephone companies use 0900 (formerly 0190-0; see also ) as a “low-cost area code” in order to enable them to make calls via call-by-call even from connections on which no regular call-by-call is usually available (e.g. due to call-by-call barring or on full connections of alternative network operators).

Due to the lack of profitability and the existing negative image, Deutsche Telekom stopped selling 0900 products in July 2011 and canceled all 0900 service numbers it operated on October 31, 2011. Regardless of the shutdown at Telekom, 0900 numbers from other providers can still be reached, including from the DTAG network, and are billed regularly.


From August 15, 2003 it was initially the task of the "Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Post" to take action against the abuse of value-added services. The authority can block misused phone numbers, prohibit invoicing and debt collection and impose fines . Even the successor, the Federal Network Agency, cannot completely prevent abuse in this way. If a number is blocked, which often takes weeks, the operators simply switch to other numbers.

However, if the price obligation is violated, no claim for payment arises against the caller. Frequently, other service numbers such as 0137-Tele choice or directory assistance numbers abused for paid entertainment, to circumvent the provisions applicable to 0900 numbers protective measures.

The law on the free waiting loop came into force on May 10, 2012 in a new version of the Telecommunications Act. As a result, since June 1, 2013, queues have only been allowed if they are free of charge for the caller.


  • 0800 - Free services
  • 0804 - online services (billing via internet provider)
  • 0810 - maximum 10 cents per minute (previously 0660 "at local rate")
  • 0820 - a maximum of 20 cents per minute
  • 0900 - general value-added services (previously 045x), time-dependent tariffs
  • 0901 - general value-added services, event tariffs, d. H. fixed fee per call
  • 0930 - erotic (formerly 045x), time-dependent tariffs
  • 0931 - erotic, event tariffs, d. H. fixed fee per call

More details under Telephone area code (Austria) #Special number ranges


  • 0800 - Free services
  • 084x - shared tariff numbers, service numbers
  • 0840 - Shared Fee Numbers
  • 0842 - Shared Fee Numbers
  • 0844 - Shared Fee Numbers
  • 0848 - Value-added service numbers: radio, uniform tariff, regardless of location within Switzerland
  • 0878 - Value-added service numbers: uniform tariff, formerly "One Number"
  • 090x - general value-added services: business numbers, helpdesks, etc.
  • 0901 - entertainment
  • 0906 - Erotica, adult entertainment

More details under telephone code (Switzerland) .

Individual evidence

  1. Rules for the allocation of (0) 900 numbers for premium services. Official Journal of the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Post No. 16/2004 Order 037/2004 of August 11, 2004. Archived copy ( memento of the original of June 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Archived copy ( Memento of the original from June 17, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Profit promise. Method. State and federal police crime prevention , accessed on February 5, 2019 .
  3. Telekom discontinues 0900 service ,
  4. Telekom says goodbye to 0900 business ,
  5. Federal cabinet adopts draft law on TKG amendment ( Memento of the original of March 8, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Press release of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology of March 2, 2011. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

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