ANI is an abbreviation for Automatic Number Identification. It is a service that provides the receiver of a telephone call with the number of the calling phone. The method of providing this particular information is determined by the service provider (such as AT&T, MCI, Sprint, and so forth). Mostly, the service is provided by sending the digital tone multi frequency (DTMF) tones along with the call. This technology is commonly used by emergency center dispatchers to save the caller having to report the information and. It can further be used to help locate callers. Moreover, the telephone company’s 9-1-1 service to a public safety point usually includes the automatic number identification feature. It is extensively used in call centers.

In call centers, it displays the number of the calling party to the call center agent in real time. The call center can use the provided information to forward calls to different people for different geographic areas. Automatic number identification is also employed to describe the functions of two-way radio selective calling that identify the transmitting user.

In cases where the caller ID blocking is activated, the caller’s telephone number and line type are captured by ANI service. The destination telephone company switching office can relay the originating telephone number to ANI delivery services subscribers. Toll-free subscribers and large companies normally have access to to this information as follows:

i) instantly via installed equipment

ii) from a monthly billing statement.

In case of residential subscribers, access to ANI information can be obtained through third party companies that charge for the service. ANI is generally not transmitted when a call is operator assisted. In such cases, only the area code of the last switch to route the call is sent. If a call is placed through an outbound-only VoIP service or some calling cards will cause a non-working number to be sent as the ANI. It is also not supported adequately for calls originated from four-party lines.

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