Sunday, July 29, 2012

Call Forwarding and Its Many Uses

Call Forwarding allows you to forward your calls to another phone number. It was invented by Ernest J. Bonanno in 1963. There are a few different types that Datavo offers you to choose from to suit your needs.

Call Forwarding (Variable):  Allows you to activate and deactivate the forwarding. To do this you pick up your line and dial *72. There will be a stutter tone, then dial the number you want the line to forward to. The number you are forwarding to must be answered. To deactivate, pick up the line and press *73.

Remote Access to Call Forwarding: This feature can be added only with Call Forwarding (Variable) and allows you to activate Call Forwarding (Variable) on your land line from a remote location through an access number and security PIN.

Call Forward - Busy: Allows for your line to be forwarded to another line when your main line is busy.

Call Forward - Don't Answer: Allows for your line to be forwarded to another line when you main line is not answered after a set number of rings.

Call Forward - Select: Allows for you to forward pre-selected numbers to another line that you designate.

Hunting: A complex forwarding feature that allows numbers to be set up in a sequence and to roll over to the next one if the previous line is busy.

Find Me/Follow Me: Another complex forwarding feature that allows for you to designate specific numbers, such as your home, office, and mobile; that will ring simultaneously or in a sequence to find you.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kobe Bryant is Shooting for His Second Gold!

While a majority of the NBA players are resting and enjoying the off season, Kobe Bryant is with Team USA for the Summer Games in London. Lets take a minute to see how he got where he is today. 

Born in Philadelphia, he was the youngest of three and the only son of Pamela and Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, a professional basketball player that played for the Philadelphia 76er and coached the Los Angeles Sparks. At the age of 6 his father left the NBA to play professional basketball in Italy and moved the family with him. Kobe enjoyed his new lifestyle and learned to speak Italian and Spanish fluently. 

Kobe started playing basketball at the age of three. Even once, his family moved to Italy he would always return to the US to hone his skills and play in basketball summer leagues. His other favorite sport is soccer and he has stated that if he wasn't a basketball player he would of been a soccer player. 

When he was 13, his father retired and moved their family back to the US. Kobe excelled at basketball so much that as a freshman at Lower Merion High School he made the varsity team. He was very versatile as well, playing all five positions. But his breakout year was his junior year in high school which he was named Pennsylvania Player of the Year and resulted in numerous college scouts trying to recruit him. He had a couple different colleges on his list he was thinking of going to, but when Kevin Garnett got drafted into the pros in the first round right out of high school he started to consider going directly into the NBA.

His senior year in high school he led his team to their first state championship in over 50 years. His averaged stats for that season were 30.8 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4.0 steals, and 3.8 blocked shots per game. Kobe was honored with the following accolades; Naismith Player of the Year, McDonalds All-American, Gatorade Men's Player of the Year, and USA Today's All-USA First Team. 

At age 17, Kobe decided that he was going to go straight into the NBA, making him only the sixth player in NBA history to do this, as prep-to-pro players were not that common during this time. He was 13th pick in the first round of the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets who already had agreed to trade their pick to the Lakers. At the time he signed his contract he was only 17 and his parents had to co-sign until he turned 18 at the beginning of the season.
His first two seasons as a Laker, he mostly came off of the bench, but this third season 1998-99 marked his emergence as a premiere shooting guard in the league. He started every game of the shortened lockout 50 game season and resulted in him signing a 6-year extension on his contract valued at $70 million. But the Lakers were swept in the Western Conference Finals.

The next season 1999-2000 proved to be the year that Kobe became one of the premier shooting guards in the NBA. The Lakers, hired Phil Jackson to coach and signed free agent Shaquille O'Neal, who with Kobe formed one of the greatest center-guard combos in NBA History. Together they went on to win the NBA Championship in 2000, 2001, and 2002, catapulting him into elite status.

The Lakers did not renew Phil Jackson's contract after the 2003-2004 season and traded Shaquille O'Neal to the Miami Heat, and the Lakers went into decline with rumors that Kobe had something to do with both men leaving. The next few years he continued to play well, but had ups and downs in his personal & professional life. 

The 2005-2006 season saw Phil Jackson back as head coach of the Lakers despite the past differences he and Kobe had. In the 2007-2008 season, he was unhappy with the way the Lakers were being managed and requested to be traded if things did not change. After working out his issues with management, the Lakers were able to acquire Pau Gasol at the trade deadline. The Lakers made it to the Finals again for the first time without Shaquille O'Neal but lost to the Boston Celtics. This year was also his first time going to the Olympics, where as past of Team USA he help secure the GOLD. 

This proved to be the start of another great Laker run. Kobe led the team to two consecutive NBA Championships for seasons 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

As he gets older, he continues to prove how great of a player he is in a league of elite players 10 years his junior. During the 2011-2012 season he could of been the leading scorer in the NBA but choose to sit the last game of the season out so that he could be ready for the playoffs giving the title to Kevin Durant.

He is a 5x NBA Champion, 2x Finals MVP, 2008 NBA MVP, 14x All-Star, 2x NBA Scoring Champion, and Olympic Gold medalist.

We at Datavo have our eye on him as he helps lead Team USA to another GOLD medal!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Understanding Your Datavo Taxes & Surcharges

When you get your bill in the mail, do you wonder what each tax is for? Here at Datavo, we know this can be difficult at times so here is a brief understanding of what each tax/surcharge covers.

  • Universal Lifeline Telephone Surcharge:  Imposed by the CPUC* to help subsidize the fund for Universal Lifeline Telephone Service. It applies to all consumers, business or residential. It is billed monthly at a percentage of 1.150% (as of 7/1/12)**.

  • CA Relay Service and Communications Devices Fund: Imposed by the CPUC to help provide telecommunications devices to deaf or hearing impaired consumers. It applies to all consumers, business or residential. It is billed monthly at a percentage of 0.2% (as of 7/1/12)** .

  • CA High Cost Fund-A:  Imposed by the CPUC to provide supplemental revenue to 14 small phone companies to minimize rate disparities of basic phone service between rural and metropolitan areas. It applies to all consumers, business or residential. It is billed monthly at a percentage of 0.4% (as of 7/1/12) ** .

  • CA High Cost Fund-B: Imposed by the CPUC to provide subsidies to Carriers of Last Resort (COLR's - A carrier that commits or is required by law to provide service to any customer in a service area that requests it, even if it will not be cost effective to the carrier) for providing basic telephone service to residential customers in high-cost areas currently serviced by any Pacific Bell Telephone Company (dba AT&T, Verizon, Cox, etc.). It applies to all consumers, business or residential. It is billed monthly at a percentage of 0.3% (as of 7/1/12)** .

  • CA Teleconnect Fund (CTF): Imposed by the CPUC to provide a 50% discount on select communications services to libraries, schools, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations. It applies to all consumers, business or residential. It is billed monthly at a percentage of 0.079% (as of 7/1/12)** .

  • CA Advanced Service Fund: Imposed by the CPUC to provide grants to telephone companies to help bridge the digital divide and bring service to unserved/underserved areas of the state.  It applies to all consumers, business or residential. It is billed monthly at a percentage of 0.14% (as of 7/1/12)**. 

  • Number Portability Charge: Local Number Portability provides you the option of keeping your same telephone number when switching from one phone company to another.  It applies to all consumers, business or residential. This fee is a fixed monthly charge of $0.34** that helps telephone companies recover costs of providing the service of  local number portability.

  • End User Common Line Charges - EUCL: This is a federally regulated monthly service charge billed by the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) intended to compensate them for the costs of connecting a call to a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) or interxchange carrier (IXC). It applies to all ILEC supplied loops. It is currently $6.50 ** per line.

  • Federal Universal Service Fund Surcharge:  Imposed by the FCC to help make phone service  affordable and available to all Americans. Congress has mandated that all telephone providers providing interstate services must contribute to this fund.  It is applied to all consumers, business or residential.  The rate fluctuates every quarter and is mandated by the FCC.

  • Federal Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS):  Imposed by the FCC to help compensate TRS carriers for providing telephone transmission services that allow speech or hearing impaired consumers to communicate with a person without a speech or hearing disability. It applies to all consumers, business or residential. Carriers are billed for their share of the annual budget monthly.

  • Los Angeles Communications Users Tax (CUT): Imposed by the City of Los Angeles, on the following communciations services: wired and wireless communications; intrastate, interstate and international services; ancillary services; VoIP; paging; and private communication services.  It is applied to all consumers, business or residential; at a rate of 9% ** .

  • PUC: Imposed by the CPUC on all telecommunications carriers supplying services directly to customers in California. The rate is based on the telecommunications carriers intrastate revenue. 

  • E911: imposed by the FCC used to fund enhanced 911 telephone systems and 411 services.  It is applied to all consumers, business or residential; at a rate of 0.5%**

*California Public Utilities Commission
** Rates are subject to change at any time.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Make a Call to Japan from the United States

Making an international call can sometimes be daunting. So let Datavo make calling Japan from the United States effortless.

Here at Datavo we know that making an international call can be difficult. So we developed a simple way to help you make the process easier.
Take these uncomplicated steps:

  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix. or access code
  • Second dial 81, Japan's country code.
  • Lastly dial the 1-5 digit area code and 4-8 digit phone number.

   Example: 011 + 81 + XXXXXXXXXX

              Major Cities and Area Codes:

Area Code

  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix. or access code
  • Second dial 81, Japan's country code.
  • Lastly dial the 10 digit phone number with starting digits 80 or 90.

   Example: 011 + 81 + 80/90 XXXXXXXX

Click HERE to go to Japan's White Pages.

Do you call Japan regularly? Welll Datavo has a deal for you. Click HERE for more information on Japan's calling rates. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Direct Sales Reps vs. Consultants/Agents

Datavo knows there are a few different ways that telecom companies sell their services and products to consumers. Mostly all service providers employ at least one type of sales program. The two main channels are Direct Sales Reps and telecom Consultants/Agents.

Direct Sales Representatives are usually employed by the respective telecom company and receive a salary, commission and benefits. They a direct representation of the company. They are usually assigned to specific footprints and once an order is submitted to be processed is expected to move on to their next prospective sale.

Telecom Consultants or Agents are paid only commissions as they are independent contractors. They usually have some type of agreement for residual income as well, so they are more invested in their customer's long time satisfaction with the services they sold them. They may only receive compensation if the service they supplied remains active and the consumer pays their bill.

You may think that going through a Direct Rep will automatically save you more money than if you went with a Consultant/Agent but this is not necessarily the truth. Direct Sales reps sell one companies products and may have direct access to get a lower price, where a Consultant can sell any companies products and will most likely put the customer's needs first due to their residual income their receive.

When both team up together with each other to complete a sale it is called channel integration. This does not happen often as the agents do agree to take less commissions when this happens, but the thought is that is better to receive a small compensation working together instead of getting nothing working alone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kerri Walsh & Misty May-Treanor Trying to Volley Themselves into a Third Gold Medal

Kerri Walsh 2007
Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor have been called "the greatest beach volleyball team of all time." Together, they have dominated the game of beach volleyball for the last ten years. 

Kerri grew up in Saratoga, California, while Misty grew up in Los Angeles. The two became partners in 2001 and have since gone on to be the best at what they do and great friends.

They went to Athens together in 2004 on a 90-game winning streak and swept the competion, not losing a single game bringing home their first GOLD medals.

Misty May-Treanor 2007
Going into Beijing in 2008, they were riding a 18 tournament, 101-game winning streak, where they went in again and swept the competition; beating the Chinese team on its own court and becoming the only beach volleyball team to win GOLD medals back to back.

Now Kerri and Misty are going for a third GOLD medal in London this summer. They are true competitors and GOLD Medal winning Olympians. They have shown in the past that they have the drive, commitment and stamina needed to complete their tasks.

We're watching and rooting for them here are Datavo!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Understanding Local, Local Toll, and Long Distance Calling Areas

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Local, Local Toll and Long Distance calling areas when you're reading your telephone bill? We know it can be confusing at times, so let  Datavo help you understand.

  • Local Call: any calls made within a Service Area up to 12 miles*.
  • Local Toll Call (intraLATA): any calls made within a Service Area over 13 miles*. It is necessary to dail "1" when making a Local Toll Call even if the area code is the same as yours.
  • Long Distance Toll Call (interLATA): any calls outside the Local and Local Toll Service Areas, calls orginating in one Service Area (LATA) and terminating in a different one, and international calls.

California is divided into 11 different Service Areas (LATA's). Which are then broken down into smaller 'Rate Centers'.

*Mileage is calculated from your local Rate Center in your community not your specific home address.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Make a Call to Guatemala from the United States

Do you need help navigating an international call from the United States to Guatemala? Well, let Datavo be the one to help you stay afloat!

We know that calling people in other countries can sometimes be rough. So we thought our simple guide would help make the process easier for you.

The Basic Steps to follow are:

  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix. or access code 
  • Second dial 502, Guatemala's country code. 
  • Lastly dial the 1 digit area code and 7-digit phone number.
   Example: 011 + 502 + 2XXXXXXX

Area Code

Mobile Phone:
  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix. or access code
  • Second dial 502, Guatemala's country code. 
  • Lastly dial the 8-digit phone number with starting digit 4 or 5
   Example: 011 + 502 + 4XXXXXXX

Click HERE for Guatemala's White Pages.

Do you call Guatemala often? Check out Datavo's excellent rates. Click HERE for international rates to Guatemala.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Teleconferencing - The New Way of Doing Business

US Navy Holding a Teleconference
In the last decade, technology has made it possible for businesses to become larger and more spread out. As they spread out, more and more employees are working from home, other states, or even countries. Due to this, physical office locations and employees can often be thousands of miles apart from each other. Due to this it can be very difficult to get all of you employees in the same place to conduct training and meetings.

To remedy this problem Datavo suggests teleconferencing. What is teleconferencing you ask? It is a conference in which participants communicate from different locations via telephone or video network.

With teleconfrencing, your company can conduct training, workshops, staff meetings, and demonstrations by telephone or internet instead of in person. 

Let us go over a few of the different types of teleconferencing.

  • Audio Teleconference is voice-only and is usually referred to as just 'conference calling'. To use this service participants are given a designated telephone number to call into at a certain time or an assigned moderator can call each participant. Participants are connected throught a confrence bridge, which acts as a telephone and pick up multiple calls at once.

  • Video Conference is a combination of audio and video and provides voice and video communictaions. It is able to dispaly anything that can be recorded by a video camera. It has an advantage of displaying moving images making participants able to see each others expressions and demeanors from remote locations.

  • Computer Teleconference uses a telephone line to connect two or more computers or modems. Anything you can do on a computer can be sent over the telephone line. It is used mostly by distance learning institutions where students are required to log into a system for a set period of time and download work. They are able to download their required files, complete their assigments and then upload them onto the confrencing system. 

Businesses utilizing VoIP (Voice over IP) are able to host teleconfrencing calls themselves if their VoIP software supports it. Teleconferencing can lower the costs of your business by reducing travel, meals and lodging since your employees are able to connect to each other from remote locations.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

London Summer Games 2012

It's 2012 and the Summer Games are almost here. With the torch lit and already on its way to London, excitement is brewing and Team USA is training.

Are you as excited as my coworkers and I are? It's all we're talking about around the water cooler here at Datavo. Everyone is chatting about which sports are their favorites; swimming, track and field, soccer, shooting, tennis, gymnastics, and of course my favorite, Basketball!

While July 27th is still two weeks away, the world is eagerly waiting to see the surprises that are in store. In the 16 days that the games will cover we will see people  running faster, throwing farther, jumping higher and pushing themselves past the point they thought possible all for that coveted GOLD medal. 

With the announcement of the 504-athlete roster, Team USA is ready.

I want to highlight some of these athletes exceptional talents over the next few weeks that made the cut onto Team USA. Specifically, the ones that have a connection to my home state of California, which include Kobe Bryant (basketball), Kerry Walsh (volleyball), sisters Serena and Venus Williams (tennis), Allyson Felix (track and field), the twins Bob and Mike Bryan (tennis), Tyson Chandler (basketball), Kyla Ross (gymnastics), Kim Rhode (shooting), sisters Haley and Alyssa Anderson (swimming), and Russell Westbrook (basketball), just to name a few. 

So get ready, set GO USA

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Make a Call to France from the United States

When making an international call to France from the US, do you find yourself saying 'aller au charbon' (that's French for 'To do something very difficult or arduous') to make an international call. Let Datavo help you understand better.

We know that making international calls can be exhausting. So we have come up with a process to make simple.

Just follow these simple steps:


  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix (or access code)
  • Second dial 33, Frances's country code.
  • Lastly dial the 1-3 digit city code plus phone number.

  Example: 011 + 33 + XXX + XXXXXX

Major Cities and Area Codes:

Area Code


  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix (or access code)
  • Second dial 33, Frances's country code.
  • Lastly dial the 9 digit phone number with starting digit 6 or 7.

  Example: 011 + 33 + 6XXXXXXX

Click HERE for France's White Pages. 

Do you call France often? Datavo has excellent international calling rates. Click HERE for more information on our French calling rates.

Monday, July 9, 2012

How Does Datavo Deliver VoIP?

If you have never heard of VoIP, be prepared to radically change the way you think about your current local and long distance plans. VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is a method for taking analog audio signals and converting them to digital signals that are sent over the internet.

Datavo can provide VoIP to a business customer with the following two methods: ATA or IP Phones.

What is an ATA?

An ATA or Analog Telephone Adapter is the most common way of using VoIP. It is a communication device that allows you to hook up the phone or phone system that is already in your business to your Internet connection. It converts the analog signals your phone sends out into digital signals that can be sent over the Internet. ATA's are largely cheaper compared to normal analog telephone systems.

Most ATA's are a small box with an Ethernet port, a power adapter, one or many FXS telephone ports and at times may include a FXO link as well. Depending on the brand and model, it consumes around 3-5 Watts of electricity.

What is an IP Phone?

The next type of VoIP usage utilizes IP Phones instead of you desk phone. The IP Phone looks just like a normal phone, with all the same buttons and cradle, the only difference is that instead of plugging your IP phone into the wall jack like you would with a normal analog phone, it gets plugged directly into your router or modem.

This option allows you to circumvent your personal computer, and it also means that you will not have to install any software, because it is all built into the handset. Additionally, the fact that WiFi IP phones have now become available, which allows callers to make VoIP calls from any WiFi hotspot, make this option an exciting possibility.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 236th Birthday America! 

On July 4, 1776, the 13 American colonies claimed their independence from Great Britain with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. From then on our nation continued to grow into the 50 United States we now have.  Thousands of people have come from countries near and far to chase their American Dream in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave and make this their home. 

Our nation is truly diverse and people all over celebrate in their own ways such as picnics, barbeques, family gatherings, and of course FIREWORKS!

Datavo wishes you and you family a happy and safe Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How to Call China from the United States

Datavo is here to help you make a call to China from the United States without driving yourself crazy with the intricacies of international dialing codes and rules.
We know that making international calls can be tough. So we developed a simple way to help you make the process easier.

Just follow these simple steps:

  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix (or access code)
  • Second dial 86, China's country code.
  • Lastly dial the 2-4 digit area code and 6-8 digit phone number.
  Example: 011 + 86 + XXX + XXXXXXXX

Major Cities and Area Codes:

Area Code

Mobile Phone:
  • Start by dialing 011, the US international prefix (or access code)
  • Second dial 86, China's country code.        
  • Lastly dial the 11 digit phone number with starting digits 13 or 15.
  Example: 011 + 52 + 13XXXXXXXXX

Click HERE for China's telephone directory.

Do you call China often?? Datavo has excellent international rates. Click HERE for more information on our China calling rates. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

What is an IP Phone?

An IP Phone is one which uses the internet, as opposed to a traditional telephone carrier, to make calls and receive calls. The calls are made over an IP network like Internet or can be made via a companies private IP network.  IP Phones uses protocols allowing callers to view the individual on the other line, and can be viewed by those they are calling.

How does an IP Phone work?

There are certain elements which a IP Phone requires in order to properly function including:
  • phyical hardware (earpiece, keypad, display screen, etc); 
  • DNS client, STUN client, DHCP client; 
  • video & audio capabilities; and,
  • a friendly user interface. 
These elements make up the internal system of an IP Phone. 

What features does an IP Phone have? 

There are also several great features you will get with an IP Phone including:
  • caller id; 
  • encrypted communications; 
  • conference calls; 
  • call transfers; 
  • directories; and, 
  • other features (depending on the IP provider, and depending on whether it is the internet, or a private network provider)
An IP Phone also has several features which a traditional phone does not have. Some of these features includes:
  • email contacts (making it easier to remember the contacts or phone number); 
  • easy sharing contact lists (multiple accounts); and, 
  • other features similar to PC based phone services.

The IP Phone is great for businesses that do conference calls, and want to que in everyone who should be involved in the meeting. With the audio and visual, you can easily interact, and can include a larger group of people in to a call, than other phones allow you to do.