Wide Area Telephone Service

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Wide Area Telephone Service

Also called WATS. A long distance service in the United States allowing a single telephone line to call one of several lines at a central location (such as a call center) or vice versa. This service may be used for outbound or inbound calls, though using it for outbound calls became obsolete by the 1990s. The service is used by 800 numbers, enabling customers to call a center to place an order or conduct some other activities. It was developed in the 1960s by AT&T.
References in periodicals archive ?
MCI leased WATS lines, Full Period Lines and Pick-Up & Ring Lines from AT&T and constructed their own network by interfacing these leased lines with their own computerized switching central offices.
Such registration is not yet available, but if you wanted to add a WATS line you could insert a registration packet into the D channel, and almost immediately get back a confirmation packet.
The first call which is all that shows up on a caller's phone bill, connects the caller to an outbound AT&T WATS line.
In addition, if something went wrong on a WATS line, we had no way of knowing about it until a policyholder called and told us.
For example, a call from Rochester, New York (a major Xerox location) to a customer in Fort Collins, Colorado, would first travel to Chicago and then to a WATS line in Chicago, where it would enter the public network.
The SDN replaced a network of conventional WATS lines in which each of the autonomous plants handled its telecomm requirements in its own way.
But instead of sales representatives going door-to-door, the company uses a bank of 14 WATS lines and fax machines that run 24 hours a day, taking customer orders.