Mass Call events

What is Mass Call events?

A Mass Call event is an event where it has been predetermined that there is a likelihood of a large spike in telephone calls and the telephone networks are warned of this likelihood. This type of occurrence may include;

  • Ticket Sales

The launch of highly publicised tickets sales for popular festivals, concerts or shows.

  • Advertising campaigns.

New products, services or offers.

  • Retail events

There is often a huge number of telephone calls on the first day, or at the start, of major retail sales such as; Next, Harrods, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis etc.

  • Participation TV events.

By giving viewers the ability to influence the outcome of programmes, chat to other viewers, take part in competitions or vote in polls, broadcasting has moved to another level. Recent interactive events have included TV programs such as; Pop Idol, Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity, Strictly Come Dancing, and the numerous shows seeking new stars West end productions, where a phone vote determines the winner.

  • Fundraising and charity events.

A number of these events are set for one specific day and may be linked to a televised or radio appeal, such as Comic Relief, Sport Relief or Help a London Child.

How does it work?

A standard Mass Call event form is completed, which indicates the date and times of the event and the likely call volumes expected. Once received by the service provider, call parameters are set and a procedure known as Call Gapping, which protects the network by slowing down the connection time of calls, is implemented. The other UK service providers are alerted to the Mass Call Event to ensure that sufficient Call Gapping is implemented throughout the UK networks.

The service providers set up volume indicators on their networks, which once exceeded, automatically increase the call gapping on the network.

How can ITC help with Mass Call Events?

ITC have been involved in many Mass Call events. Case studies for two examples are detailed below:

Rock Festival

Perhaps our most notable Mass Call event was when ITC were asked to organise the telephony service for ticket sales for a large Annual Rock Festival in Somerset. The 100,000 tickets were to be allocated by phone calls on a first come, first served basis.

On the busiest year ITC hosted the event, the phone number was released at 12pm, and in excess of 1m telephone calls were received. As the calls were to be answered live (rather than modern automated answering used by phone voting), and the organisers wanted to use a call centre with only 100 staff, ITC arranged the Mass Call event as follows:

  • The first 100 calls were answered by the call centre
  • The next 50,000 calls received an automated network voice message stating that the line was engaged and to call back later.
  • The remaining calls received an engaged tone

Government Minister Campaign

A recent Mass Call event ITC dealt with was in May 2008 when a Government Minister spent a day promoting a new energy efficiency campaign to all the main TV and Radio stations. ITC ensured that all Service Providers were alerted to this likely Mass Call event and could make suitable Call Gapping provision to manage the expected spike in telephone call volumes from the public.

If you would like one of our telecommunications consultants to contact you for further advice, please email with your details.

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