enhanced network services
Also found in: Acronyms.
enhanced network servicesAn umbrella term for advanced communications services. Until the mid-1990s, everybody knew what "enhanced services" meant. They were voicemail, "one number follow me," prepaid calling card or voice-actuated call control, all offered by a carrier or service provider in a circuit-switched environment. If you had a cellphone, you may have had access to a short messaging service (SMS). Then the Internet and IP protocol exploded onto the scene, the simplicity and ubiquity of which has allowed new services to be designed, configured and deployed rapidly.
Using Web-based systems, end users can provision their own services, selecting them from a clearly explained suite. Moreover, the flexibility of IP networks has vastly expanded what an "enhanced" service can be. For example, "outsourced" firewalls existing in the network, rather than at the customer premise or a service that automatically expands bandwidth to accommodate a videoconference, then shrinks the pipe when it is over. These, and other pie-in-the-sky visions of what the network can do are often referred to by the catchall "enhanced network services."