A paging system, which consists of a number of central stations, each of which contains a number of pager apparatus associated with it. Each pager apparatus responds to one or more identifying numbers so that a caller may send a paging message to one or a number of pager apparatus, all of which respond to the same identifying number. The central station includes a profile of information for each pager apparatus associated with it. Paging information is comprised of various identification numbers to which the pager apparatus responds, as well as selected type of services. Pagers can additionally restrict receiving pages from unwelcome callers, prioritize messages, limit the number of received calls, and arrange for a transfer of their calls from one central station to another central station. The central station can also store voice message providing an indication to the selected pager to call the central station to retrieve voice message. The central station utilizes a protocol which synchronizes the data and the time for each pager apparatus. It can then address messages to one or a plurality of pagers simultaneously, send messages to the pagers or send control signals which can override local controls and enable or disable the local pager operation. The pager can initiate reception outside of the assigned time slot. Emergency calls are handled to override any ongoing transmission. Auditorium cutoff can arrange to disable the audio response of pagers within the locale. Authorization can be required for a transaction. Means exist for billing for the processing and transmission of paging data on a per call basis. Verification of transmission or a transaction for billing purposes can be via a page or over the telephone network to the caller or to a third party.
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