Tech

What is a Virtual Phone Number?

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Telephone numbers usually get tied with telephones or a specific device. These numbers used to only work with a phone line that’s connected from a telecom carrier to the physical phone device through telephone cables. Calls made to these numbers are sent only to the specific connected device. 

On-premise PBXs were used to add flexibility; however, for routing purposes, these devices remained tied to business telephone numbers. Things changed when the virtual phone number got introduced. 

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What are virtual phone numbers? 

Otherwise known as an access number or direct inward dialing (DID), virtual phone numbers are numbers that are not directly linked to a traditional phone line. These numbers will get designed and programmed to route all incoming calls to a pre-set phone number chosen by the user. 

These numbers support call-forwarding services and long-distance call services without incurring IP telephony long-distance charges. IP telephony, on the other hand, is an umbrella term to refer to a host of technology. It uses the Internet Protocol’s packet-switched connections to exchange fax, voice, and additional information carried over a Public Switched Telephone Network’s (PSTN) circuit-switched connection. 

How does a virtual call happen? 

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A virtual phone number allows a user in a particular area code to call a user with an IP telephony in different area code, without incurring long distance charges. The process is similar to calling a local number. 

This process happens when a voice over IP (VoIP) user requests from their service provider to assign them a number within a specific area code. When another user in that area code calls a provider-assigned number, the call is sent and received like a local call. 

How can you get an online phone number?

The good thing with virtual landlines is you won’t need an actual telephone unit or a specific device to receive calls. You can take calls from your mobile device, desktop, or laptop. Calls are seamlessly received as long as these devices have Internet connections.  

On top of that, these virtual numbers are easily obtainable. There’s no need for the installation of telephone wires. You can purchase a virtual phone number from your virtual phone system provider. 

Businesses can buy new numbers to assign as company telephone numbers from an online admin account. They can still use their existing phone numbers. All the virtual number service provider has to do is port the business’ old phone numbers from their traditional telephone provider.  

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How long are virtual phone numbers?

Virtual numbers follow the format of traditional numbers. A US landline number has ten digits, with the first three digits representing the designated area code. 

While traditional landlines observe this format strictly, virtual phone numbers don’t. You can be present in a specific locale or area by buying virtual numbers with that locale’s area code. You can do this even if you don’t have a physical office in the said area. 

Your phone number’s first three-digits can also be a toll-free number identifier. Mostly toll-free numbers have an 800 prefix, with others start from 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888. These prefixes are significant if you want your business to have a better national presence. 

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TUT Staff
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