One of the things very common to see as part of a Provider’s offer nowadays is Virtual Numbers. Though what are these numbers and why they are called ‘virtual’?
Well, these are called ‘Virtual’ (or Extra) Numbers because they are not directly associated with a real telephone line. In fact, Virtual Numbers are forwarded to ring to some other number. Now, what’s the benefit or use of that you may ask? As we know Canada is a big and diverse country, let’s say you are in Vancouver and have family in Toronto and back in Porto, Portugal. Your main residence telephone line will be a Vancouver area code phone number but with VoIP, you can easily add a virtual number in Toronto and another one back home in Porto. These will both be forwarded to your primary residential line in Vancouver. The benefit of this is that your relatives when they call you will dial a local phone number and save on long-distance charges.
Likewise for businesses wanting to have a local virtual presence can obtain extra numbers. For instance, a business distribution with HQ in Edmonton could get local numbers in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver to make it easier for its distribution partners to reach them. In essence that is virtually increasing the company foot-print without having to have local offices.
This type of set-up is very inexpensive with VoIP and easy to maintain and administer. Localphone and Skype have virtual numbers in a number of countries; just visit our review page to found out more. Also, some Home Phone providers such as VoIP Much offer a Virtual Phone Number in many cities across Canada and the world.
RingCentral provides businesses with their extra phone numbers needs as part of their monthly plan, so it’s all included. Businesses might want to factor-in having toll-free and/or local numbers; usually, it’s a combination of the two.
Another feature is that you can set these virtual numbers to be forwarded to a different line depending on the time of the day. For instance; use line A from 9 am to 5 pm and use line B for after-hours. Line B could be a mobile or another telephone location altogether.
One other use that is becoming popular is to have a VoIP virtual number as a second line for a wireless number; the main use is for protecting privacy. For example, you could have long set-up a Toronto # with your wireless carrier of choice and get a virtual number; for example from VoIP Much; from the Toronto area. Have that number be forwarded either to your real wireless number or directly to voice-mail, which will be then emailed to you. This gives an added layer of protecting privacy. Ultimately the real number will be shared at a minimum if ever shared at all.
As we can see VoIP’s virtuosity allows for enhanced telecommunications elasticity; without making a dent to whatever telecom budget is allocated.