What is a Virtual Phone Number & How Do They Work?

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What is a Virtual Phone Number & How Do They Work?

on Wednesday, 26 January 2022. Posted in Industry News

A complete guide to virtual phone numbers. Learn what they are, how they work, how to use them, and how they can help you.

What is a virtual phone number?

A virtual telephone number is a number that isn't linked to a fixed telephone line. Virtual numbers exist in the cloud, meaning that calls to these numbers can be diverted to mobiles or landlines anywhere in the world. They can be used to make or receive calls, and they’re popular with employees working in offices or from home.

How do virtual phone numbers work?

Unlike normal phone numbers, virtual phone numbers aren't tied to a SIM card or a physical telephone. Instead, they use reliable internet technology - known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to connect calls. This is essentially the same technology used by iMessage, WhatsApp and other internet-based communications systems.

As long as you have a data connection, you can make and receive calls through a virtual phone number. VoIP has been such a success because it offers quality, real-time communication with existing broadband connections. It's affordable, doesn't require lots of data, and allows businesses to be far more flexible.

Learn more about how Virtual Landline works.

What's the difference between a virtual phone number and a regular phone number?

We've outlined some of the main differences between regular and virtual numbers below:

  • Regular numbers are tied to a fixed location or telephone, whereas virtual numbers are not.
  • Since regular numbers are connected to fixed locations, companies using them require traditional telephone lines running through the office; this is not the case for virtual numbers.
  • Regular phone numbers can be tied to a specific area code; when you get a virtual phone number from us, you can choose a number that suits your goals, supporting you as you target different markets and locations.
  • Regular numbers require specific equipment and hardware, which can be expensive, whereas virtual numbers do not.
  • Virtual phone numbers can divert calls to any mobile or landline, anywhere in the world. This allows companies to be far more flexible.
  • Regular phone number providers usually require you to sign a contract; at Virtual Landline, we offer contract free plans to suit your needs.
  • Many regular phone number providers charge extra for call forwarding; when you get a virtual number from us, call forwarding comes as part of the plan.

How to use a virtual phone number

Using a virtual phone number is easy with Virtual Landline. After you sign up, follow the registration steps and choose your number, and we'll send you a welcome email which includes an activation link. As soon as you've activated your number, you'll be able to make and receive calls on it immediately.

Read our FAQs for more information.

Different types of virtual phone numbers

At Virtual Landline, we offer various types of virtual phone numbers, including local numbers, national numbers, freephone numbers, London numbers, and memorable numbers. Let’s look at each in more detail.

Local numbers

Local numbers, also called 'geographic numbers', are phone numbers associated with a specific area in the UK. Any UK landline that begins with 01 or 02 is considered a local number.

Local numbers give the impression that your business operates within a specific area, so they're helpful if you're looking to target customers in a different city. Since people are more likely to contact numbers that are familiar to them, local numbers improve the perception of your business in their associated area and lead to an increase in incoming calls. Plus, having a local number means you'll be able to grow your market within a specific area without having to rent an office there. Overall, they’re a cheap and easy way to boost ROI.

At Virtual Landline, we offer a wealth of local numbers, including:

Freephone numbers

Freephone numbers, also called '0800 numbers' are completely free to call from any standard UK mobile or landline. Freephone numbers bill the recipient of the call rather than the caller, making them one of the most popular numbers to dial. Businesses opt for freephone numbers to make their company more attractive to customers and potential customers, helping to increase their volume of incoming calls and boost ROI.

Learn more about the benefits of 0800 numbers for businesses.

National numbers

National numbers, also known as ‘0330 numbers', are non-geographic numbers that cost the same as calling an 01 or 02 landline number. They give the impression that your business has a national presence, help you expand beyond the region in which your business is based, and allow customers throughout the UK to contact you without incurring a large phone bill.

National numbers are a popular alternative to freephone numbers. Discover more ways that 0330 and 0800 numbers can help your business.

Memorable numbers

Also known as golden numbers, memorable numbers include repeating numbers or memorable sequences that make them easy to recall. When combined with a good marketing campaign, memorable numbers can be incredibly successful, and can mean that your business is the first that comes to a customer's mind when they’re in need of a service.

Who uses virtual phone numbers?

Businesses of all sizes use virtual numbers to improve communication with their customers, boost their volume of incoming calls and more, with the ultimate aim of increasing return on investment. At Virtual Landline, we've worked successfully with businesses in a variety of industries. These include:

  •  A local fitness business: When we provided Chameleon Fitness with a business phone number that gave them a more professional image, improved their customer service, and helped them secure new clients.
  • A clothing brand: We provided Lavender Hill with a virtual number which led to improvements in efficiency, flexibility and customer service.
  • A chauffeur company: We provided Prestige Chauffeurs of Cambridge with a local number that gave them a far more professional appearance and helped them respond quickly to customer enquiries.
  • A tech support sole trader: We found the right virtual number for Apple Core Support - an Apple Mac repairs business based in Bournemouth - that allowed the sole trader to quickly follow up on potential customers.

View our case studies to learn more about the benefits of using virtual numbers.

What are the benefits of virtual phone numbers?

  • They don't require a separate phone, meaning you won't need to buy more hardware, or carry it around with you.
  • They allow you to take calls from anywhere, meaning both you and your employees can be more flexible in a dynamic market. Adaptability is crucial, and you'll find that you and your team can work far more efficiently when using virtual numbers.
  • As they allow you to work from any location, you'll save money on overheads like rent and travel.
  • Easily divert calls to specific individuals, improving customer service and experience and leading to a likely increase in ROI.
  • Benefit from pro features that can further improve efficiency and drive sales.

 Discover more benefits of virtual phone numbers.

How can I get a virtual phone number?

Getting a virtual number with us is easy. When you click to choose a virtual number, you'll be taken to a registration page. From here, just choose the number you want and follow the steps to complete the sign-up.

How much do virtual phone numbers cost?

We offer some of the cheapest virtual phone numbers in the UK, with plans starting at just £3.95 per month. Even our most basic plans come with great features like voicemail to email and overseas call diverts. You'll also get benefits like a monthly rolling contract, £1 or £5 welcome call credit and more.

View our tariffs to find a plan that suits you.

Why choose Virtual Landline?

Businesses tend to outgrow using standard mobile or landline numbers, and get to a point where they require a more professional business number. We provide virtual numbers that suit your business needs at a fraction of the cost of usual fixed BT lines. 

Rather than paying for an expensive 12-month contract, we offer a contract-free plan that gives you freedom and flexibility at fantastic prices. We are a leading name in the industry, and can help your business become more efficient and increase revenue.

Learn more about why you should choose Virtual Landline and get in touch today.

More from our blog

Virtual phone number FAQs

Do virtual numbers work on mobile devices? 

Yes - virtual numbers work on both mobile and landline phones.

Can I keep my old phone number?

If you sign up for a virtual phone number with us, you'll be able to port your existing number. This way, you won't have to inform all your contacts that your number has changed, and you don't have to worry about missing any calls. Learn more about how to port your number with Virtual Landline.

Are virtual phone numbers safe?

Not only are virtual numbers convenient, practical and cheap - they're safe too. Virtual Landline is a trusted and reliable company, with clients in a wealth of industries - sign up today.

Can you trace virtual numbers?

It's possible to trace non-fixed VoIP numbers by searching for it in phone books or online. However, since they aren't assigned any code or location, they're generally more difficult to trace than standard numbers.

Sign up today

Sign up for Virtual Landline today to expand and improve your business.

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