If your business has been looking to expand its business overseas, you may be looking to get a toll free number to help give your business a competitive edge in the global marketplace. In this article, we’ll cover a few topics about international toll free service providers and the toll free phone numbers that are available for businesses and individuals.
Types of International Toll Free Numbers
Before selecting from the many International Toll Free Service Providers available today, you should know that there are a few different types of international toll free numbers available.
First, there are UIFN numbers, which stands for Universal International Freephone Number (UIFN), a type of worldwide toll free 800 number issued by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). Similar to the 1-800 area code numbers issued for the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in the U.S. and Canada (as well as the other prefixes, like 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888), as well as 0800 numbers in many other countries, calls made to a UIFN are toll free for the caller, while the subscriber foots the bill and pays the charges.
Second, there are ITFS numbers, which stands for International Toll Free Service numbers. These are similar to UIFN numbers, but they’re more geographically specific to various countries. For instance, an ITFS number for Germany would be Germany-specific. The same goes for an Italian ITFS number. While they lack the universality of UIFN numbers, these types of toll free numbers are regionally specific, which can aid a business’ localization efforts.
Both of these international toll free phone number types are powered by virtual phone numbers. Virtual phone numbers are a modern form of telecommunication, where calls are completed by cloud computing and VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol. When a virtual phone number is dialed, the call is immediately routed to another phone number, known as a destination phone number. This destination phone number can be located anywhere in the world. In practice, this means that a virtual phone number is a type of intermediary, where callers may be unaware that their call is forwarded around the world. Thanks to modern technology, there’s no lag and these calls function just as they would with traditional forms of wired telecommunication.
It should be noted that if your business has a domestic toll free number, that number isn’t toll free for international callers. Instead, those callers are charged long distance fees, just as if the phone call was any other type of international call. This defeats the purpose, and hence necessitates the aforementioned types of international toll free numbers.
Benefits of International Toll Free Service Numbers
As you can imagine, international toll free numbers available from service providers like Global Call Forwarding offer a host of benefits, due to the fact that they use VoIP and cloud computing to actuate calls between two parties. Here are a few of their many benefits:
Perhaps the key benefit of international toll free numbers is that they put your business in touch with international customers and clients toll free. As mentioned before, foreign service providers may charge long distance fees or block calls outright. Instead, international toll free numbers open up lines of communication free of charge so that you can do business in foreign countries.
No Physical Presence Necessary
Because modern business is handled predominantly online, businesses no longer need to follow traditional modes of international expansion into foreign markets by leasing property, following foreign guidelines, opening up bank accounts, investing capital, and so forth. With international toll free numbers, your business can access markets by implementing methods through the internet by way of virtual offices.
As an additional benefit of Internet-based telecommunication, international toll free numbers can be augmented with a vast array of add-ons that can be purchased at a nominal fee. For instance, one common add-on is call recording, which records calls made between two parties for later reference. Similarly, time of day routing can be another feature that allows a business to reroute inbound calls based on the time of day that the caller dials the number. And then there’s simultaneous ringing, which rings all connected phones at the same time to ensure that any inbound call is answered by an available customer representative.