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Which Type of Phone Number is Right For You?

With the amount of phone numbers on the market today, it can be hard to decipher which number you or your business actually needs. From calling restrictions to pricing, each number comes with it’s own set of specifics. There’s no type of number that will work everywhere worldwide; there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution. To help make your shopping experience easier, we’ve written about the most popular phone numbers available on the market. We hope this article becomes a helpful resource to help figure out which type of phone number is right for you.

which type of phone number is right for you

Local DID/DDI Numbers

Local phone numbers, also known as DID or DDI numbers, are phone numbers that are specific to a certain city or location around the world. These numbers are formatted to look like any local phone you’d see in that exact area.

Popularity
Local phone numbers are popular because despite where your company is physically located, you can have the appearance of a local company.

Functionality
These numbers can be called from the specific city that the number is for and even in surrounding areas and around the world. The ability to call the number and the cost associated with it is completely dependent on the caller’s phone provider.

If you are using VoIP, you also have the luxury of dialing out from this type of number.

Cost
Most local numbers are offered at a monthly rate (sometimes there’s a non-recurring set up fee as well) and then you’re charged for the usage of the number. In this case, you’re charged a per minute fee every time a customer calls you.

Your customer is charged standard calling fees based on the country and network they use for their calls.

which type of phone number is right for you

Toll Free Numbers

Toll Free numbers are phone numbers that are country specific. Each country specific number is formatted similarly so customers calling the number are aware that the number they’re calling is Toll Free.

Popularity
Toll Free numbers are popular worldwide since they provide a quick, easy and free way for a customer to call a company.

Functionality
Toll Free numbers can be called from the country that the number is specified for. In some cases, callers in other locations can call this number as well but they may incur charges or have the call blocked by their carrier.

Like local number, calls can be made from this number as long as you’re using VoIP to do so.

Keep in mind, depending on the type of Toll Free number you have you may experience some restrictions. Before committing and purchasing a Toll Free number, be sure to read the fine print and fully understand the functionality offered by your phone number.

Also note that Toll Free numbers are country specific. This means that if you want a Toll Free number that your customers in Spain, Mexico and Italy can call, you’ll have to purchase a separate Toll Free number for each country.

Cost
Most Toll Free numbers are offered at a monthly rate (sometimes there’s a non-recurring set up fee as well) and then you’re charged for the usage on the number. In this case, you’re charged a per minute fee every time a customer calls you.

On the customer’s end, as long as they’re in the specific country that your Toll Free number is for, their call is free. Callers from other locations may incur charges or restrictions from their phone providers.

which type of phone number is right for you

Domestic International Toll Free Numbers

Domestic International Toll Free numbers function very similarly to a traditional Toll Free number. They’re country specific and offer a free way for customers to call a company.

Popularity
Domestic International Toll Free numbers are popular because they tend to have less restrictions and more mobile accessibility than a standard Toll Free number.

Functionality
These numbers can be called from the country the number is specified for. In some cases, callers in other locations can call this number as well but they may incur charges or have the call blocked by their carrier.

Calls can be made from this number as long as you’re using VoIP to do so.

Unlike the restrictions and lack of mobile accessibility you may experience with a traditional Toll Free number, Domestic International Toll Free numbers come with more flexibility.

Cost
Most Domestic International Toll Free numbers are offered at a monthly rate (sometimes there’s a non-recurring set up fee as well) and then you’re charged for the usage on the number. In this case, you’re charged a per minute fee every time a customer calls you.

On the customer’s end, as long as they’re in the specific country that your Domestic International Toll Free number is for, their call is free. Callers from other locations may incur charges or restrictions from their phone providers.

which type of phone number is right for you

UIFN Numbers

A UIFN, or Universal International Freephone Number, is a Toll Free number that works in multiple countries around the world.

Popularity
Unlike having to purchase a separate Toll Free number for each country that your customers are located in, a UIFN allows you to purchase just one number that can work in several countries. Since this type of number is still “Toll Free,” customers in those countries can call this number for free.

Functionality
UIFN numbers can only be called from 46 countries around the world. You can view the list of the countries here.

The downside to these number is that they’re for a very specific market of customers. Since the number can only be called from a handful of countries worldwide, it’s important to truly understand where your customers are located before you invest in this type of number.

Although the phone number you receive will be the same number that people in multiple countries dial, each country has a country code that must be dialed first. This means that your customers must be aware of the specific way to format the number and the country code so they can successfully call you.

Another factor to consider is the set up time. These numbers can take 3-6 months to set up. This includes registration in each country, set up time and extra time if you’ve selected a vanity number.

Cost
Like other numbers, most UIFNs are offered at a monthly rate and then you’re charged for the usage on the number. In this case, you’re charged a per minute fee every time a customer calls you.

UIFNs, however, come with other added costs. There are registration and set up fees for each country that you choose to use your number in.

On the customer’s end, as long as they’re in the corresponding country, their call is Toll Free and thus, free for them to call.

which type of phone number is right for you

 

 

David Wise

David Wise

Chief Executive Officer, Founder at AVOXI
David has more than 18 years of management experience in the telecommunications industry. A graduate of the Citadel, David worked as a Senior Account Executive with Intermedia Communications and later co-founded Rapid Link, a leading provider of International callback and VoIP. David then founded AVOXI in 2001with a focus on providing niche international call center markets with customized voice and data services. read more
David Wise
David Wise

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