In reviewing the call rates of landline vs mobile, we're looking at international toll free service. International toll free numbers allow customers to dial, free of charge and connect to your designated phone number or IP Address. Toll free numbers are great for businesses that have a global customer base but want to add a local presence. These numbers also offer additional flexibility with call forwarding functions. This feature enables you to forward and route calls to different locations using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
But, rates for calls vary depending on where the calls terminate and on what device. This article dives into the pricing structure for toll free services using landline versus mobile and some of the restrictions of the services.
Three Primary Factors to Determine Costs of Landline vs Mobile
Calling rate per minute charges are country specific. Three main factors determine the overall rate: where the call originates, in what country the call terminates, and the device used to answer the call. Additionally, each country has its own set of restrictions and added fees for particular services.
1) Originating Country
To determine the rate per minute for your toll free number service, you first need to establish from what country your calls originate or your customers’ location. If your customers are in Australia, you want an Australia Toll Free Number (ITFS) so that your customers have no charges on their phone bills when calling your business.
Using a Spain toll free number as an example, origination rates vary based on a fixed line or mobile. Some ITFS numbers offer mobile access, but there is a charge for airtime. An Australia domestic toll free number (DTF) includes mobile access—with no additional charges.
Looking at Tollfreeforwarding.com, let’s say that your callers originate in Spain. Your origination rate is 8.2¢ per minute when forwarding to most landlines. The number has several restrictions:
The rate per minute for a Spain toll free mobile enabled number is significantly more expensive at 42.2¢ per minute:
2) Terminating Country
The terminating country is the one where you forward your calls. Normally, this is the country where your employees are located. The terminating country is important because it impacts your rate per minute. This rate varies depending on the country in which your call terminates.
Using an Australia toll free number as our example, let’s say that you set your call forwarding to terminate in the Philippines. Your termination rate is associated with a different rate than a call terminating in the United Kingdom.
Dialpad, a business phone system provider, publishes the below rates showing the differences. You can see that rates vary considerably based on location and device. And, there’s a substantial difference between the standard rates and the mobile rates in the UK.
In many countries, a blended rate for landline, or fixed line, and mobile is increasingly popular. With a blended or “mixed rate,” your termination rate is an average across all termination rates including landline and mobile. This means that there is one termination rate regardless of device.
3) Device: Mobile vs Landline vs VoIP
The decision to choose between mobile or landline services isn’t always apparent. While there are benefits to receiving calls over a traditional landline service, such as quality and reliability, there may be associated costs. Sending calls from your toll free number to a landline is normally more expensive than receiving calls on a VoIP phone. Any time calls transmit over the Public Switched Telephone Network, you are subject to additional charges from the telephone company. Fundamentally, this increases your rate per minute.
Forwarding or routing calls to a mobile device is common for people who work remotely, or need the flexibility to take calls while away from the office. Similar to landline services, there may be additional fees added by the cell phone carrier for transmitting the incoming call. International plans and long distance options are often available and offer more competitive rates.
The most cost effective method for receiving calls is through your Internet connection using a Voice over IP enabled phone or softphone. VoIP calls don’t transmit on traditional phone lines or through mobile carriers and that makes them far less expensive. All you need to receive a VoIP phone call is a softphone on your laptop and Internet connection.
One thing to be aware of is the restrictions or added fees that occur when roaming to certain countries. For instance, the countries of China, Brazil and Greece restrict mobile service; but it is available in other countries at a premium rate. Potentially, there are also other access issues, such as payphone restrictions. Your service provider can guide you through the coverage and restriction details of each country.
What Are My Service Plan Options?
There are several common options to choose from when selecting a service plan. The “pay as you go” method is a well-liked choice for businesses who have lower minute usage. Your bill is only for the actual minutes that you use plus a small monthly service charge. Bundled plans are great if you are dealing with a large volume of calls. With a bundled plan, you purchase a set of minutes each month and also pay a monthly service charge. Typically, the monthly service charge is greater than the “pay as you go” plan in return for a lower per minute rate. With bundled plans, if you exceed your allotted minutes, an additional fee is charged. Your individual budget and usage are the best indicators of which plan is best for your business.
When it comes to international numbers, each provider offers various options for coverage, and no two providers offer the same rates. Talk to a specialist today for specific questions about rates and coverage. With toll free numbers in over 140 countries, AVOXI has the answer to all of your international phone number questions.
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