Virtual numbers are used to forward incoming calls to another location – usually in another part of the country or in another country altogether Generally, the incoming calls to the virtual number are forwarded to their destination via VoIP internet calling technology. Given that VoIP telephony is much less expensive than traditional telephony, this allows either the inbound caller or the virtual number subscriber or both to reduce calling costs.
To be clear, virtual numbers can be forwarded over traditional telephone networks, too – but it will cost more.Unlike normal phone numbers, virtual telephone numbers generally do not have an actual physical landline or mobile phone assigned to them. Meaning that they don’t actually ring anywhere.
Virtual telephone numbers are available for purchase in many countries around the world – but not available in many others. For instance, virtual numbers are not allowed in India as of this writing.
In general, countries that restrict use of virtual numbers are also countries that regulate use of VoIP internet telephony – and, usually, telecom markets in general.
In such countries, governments are typically trying to nuture incumbent telephone companies and protect them from low-cost competitors, especially from low-cost VoIP companies.
In countries with liberal telecom regulation, like the US, virtual numbers are easy to obtain with few, if any, restrictions on their use.
Virtual Phone Number
A Virtual Phone Number is a telephone number that forwards incoming calls to one of the pre-set telephone numbers chosen by the client.
For example, a company located in China can have a phone number in Los Angeles. Virtual Phone Numbers are very popular among Call Centers, which are physically located in one country, when in fact they really work in another. International virtual phone numbers are also popular with people currently residing in a foreign country, giving their family members and friends a virtual phone number so that they can contact them at a local call price rate.
Frequently, the subscriber can easily set the Virtual Phone Number to forward calls to different telephone numbers (both landlines and mobile phones) depending on his or her preference. For example, on work days incoming calls can be set to be forwarded to one’s workplace, but on weekends to one’s mobile phone.