The digital anatomy of a phone number

Remember when things were analogue? A crackling radio? Getting interference on your TV? Reading newspapers that were printed… on paper? Now it seems that nearly every aspect of our lives are digitized and digital. Phone numbers are no exception to this, benefiting from the digital revolution and modernizing how we communicate. The days of a rotary phone and a fixed local handset with a static phone number are gone, so let’s have a look at where we are today..

What is a digital phone number?


Before delving into what one of these actually is, we need to understand how they differ from traditional phone numbers. First, a digital phone number, also known as “virtual telephone number,” is a form of telecommunication that uses the Internet to put callers in touch with one another. When dialing a digital phone number, the call ends up literally anywhere – it can be routed to a traditional phone, picked up on a mobile phone, via an app or in another country. This happens because the call is sent over the internet, and it means that you have more freedom and choice as to where you receive and make calls.

How do digital phone numbers work?

How is this possible? In laymen’s terms, the audio signals of both callers are instantly converted into digital packets of information in real-time. These digital packets of information are “unpacked,” converted to audio by the underlying software (known as the “softphone”). Thanks to the speed of modern cloud computing, this process occurs at lightning-speed. This means no latency issues will be creating a hassle – something which plagued callers before the advent of cloud computing and other telecom protocols.

Chances are, you’re probably already familiar with calls of this type. This is particularly true with organizations that outsource their staff but remain accessible. Also, services like Skype, WhatsApp and SnapChat implement this digital element extensively, enabling calling around the world without long-distance fees and network restrictions.

Where to get a digital phone number

You’re probably wondering about where you can get a digital phone number.

Telecom service providers, like United World Telecom and others, offer digital phone numbers on a subscription basis. By paying a monthly fee, you’re able to take advantage of the many benefits available with digital phone numbers. These service providers also offer a wide variety of add-ons and functionalities. Proper usage can significantly change the way your business operates.

For instance, you may want to establish a greater work-life balance in your career as an international entrepreneur. By signing up for an add-on like “time of day routing,” you can reroute calls to another phone number for a designated period of time.

Most of the time these numbers are cheaper than traditional numbers with no line rental and cheaper call rates, which is a definite benefit.

Creating a Virtual PBX

As another example, to make your business more efficient and free up the amount of redundant inbound calls, you may consider a PBX. Creating a PBX, or Private Branch Exchange, enables you to pair the digital power of virtual phone numbers. A directory system provides an automated message and directions on proceeding. You can then tailor how callers can find the information they’re looking for, the extensions to dial for staff members, and so forth. This recoups efficiency, with available staff members having to man the phones and repeat easily-accessible information through a pre-recorded message.

Put simply, if you’re looking to setup a business or you want a “second line”, the days of having an engineer cable it in are gone. You are now free to handle that important call in whatever way you wish.

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