Using a VoIP Virtual Number A VoIP virtual number is a perfect way for a business to establish a presence in areas out of state while giving customers a way to make contact without having to pay long distance charges. This is done by using VoIP technology which uses packet based switching to route calls over a data network. Today, most businesses use circuit based switching that sends calls out over the PSTN, or Public Switched Telephone Network. In this scenario, only one call can be placed at a time over the same line. Although reliable, this is an inefficient as well as expensive way to route calls. Because only one call can occupy the same line at a time, cost is based on the distance the signal must travel and how long the call lasted. When you're on a phone call, you are using resources that are not available to other calls while your conversation is in progress. The longer the distance, the more resources are being used. This is why long distance calls are charged at a higher rate because the demand on available resources to route the call is greater. In the case of packet based switching, the digital signal is converted to data packets and travels along the same line that the data is using. Because packet based switching allows more than one transmission to occupy the same pipe, costs are reduced. When you make a call on the traditional PTSN, you are in effect "reserving" that length of wire for your exclusive use. Virtual VoIP numbers can reside virtually anywhere where calls are sent and received over a data network. When these calls are made, you are sharing the line with many other packets of data which allows greater capacity for each trunk. So how do you benefit from the use of a VoIP virtual number? If you have a fledgling company and you would like to expand into other markets that could potentially be profitable, you don't have to hire an entire staff or set up a brick and mortar extension of the business. You could have one employee who works from a home office with a number that is local to the area that they're serving. In this way, local customers won't have to dial long distances when inquiring about the goods and services that you provide. Additionally, when the employee is returning calls to customers, they too will only be making local calls. Any calls to the main office can be done via VoIP over a company network. This allows businesses to test the waters in areas where they might not be sure about the profitability of building an extension of the business. This gives any company wanting to expand a very low cost way to slowly break into other areas without a substantial investment up front. This also minimizes potential losses where the market wasn't as strong as previously thought and allows the business to withdraw their presence quickly and easily. A VoIP virtual number can also benefit the average consumer. In today's society, many families are spread out over wide areas with some of the members living on the other side of the country. This makes talking to family members costly so most of the time calls are limited to once or twice a month. With VoIP technology, anyone can have a virtual phone number in any city. As an example, if someone has siblings in the state of Indiana, and they live in Utah, they can get a number that is based in the same area code as their siblings. This way, their siblings can call them and only pay local charges. Additionally, they can call their siblings using the virtual VoIP number that is local to the city in Indiana and pay only local charges as well. In most cases, the monthly cost for the virtual VoIP number is much cheaper than paying long distance charges for calls routed over the PTSN. Obviously, for those making a lot of long-distance calls VoIP technology keeps families in touch without the worry of large phone bills. This can be done by using a device that converts an analog signal to digital packets so that it can be sent out over the network. Another option is to have an IP enabled phone where the phone itself converts the signal. The last option is to simply dial from one computer to another. There are already companies using this method where users can logon and have either voice or video calls. VoIP telephony is becoming increasingly popular due to its lower cost and versatility. By routing phone calls over a packet based switching architecture, telecommunications carriers can offer service at a reduced rate. With cost savings and portability, VoIP is becoming a fixture in the telecommunications landscape. With further advancements, it is likely that VoIP will replace all current forms of communication forever changing the way people communicate with each other.