The digital upgrade

What is a virtual UK phone number and why do you need one?

Traditional landline phone systems are soon set to become redundant, as the entire copper-based network will be turned off by 2025

Legacy landlines have been in place since the dawn of modern telephone communications, but the system is simply unequipped to deal with the volume of data being transferred in today’s hyper-digital world.

The process of switching to digital communications is already underway and has been since 2020. With the impending switch from traditional phone systems to modern solutions, businesses are having to migrate their communications. For many, a Voice over Internet Protocol - or VoIP - is the next step.

At an unbeatable price, bOnline’s agile VoIP phone system offers flexibility and all the features your business needs to maximise the potential of both internal and external communications.

Why do you need a UK virtual phone number?

A virtual phone number offers numerous benefits that weren’t previously available to users of traditional landline systems. Some of these features include:

  • Global call forwarding
  • Call recording
  • Call queuing
  • Call menus
  • Call reporting
  • Video calling
  • Voicemail to email
  • Custom greetings
  • Local, international and toll-free numbers

The flexibility offered by VoIP phone systems, combined with the range of impressive features, gives smaller businesses the opportunity to level the playing field with their competitors and significantly bolster their communications.

What is a virtual phone number?

Virtual numbers aren’t tied to a fixed line. This means you can make or receive calls from anywhere, providing you have an internet connection.

The most common way to access a virtual landline is via a VoIP service provider. Generally, these companies offer competitive, cost-effective packages that help you to save money on local and international calls.

Having a UK virtual number is the key to unlocking ultimate flexibility for your business. With modern working patterns commonly becoming hybrid or remote, working from anywhere, across a range of devices, is an increasingly important function.

Why should you have a UK virtual phone number?

Whilst there are both benefits and drawbacks to virtual phone numbers, the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages.

Virtual phone numbers offer small businesses more than just flexibility and room for growth. For example, they remove the need to give out a personal number or information. Not only does that improve security, but also the overall reputation of your business, as people will be six times less likely to call a mobile number than a landline.

Moreover, VoIP is significantly safer than traditional landlines. Most packages come with standardised encryption and there’s no need to physically maintain any infrastructure, as everything is hosted over the internet.

What are the types of virtual phone number?

There are three main types of virtual phone number, with each offering its own advantages. Which type is best for your business depends on several factors, including where you and your customers are located and what your business communications requirements are.

The most common types of virtual phone number to consider are:

  • Local number
  • International number
  • Toll-free number

Local numbers are tied to a particular location, providing the opportunity for clients in that area to call your business without having to pay any long-distance call fees. This is a great way to build a local presence with customers who may not otherwise have called, or even heard of your brand.

An international number is associated with a specific country. Like a local number, this provides an opportunity to access a new market, allowing citizens of your chosen country to call you without facing large fees.

Toll-free numbers are useful to enhance your brand reputation, instilling a sense of credibility in your business, especially for users contacting your customer support team. These numbers charge the receiver instead of the caller, so customers won’t pay anything to contact you. 

Additionally, you won’t be picking up the bill for any of the long-distance or outgoing call fees that come with legacy systems, as your service is hosted online.

You might even want to opt for a virtual mobile number, which has its own set of useful features. These can include the ability to receive incoming SMS and calls for free, as well as added bonuses like call forwarding.

Working remotely? Use any device anywhere!

Desktop

  • Make business calls from your computer
  • Available for Windows and macOS
  • Sync contacts from your mobile
  • One-click call audio & video meetings

Mobile

  • Superior call quality & HD voice
  • Available on iOS & Android devices
  • Powerful call controls in your hand
  • Join meetings from anywhere
  • Never miss a call

Where can you get a virtual phone number?

Fortunately, obtaining a virtual phone number is very simple. Once you’ve chosen a VoIP provider, you’ll be able to choose the type of telephone number you want and should receive it when you subscribe to your plan.

Why your small business needs a UK virtual phone number

With the landline phase-out already underway in the United Kingdom and due to be completed by 2025, small businesses will need to navigate away from legacy systems towards modern, digital telephony.

However, businesses aren’t just moving because of the switch off. In fact, the virtual landline stands on its own two feet, with a range of benefits that were previously unavailable from traditional phone systems.

What are the benefits of using a UK virtual business phone number?

A clear advantage of a VoIP service is connectivity. If your business has multiple employees that work away from the office, it’s no longer the problem it once was. Your virtual UK number can be used anywhere, facilitating those team members to be connected at any time.

Small businesses often take on risk when dealing with new technologies. However, start up costs when switching to a VoIP system can be reduced by 90 per cent.

Moreover, having a virtual phone system means that you can avoid any of the expensive maintenance and service charges associated with traditional landlines, as these will come in the form of system updates from your provider.

How do virtual phone numbers make your business more professional?

The features offered by virtual phone numbers include a powerful set of tools to help grow your company and bolster its reputation.

Additionally, the choice of different numbers with varying benefits can be utilised to further increase your brand image by catering to customers through alleviating calling fees and establishing a local presence.

A VoIP service ensures that you aren’t paying for services or features that you don’t need, but you always have the opportunity to scale up as soon as your business requires new communications solutions.

Virtual phone numbers are cost-effective and bridge the gap between small and large businesses. No longer are firms required to have large resources to build and maintain an efficient communications system within their company.

What are the benefits of virtual phone numbers over fixed line numbers?

The most obvious advantage of VoIP systems over traditional landlines is flexibility. For small businesses, the ability to make or receive calls from anywhere, across any compatible device, is a huge step towards competing with the biggest competitors in any industry.

Virtual phone numbers are also more cost-effective than legacy systems. Many VoIP providers offer competitive packages that can be amended with ease. Traditional landlines also come with the burden of having to purchase a separate telephone number for every location at which a business operates, wasting valuable time and money.

How can you build a local presence in the UK with virtual phone numbers?

Local numbers feature a specific area code, as they are tied to geographical locations, like legacy phone systems. Despite this association, they are still virtual phone numbers, which means you don’t need to actually be in that area.

Businesses can leverage the use of a local number to build their reputation in a particular part of the United Kingdom. Opposingly, you might purchase a number in a new area to access a different group of customers who will no longer need to pay any long-distance calling fees when contacting your business.

As a result, customers will be more likely to call your business and you’ll find yourself with more leads and conversions.

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How do I get a virtual phone number in the United Kingdom?

Getting your UK virtual number is as simple as it gets. With bOnline, all you have to do is sign up to a plan, choose your UK landline number and personalise your setup. 

Then, you’re ready to start maximising your internal and external business communications. On top of that, you don’t even need to have new hardware. If you choose, you can keep your current handsets, providing they are compatible.

How much does a virtual UK phone number cost?

VoIP packages are usually priced per user, per month. Most services cost between £15 to £20 per user, per month, but more basic packages start at just £6.

The lower-priced offers come with fewer features than the mid-priced deals. But having functions like audio conferencing and call recording are extremely useful business tools, so it may be worth considering whether it’s worth the savings to lose them.

How to get a cheap virtual landline phone number in the UK

As a highly competitive market, virtual landline systems are inexpensive and, by shopping around, you’ll find some fantastic deals to support your small business.

But, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. As a business, you might have dealt with third-party virtual telephone number providers who don’t live up to their word. It’s worth turning your attention towards more reputable brands to avoid disappointment.

Virtual phone services from bOnline start at as little as £6 per user, per month. For a considerably more accessible price than most, you can level up your business communications with the full support of a dedicated service provider.

How long will it take to get a virtual local number set up?

Configuring a UK virtual number is quick and easy. As long as you order from your provider within working hours, you can usually get your new telephone number within the same day. Otherwise, it shouldn’t take more than two to three working days.

Most reputable service providers will have an app that you can use on compatible devices to offer flexibility in your communications, making and receiving calls from anywhere.

Furthermore, as your business grows and you require additional lines, the process couldn’t be easier. Just get in touch with your provider, or navigate their website, and it can be taken care of in a matter of minutes.

Which is the best virtual phone number provider?

VoIP systems for business is an incredibly competitive market, with lots of great services on offer. Comparing packages and services between different providers can sometimes feel overwhelming and confusing.

At bOnline, our products and services are all designed specifically for small businesses. We know that the most important thing is cash flow. With plans starting at as little as £6 for VoIP phone systems, we are committed to offering a personalised, cost-effective solution.