Just about any landline number can be converted into a VoIP service. Having said that, if you’re looking to sign up with a new VoIP provider for the first time, or to switch from one to another, it’s well worth doing your homework. There are many different VoIP features out there, and what works for one business won’t necessarily work for another.
The great thing about VoIP is that your number can stay with you for life, even if you move business premises or location. You can even keep it if you change to a different service provider.
How does VoIP work?
This is where the real advantage lies. It works like this:
When you make or receive a phone call over a VoIP (instead of a traditional landline) the data is transferred via the internet digitally in ‘packets’. As VoIP is cloud-based, it means you can access it from anywhere using any internet-connected device. You’re not tied to a specific location in the same way that you are with a landline, hence why it’s so portable.
What factors need to be considered if I want to keep my VoIP number?
There are several factors to think about when it comes to retaining a VoIP number indefinitely.
The first thing to do is check the provider’s terms of service. There are many VoIP providers out there that do allow users to keep their numbers forever. However, others will only give users a VoIP number for a fixed time. After that time has elapsed, ongoing payments will need to be made to keep your number.
If you’re keen to keep your VoIP business number, either for a long duration or indefinitely, you’ll need to think closely about the following:
Choosing a reliable provider
Go for an established VoIP service provider that makes it clear what they offer around number retention and portability.
Reading the small print
We’ve touched on this already but it’s really important to thoroughly go through the VoIP provider’s user agreement or terms of service. Again, look out specifically for anything to do with cancellation policies, number retention and any fees you’ll need to pay.
Remember too that your VoIP provider may well update their policies, terms and conditions over time. Keep on top of any correspondence, particularly around number retention, and if anything is unclear get in touch with them.
Understanding portability options
Even once you’ve chosen your VoIP provider, you may still decide to switch in future. Therefore it’s worth knowing your portability options from the outset, allowing you to seamlessly move from one provider to another.
Maintaining an active account
Some VoIP providers will expect you to maintain an active account or pay a subscription fee to keep your number. Again, check your contract and make sure you stay on the right side of their requirements to keep your number.
Looking for a new VoIP provider?
Choosing the ideal VoIP provider for your small business isn’t always straightforward. That’s why bOnline is pleased to offer our 7-day free trial where you can test out all the handy features before taking the plunge.
Switching to VoIP not only means you never have to miss an important customer call again, but with fixed prices starting at just £6 + VAT a month you can save money too. And of course, it also means you won’t need to worry about the landline switch-off by 2025.
If you have any questions about how a bOnline VoIP system can benefit your business, call us on 0203 617 9950.
You may also find several of our previous articles helpful:
- What is a VoIP phone - everything you need to know
- Why your small business needs a UK virtual phone number
- Small businesses: Why a VoIP phone system is better than using your mobile