Saturday, March 14, 2009

Voice Peering and long distance calls

This may be my most technical Blog, but, understanding it can really save you money. Traditional telephone companies constitute the majority of long distance charges. You make a long distance call, and you generate costs. Traditional telephone companies had a monopoly on voice routing. If you wanted to call pretty much anywhere, you needed access to the routes owned by these companies. Enter the internet. Information could now be sent, essentially anywhere. It does not matter if you are exchanging information next door, or around the world. Information transfer became “non-geographic”. Your cost to send or receive (usually both) data had no bearing on the distance. Voice is just another piece of data. Therefore, if you could send voice over the internet, and avoid the traditional telephone company, substantial cost saving could be realized. Voice over internet protocol was born (VOIP). Then hundreds of VOIP companies spring up, with millions of subscribers. You could now make calls for much less than before. Later, calls between subscribers from the same VOIP company could be made for free. But, missing was the ability for calls from one VOIP company, to be sent to another, while simultaneously avoiding using traditional telephone routes. Again, calls generated costs. Enter voice peering. If VOIP companies could be interconnected, seamlessly, then calls between VOIP subscribers from different providers could be made. Since the traditional telephone company was bypassed, the callers save money. The cost savings is very substantial from countries that have high calling costs. The cost savings could allow businesses to expand into new regions, never before possible. The ability for producers to reach consumers moved a huge step forward. A buyer in the USA could now reach a seller thousands of miles away without calling long distance. The seller could have a “virtual” presence in areas never before possible or affordable. Costs are minimal die to voice peering. Voice becomes as “non-geographic” as data. Businesses and families could now connect, where previously, costs made it impossible. As this technology matures, several additional enhancements have become available. In some countries, calls to mobiles are very expensive. With the advent of mobile internet, voice could now be delivered through the data connection, and save the caller money. The same mobile telephone owner could have telephone numbers in multiple areas, on one telephone. This is unheard of with traditional mobile providers. The caller saves money, and the mobile phone owner has features never before available.

Many VOIP providers participate with voice peering. The power of this technology is complex, but opens news vistas for business and personal use. Understanding the fundamentals can make the prospective buyer a better user. The informed user can apply the technology in very effective ways. is a global VOIP provider. We leverage voice peering to allow customer’s access to markets never affordable before. Contact us for your business needs. Call us now, we love to talk.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Using virtual telephone numbers for personal privacy

Think about your home, or mobile telephone number. You give these numbers to so many people. Some you want to have your number; your family, close friends, people you want to reach you in an emergency (just for example). But, how many have your private number and you prefer they don’t? Or, you want to exercise greater control over when, and where people can call you. The situation is easy to see; you want your important people to reach you always, and those “less important” to reach when you want, or not at all. Does your traditional telephone company allow you to block certain calls, send all unwanted calls to voicemail, and without sending the wanted calls to voicemail? The answer is usually , NO! This is where virtual telephone numbers are great for personal security. Simply, the virtual telephone number subscriber gives those “less important” people their virtual telephone number. The “important” people are given the owners private telephone number. Your virtual telephone number is an extra telephone number, and rings on your home, mobile or business telephone. Most virtual telephone providers allow subscribers great control over the delivery of those calls from the virtual number. Control features usually include do not disturb (DND), call blocking of specific numbers, time control, and a host of other features not even possible with more traditional telephone providers. Further, is the ability to change your virtual telephone number each month. This is great for businesses that have changing contracts. You want phone calls to stop from expired contracts, and receive calls from new contracts. This is simple with virtual telephone, and less so with traditional services. If you had to change your telephone number frequently, think of all those important people who you would need to inform. With virtual telephone, you just change your virtual number, and it is just that simple. Your important people always have your private number, and you now can exercise control over those “less important”.

Virtual telephone becomes a very powerful feature if you have a small business. Particularly if you use your regular telephone. Being able to exercise control of just the business calls, and not personal calls is useful, and often good business practice. He geographic feature of virtual numbers allows the small business to have a telephone number in a location far from where you are located. And avoids long distance costs. provides virtual telephone numbers in over 50 countries. With an all flat rate service, and no per minute charges, you have control over calls and costs. Contact us for great service! We Love to talk!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Enhancing business communications with a Mobile PBX

The PBX, or Private Branch Exchange, is a business tool that allows companies to increase the efficiency of communications. In its’ classic application, an employees telephone becomes a powerful business tool. The PBX allows voicemail, conference calling, ring groups call queues and other features to make sales and customer service work better.

But what happens when your employees work in different locations, particularly in the “field” or internationally. For example, you have a real estate company, with multiple sales people, working in many locations. You know how important it is for the customer to reach the sales person. You could give out the telephone number of each sales person, and have the customer call directly. This has both positives and negatives. The positives are the direct connection with sales. The negatives are many; the customer may have to pay mobile phone calling costs (common in many countries), the sales person loses privacy (they give out their private number), you have limitations when the sales person is unavailable, and if your company is international, it is unlikely that a prospective buyer will incur those costs. Let’s assume for the moment, your company manages clients and real estate in multiple countries. Or sells artwork internationally, or provides technical support in multiple locations. Having geographically placed, local telephone numbers would substantially enhance the ability for your customers to reach your agents. An art gallery in Genève, with customers in New York, Tokyo and Vancouver, would benefit from local telephone numbers in each city. The customer never pays long distance to reach you. But, your sales agents may be in Genève, or Rome, or Cairo, or wherever. Having your sales agents, connected to your PBX, regardless of location, solves many problems reaching your distant agents. Let’s assume you could do so, and not have to pay long distance charges. Now, that would be great! The mobile PBX does just that. The telephones (mobile and landline) of each sales agent, or technician, or really anyone, would be connected globally, in a “virtual” PBX, and everyone saves long distance, airtime and mobile charges. The design is very efficient, simple and attractive to companies, employees and customers. The client in Tokyo calls a local number in Tokyo. The call is answered with your announcement, and the customer enters a three or four digit extension, and connects directly with sales, or technical support, or accounting. It doesn’t matter where that agent is located; the system finds the agent and connects the call, as long as the agent has their telephone turned on.

Let’s look at another example. Your real estate company has sales people in 3 countries. A customer calls, and you want to make sure they reach a sales person quickly. Rather than calling each person, to find an available agent, you use a ring group. This feature allows the system to find the first available agent, or goes through an ordered list, ringing the first person available. The customer presses “1” for sales, and the system finds a sales agent, quickly and regardless of location. Long distance charges are saved, the customer reaches sales quickly, and your company provides good service.

Now, what do you do with calls from different time zones? No one can be available 24 hours a day. By setting time conditions on your system, you can also program it to send calls automatically to agents in different time zones. That way, after hours, your caller doesn’t get sent to voicemail. Customers like to speak with people, and are less enthused about leaving voicemail.

The power of the PBX, particularly the mobile PBX, makes your business calling much more efficient, saves money and time. Your customers get better service, avoid paying long distance, and connect to the right person much faster. The enhanced services of the PBX really make sense in the global sales world.

In the next blog, I will look at virtual telephone numbers for enhancing personal security, as well as family communication. is an expert in providing virtual telephone services, such as the mobile PBX. We are available to help you find the correct solution, and in a very cost effective way.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reducing mobile calling costs with virtual telephone numbers

In many countries, calling mobile telephones is more expensive than calling landline telephones. This can be a small cost, or quite large. The increased cost is due to many factors, profits and infrastructure are the big culprits. For many of us, the extra cost is just a nuisance, but for those of us who call mobile phones regularly, the cost is significant. It is not at all uncommon to pay 25 cents or more per minute, to reach mobile telephones. A little math quickly exposes a substantial drain to your business. For example, you have a repair business, or real estate business with several agents “in the field”. If you make 1000 minutes per month of calls to these mobile telephones, that translates to a cost of $250.00. By using a single virtual telephone number, and an interactive response menu, you can reduce these costs by about 90%. To begin with you need a virtual telephone number (that’s easy to get) that is connected to an interactive menu system (press 1 for Ann’s mobile, 2 for Evan, and 3 for Robert, etc.). Then each of these mobile telephones needs to be connected to the system, using the data portion of your mobile telephone. The data connection is a much cheaper way to receive calls. Now when you need to reach your agent in the field, you first call the virtual telephone number. This is a “regular call”, and does not incur the extra cost of calling the mobile. Next, you use the interactive system, and enter the number for that particular mobile, “press 3 for Robert”. Your call is connected to “Robert”, and you don’t pay the extra mobile charge.

The cost savings becomes really significant when you are calling internationally. In this example, you have a real estate business or other business with agents in more than one country. You are selling real estate in Australia, and have agents in the U.K. Rather than incurring the costs of calling either country; you use a virtual telephone number. You purchase an Australian virtual number, and set your agents in the U.K., and Canada, and Japan, or wherever into the system, and now everyone is a local call, no matter where they are located. Many virtual telephone companies are “flat rate”, meaning no per minute charges. So, you can call all you need, and the monthly bill is always the same. This can really add up to big savings if your business makes even a few calls to the same mobile telephones.

Setting up the interactive system is something that the service provider needs to do. So when choosing a virtual telephone number provider, make sure they offer this service, and enough personal customer support to understand and fulfill your needs. is an expert in virtual telephone services for business. Call or email us, We Love to Talk!! Reach us at: for more information.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Understanding and choosing a virtual telephone service

Navigating technology is a difficult process. Each technology sector has its’ own language, buzz words and goal. Just think back to the last time you read the instructions on installing something on your computer, or fixing something on an automobile, or even setting up a Childs toy. These are common place items, and we should be able to understand the basics of the items we use daily. Instructions seem to be written by “techies” and written to be read by “techies”. They frequently fail to convey meaning to those who don’t speak that particular technical language. That doesn’t mean we are unable to understand the technical nature of the item, it means the writer has failed to put it in a language we understand. I buy a car in France, but the user manual is in Japanese. Because you don’t speak that particular language, you can’t understand the user manual. Technology suffers from the same failure, and we have spawned a whole community called “technophobes”. The failure is ours, on the technical side, for not being good communicators.

Ok, enough of my daily rant! Now on to virtual telephone numbers. Go to the store, and purchase a mobile telephone. Your brand new phone comes with enough features to keep you busy for months. It has email, internet, a music player, a camera, and a list of features way too long to list here. But, even with all those choices, what choice did you get for the phone number? Probably few, or none. In particular, the location of the telephones incoming number. You live in Sydney, and you get a number in Sydney. Now, of course, this makes some sense. People in Sydney would be less likely to call you if your number was in Rio. But, let’s assume that your Brother lives in London, your parents live in Auckland, and you have important business clients in Singapore. Wouldn’t it be nice for your Brother to call a local number in London, and your phone rings in Sydney. If your parents are elderly, they may get confused dialing internationally. A local number in Auckland would solve that. And you would look like a real star when your valued clients no longer have to pay long distance charges to reach you. That’s the magic of virtual telephone numbers.

Until recently, these types of services required you to be connected to the internet, and use your computer to make and receive your calls. This has its’ advantages as well as drawbacks. You can take your computer almost anywhere and connecting to the internet is easy in hotels, at meetings, cafes or just about anywhere. You no longer were required to sit by your office or home phone waiting for a call. Voicemail is great, but when the client calls, you want to pick up the phone. The drawback here is that you need your computer, it has to be connected to the internet, and often you have to endure the awkwardness of a using a headset to connect to the computer. You now have traded the simplicity of the telephone, for the portability of your laptop. Recently, the ability to deliver your virtual phone call, to your landline and mobile telephone has matured. You could do so before, but it was often complicated, expensive or both. Particularly to your mobile. In many countries, calling mobile telephones is much more expensive than calling landline phones. While saving money for your family, friends and clients, you now have made your life more expensive. New pricing structures, and new technology has changes this drastically.

Flat rate, long distance telephone calling has not only blossomed, but become a very mature offering. The opportunity to have a telephone number in a location far from you, with absolutely no per minute charges for receiving calls on your mobile or landline telephone has arrived. You clients can call you as much as they want (that’s a good thing), and you only pay one flat fee. Your cost for your telephone service is always the same. Your business in Sydney, or New York, or London or wherever, can now have many telephone numbers, and you are not penalized with staggering long distance charges for expanding your business internationally. The manufacturer in China, or India, or elsewhere can have telephone numbers in the location where the product is sold, but not have to cringe every time the phone rings. Think of what that does for sales, or customer service! You no longer have to sit at your computer, waiting for a call. Your regular telephone rings, with your virtual telephone number, and you and the customer or family member, or whomever, save money. Sometimes lots of money.

Now, what about solving the problem of costly mobile calls. If your client in Vancouver, calls your mobile in Ukraine, that could be very expensive. That might even prevent the customer from calling in the first place, or cause you to lose the customer, once they get their telephone bill. This is where new technology really shines. Most mobile phones have a voice and a data connection. You know the data connection, because you use that to “surf” the web on your mobile. Well, that connection can be used to send, and receive telephone calls. This bypasses, or avoids the expense of calling on the voice connection. For instance, calling to a Kiev mobile phone costs around 10 cents a minute, or calling a Brazil mobile around 24 cents per minute can really add up. Most mobile data plans are either flat rate, or inexpensive. Allowing you to receive your virtual call for a fraction of what your customer would have to pay. Again, your customer calls locally, and you pay very little. Everyone wins! The costs are so little, that some telephone companies have tried, with limited success, to block these types of calls. The cost savings of virtual calls has really challenged the definition of traditional telephone services. Clearly, the customer and the proprietor come out ahead.

In later blogs, we will discuss how virtual telephone numbers can add security for personal use, as well as convenience on holiday. We will also explore how this technology can enhance many types of business. provides virtual telephone numbers in over 50 countries. Our service is flat rate, and you can receive your calls on your mobile or landline telephone.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Improving your business exposure with virtual telephone numbers

What ever your product or service is, you have to reach potential customers. The more people you reach, the more likely it is to find customers. In our informational age, geographic barriers have dissolved, and your customers can be from anywhere. Better yet, they should be from everywhere. Once your customers find you, how do you convert the "looker" into the "buyer"?

Many businesses fit neatly into online sign up, and that's nice, but not every business. Email is efficient but is impersonal. Many products and services sell themselves better with a good chat, or sales pitch. The binary nature of the Internet can miss that all important "warm and fuzzy" feeling that a good product has when the customer hears your voice. Further, when the customer has a question, a problem or a complaint, nothing keeps customers happy like hearing from you. Customer service is often seen as a thing of the past. Many companies will do anything to keep the customer from actually talking to a real person. This is where the savvy business person can really grow a business. Where your competitors keep customers searching FAQ's, sending emails, or opening trouble tickets, your customers call you, and the problem gets fixed. Your business grows, your reputation soars, and you are a success. But, what if your business is in, say China, or India or somewhere far away from your customers? Will the potential customer in Brazil, or Canada, or the U.K., call you in China? Will you lose the sale? Worse yet, will the potential customer never consider your product because you are "here", and the customer is "there"? This is where virtual telephone really shines!

Virtual telephone numbers are local telephone numbers in cities, and countries, just like any other telephone number. However, the call goes to a location of your choice. For example, when you bought your mobile telephone, they gave you a local telephone number in the location you bought your phone. You bought your phone in Toronto, and you got a Toronto number. Nobody asked if you wanted a number in Paris, or London, or Sydney, or all of them. Essentially, your telephone was "locked" into the geographic location where you purchased it. Now, this is not necessarily bad. If your phone in Toronto had a South African telephone number, then everyone in Toronto might stop calling you. But, if your Toronto telephone had a Toronto number and a Sydney number, your customers in Toronto and Sydney would find it very easy to reach you. By adding telephone numbers in the geographic regions that you want to sell your product, you can reach new customers that you might not have reached before. The cost savings is also something to consider. Opening traditional telephone service in multiple countries and having the calls forwarded to your location is costly. The beauty of virtual telephone is that it leverages the non-geographic nature of the Internet, and avoids the cost of long distance. For example, your company in Tokyo has a wonderful product, with customers in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Through traditional telephone methods, your long distance costs would be staggering. With virtual telephone numbers, purchased in geographically convenient locations, your customers can call you, with minimal cost to the customer, and to your business.

In my next article, we will look at virtual telephone services. For instance, do you wish your calls to ring on your computer, or mobile or landline telephone? Each method has benefits. What is the difference between receiving a call on your data connection of your mobile, versus your regular connection? In later articles, we will look at how to stay close to your family if your job takes you to a far away location; how virtual numbers can improve your security; using virtual numbers to reduce costs when your child goes to college and using virtual numbers when you go on holiday. Virtual Telephone for business Friends and Family