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Top Germany Toll Free Number Providers [2020]

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Toll free numbers in Germany are free for callers. The receiver (the business) is charged for the calls. Callers from anywhere within Germany can call these businesses with a toll free number for free. These numbers are excellent for businesses for this reason. They are an instant indicator that a business is established and poised for communication. If you are considering purchasing a business phone number for communication in Germany, a toll free number may be ideal.

Germany Toll Free Number Providers in 2020

If you need Germany 0800 numbers to support your business plans to expand to Germany, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the top Germany toll free number providers along with information about the types of numbers, their costs, and included features.

1. United World Telecom

Since 1996, United World Telecom has been offering toll free numbers for businesses all over the world. Furthermore, the company provides a global call forwarding service to keep businesses connected across the world. They provide a wide range of telecommunication services to support businesses that need high-quality, cost-effective virtual services for a variety of purposes.

Virtual number plans: United World Telecom’s Germany toll free number plans range from $17.95/month (€15.04) to $528.95/month (€443.22).

Features included:

  • Hosted call recording software
  • Outbound calling (dynamic caller ID)
  • Extensions for different departments
  • Direct inward dialing for individuals and teams
  • Cloud IVR
  • Call forwarding options
  • Call transfer
  • Voicemail and SMS to email

2. Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding was launched in 2007 and has become one of the world’s leading outlets for virtual business phone numbers. The company offers toll free, local, and international numbers as well as voice over IP.

Virtual number plans: Global Call Forwarding’s Germany toll free numbers start at $17.95/month (€15.04) and go up to $528.95/month (€443.22).

Features included:

  • Hosted call recording software
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Interactive voice response
  • Call forwarding options
  • Time of day routing
  • Select country forwarding
  • Simultaneous ringing
  • Voicemail & SMS to email
  • Outbound calling (dynamic caller ID)
  • Call transfer

3. Vodafone

Vodafone (Germany) was founded in 1990. The company, since then, has been supplying business phone solutions to users within Germany.

Virtual number plans: Vodafone’s Germany virtual business number plans range from $26.89/month (€22.90) to $281.35/month (€239.60), depending on the number of users needed.

Features included:

  • Multiple voice channels
  • Up to 10 blocks of phone numbers at one location
  • IP connection

4. Telekom

Since 1995, Telekom, a German telecom company, has been offering communication solutions across Germany. You can get services such as fixed network, mobile, and internet services.

Virtual number plans: Telekom offers different virtual phone numbers plans ranging from $29.30 (€24.95) to $64.53 (€54.95) per month.

Features included:

  • Multiple numbers
  • Multiple channels (language channels included)
  • Call forwarding
  • Call waiting
  • Voicemail, and more

5. O2 (Telefonica)

Since 1995, O2 (Telefonica) has supplied Germany with broadband, landline, and mobile telecommunications. They remain a reputable option in the market.

Virtual number plans: O2 (Telefonica) voice connection plans range from €40/month to €160/month, depending on the number of voice channels you need.

Features included:

  • Voice connections
  • SIP telephony
  • Easy extension management
  • Call management features
  • Conference calls

Get Germany Toll Free Numbers Today

Here at United World Telecom, we can help you get Germany toll free numbers for business with quick installation and instant activation. You have the option of using a variety of features and there are no contracts. Sign up on our website today or call us to get started!

Hosted Call Recording: Top 7 Benefits

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Hosted call recording can help you improve productivity and efficiency in the office. You can also use the system to conduct quality assurance and performance analysis. Here are the top 7 benefits of hosted call recording for businesses.

Benefits of Hosted Call Recording

Hosted call recording or cloud call recording is a recording system hosted in the cloud. Hosted call recording is offered by telephony providers like United World Telecom. Most small- to medium-sized businesses can use this service without worrying about any hardware or maintenance costs. All you pay for is your subscription with the provider.

More and more businesses are getting cloud call recording services to increase productivity within the office. So, why should your business invest in a hosted call recording software? Here we will look at the various advantages of using hosted call recording to aid productivity and performance.

1. Keep Records and Documentation

Having a hosted call recording software can help you and your team keep records of all important calls and interactions, transactions, receipts, and more between your business and its clients. Reviewing these recordings can help your team understand customer behavior and preferences and serve them better.

2. Improve Quality Assurance

Most small- to medium-sized businesses use call recording to improve quality assurance within the customer service team. In other words, you can review recordings to see which approaches are more successful than others. This way, your customer service team can be trained to provide good customer support.

3. Conduct Performance Analysis

Call recording can also be used when conducting your agents’ performance analysis. There are many ways to record VoIP calls for review during yearly evaluations and help agents do better or reward them for being efficient.

4. Protect from Liabilities

Furthermore, in case of any misunderstanding or fraudulent activity, call recordings can protect your business from liabilities. Recordings can present as proof or evidence to prevent liabilities or keep your company safe.

5. Collect Customer Feedback

Businesses need to focus on customer experience and customer happiness to remain successful. You can use hosted call recording to run surveys and collect valuable feedback from customers. Then, review the feedback to improve your service and increase customer satisfaction.

6. Comply with Regulations

Financial institutions and companies are required to comply with recording regulations such as the Dodd-Frank Act and MiFID II. These regulations call for transparency during business calls and avoiding fraudulent behavior. Recording business calls will ensure that your finance company remains in compliance with these regulations.

7. Increase Productivity in the Office

Ultimately, all of the above reasons ensure that your office and teams remain productive. You can keep track of your employees’ performance which gives them the incentive to do a good job. Furthermore, you can keep your business safe from fraudulent activity and liabilities. All in all, hosted call recording will help you create a better work atmosphere and improve quality assurance.

Get Hosted Call Recording

You can get call recording from United World Telecom by adding it to your virtual phone number plans. You can record up to 100% of all incoming and outgoing calls and store them for up to 6 years. Call us today at 1 (877) 898 8646 to learn more or to get hosted call recording for your business!

What is the Difference Between UCaaS and CCaaS?

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As “business in the cloud” grows more and more common across industries, users are looking at integrations to increase efficiency and reduce costs. This is where unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) come in.

Contact Center Versus Unified Communications: What’s the Difference?

CCaaS and UCaaS are business communication technologies. And while there are key differences between the two types of technologies, they work best when combined.

The main difference between UCaaS and CCaaS is that UCaaS focuses on internal communication and collaboration while CCaaS focuses on customer interaction. However, by bundling the two technologies into one cloud platform, you can save on communication costs. This means a monthly predictable bill and no need for extra hardware.

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS or unified communications as a service consolidates a business’ communication tools and applications into one unified cloud-based platform. Communication tools include voice, video, instant messaging, and conferencing. Additionally, they come with features such as call forwarding and routing, interactive voice response, voicemail-to-email and fax-to-email, and more.

A business’s IT team purchases these solutions to improve internal communication. These solutions can help businesses improve their office phone systems and streamline workflow by encouraging collaboration, flexibility, and mobility. UCaaS is similar to platform as a service, PaaS; where UCaaS makes unified communications available to businesses of all sizes.

What is CCaaS?

Contact center as a service or CCaaS also enables multichannel communication through one cloud-based platform. In other words, it is a call center software hosted in the cloud. Your CCaaS provider will create and maintain the software that allows you to enhance customer experiences.

With CCaaS, instead of the IT team, purchasing decisions are led by sales managers and leaders. This is because CCaaS solutions are geared towards sales and customer support. These solutions focus on creating easy methods for agents and employees to connect with clients and leads. Some common features include skill-based routing, customer authentication, outbound calling, etc.

How to Integrate Unified Communications Into Your Contact Center

To integrate unified communications into your contact center, follow the below steps:

1. Find the right provider for a voice and data network:

To get the combined benefits of UCaaS and CCaaS, you need a reliable voice network and/or phone system provider. This is usually a business phone service provider that provides your business with its toll free service, VoIP numbers, and so on.

2. Choose the best features for your needs:

Browse through different features and services offered by your provider. You may even consider a virtual call center software that gives you access to standard and premium features such as call reports, direct inward dialing, call recording, IVR, and more.

3. Provide excellent customer service:

Use these features to create better customer experiences. Some ways you can do so include:

    • Offering multichannel support (voice, video, email, live chat, text message)
    • Using automation to create a faster and more productive workflow
    • Utilizing features to create a robust business phone system for internal and external communication

5 Benefits of UCaaS and Contact Center Collaboration

So, why does your business need a UCaaS and CCaaS collaboration? Here are the top 5 benefits of combining or integrating unified communications into your contact center.

1. More internal collaboration

With these technologies combined, different teams or departments within your office can work smoothly with each other. For instance, your marketing and sales teams must work together to determine the right leads and the right way to approach those leads. Being able to communicate easily and share information in a fast and secure manner can boost such collaboration.

2. Enhanced customer experience

With advanced communication features, you can strive to offer better customer service and caller experience. You can quickly forward callers to the right department or agent via your IVR system or through skills-based routing. You can also offer multichannel support for users who do not prefer phone conversations. Furthermore, a well-designed IVR system may even be able to reduce call wait times by providing troubleshooting help via prerecorded messages or sending callers to voicemail. Either way, the goal is to make the experience better for callers so that you retain these customers.

3. Lower communication costs

When bundled, you do not need additional expensive equipment or hardware to support both technologies. You can use your existing devices and phone system. Additionally, having both systems on the same platform ensures you have only one predictable bill per month instead of multiple bills. All of this helps reduce your monthly business communication costs which can result in significant savings for local as well as international businesses.

4. Enable remote working

Since both UCaaS and CCaaS work on cloud technology, you and your teams can work from any location and any device. This gives way to remote contact centers, virtual call centers, as well as distributed teams to work effectively even when working remotely.

5. Low IT maintenance

Finally, since these systems work over the cloud and are usually hosted by your provider, your business won’t have to worry about the costs of managing a data center. You merely rely on your provider, saving more in communication-related costs.

How to Measure and Improve VoIP Call Quality

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A well-functioning business VoIP system ensures that your business stays connected with customers and clients, no matter where you are located. But an important part of using VoIP numbers or a VoIP phone system is to make sure your call quality is efficient and not compromised. In this post, we will look at how to measure and improve VoIP call quality.

What Are the Most Common Issues With VoIP Call Quality?

Before we delve into how to measure your VoIP call quality, it is imperative to first understand what are the causes of poor VoIP quality. There are a few different factors affecting the quality of your voice over IP system. Fortunately, these VoIP issues are easy to fix.

So, what are the major causes of poor VoIP quality?

1. Latency

Latency refers to lag or delay that occurs between a speaker and receiver. In other words, there is a delay between the time the speaker says something and the receiver hears it. This results in echoes or speakers speaking over each other. While latency doesn’t affect the VoIP call quality, it does make it difficult to communicate effectively, leading to frustration and confusion.

2. Jitter

Jitter occurs when a data packet is delivered later than the rest of the packet. VoIP and SIP calls occur through the transmission of data packets from one user to the next. A data packet can take various paths through the interweb to reach its destination. Furthermore, all the packets may not take the same path which can lead to one or two packets arriving later than the rest. High levels of network jitter can result in bad VoIP call quality and missing or jumbled audio.

3. Packet loss

Packet loss refers to the loss of data packets during transmission. There are a few different types of packet loss:

  • Completely lost and never reaches the destination
  • Arrived late, therefore discarded
  • Contain errors, therefore discarded
  • High packet loss leads to bad call quality as pieces or chunks of audio are missed or are hard to decipher.

4. Poor internet connection

Since VoIP calls occur over the internet, having a strong internet connection is essential to the proper functioning of your business phone system. If your ISP is optimized merely for surfing the internet and uploading or downloading files, then you won’t have even bandwidth for speedy VoIP connections and transmission of data packets. You can use online speed testing tools to get a good understanding of your internet capabilities such as:’

  • Upload speeds
  • Download speeds
  • Jitter times, etc.

How is VoIP Quality Measured?

The Mean Opinion Score (MOS) is the leading tool to measure VoIP call quality. MOS measures subjective call quality and its scores range from 1 (bad VoIP quality) to 5 (excellent VoIP quality).

Some standards and metrics to consider when measuring VoIP include:

  • The ITU standards P.861 (PSQM) and P.862 that state how MOS scores should be calculated.
  • The ITU standard P.563 that calculates call quality passively and includes an R factor to estimate a MOS score.
  • PESQ and PAMS methods that need a license from Psytechnics.
  • Cisco IOS that has built-in tools to measure metrics and estimate MOS during test calls.

How Do I Test VoIP Quality?

In order to test VoIP call quality, you will have to monitor network latency, jitter, and packet loss. VoIP quality tests will enable close monitoring of calls. Call details, activity reports, and alerts can help you identify areas that need improvement or solutions.

What is a Good MOS Score?

MOS measures VoIP quality by assessing the user’s opinion of the call’s quality to score it. On a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent), a good score for VoIP calls falls between 3.5-4.2 range. This is what a MOS chart looks like:

MOS Quality Issue
5 Excellent Perfect quality
4 Good Less perfect; may include some loss of quality
3 Fair Slightly strained quality
2 Poor Strained quality
1 Bad Heavily strained quality

7 Ways to Improve VoIP Call Quality

So, how can you improve VoIP quality, and what are some helpful troubleshooting methods? Here is a list of 7 ways to fix your VoIP call quality:

1. Check your internet speed

The first step to ensuring high VoIP call quality is choosing the right internet service provider. Make sure you have enough bandwidth for VoIP calls and regularly test your internet speed using online testing tools.

2. Check network & equipment configuration

One of the top troubleshooting methods is to check if your network and equipment are properly configured. A network that is not properly configured can negatively affect call quality. This is especially true if you are transmitting voice and data.

3. De-jitter your VoIP

Jitter is often a result of network congestion, packet lags, configuration issues, etc. The best way to combat jitter is to invest in a de-jitter buffer such as a router or Edge device that receives a Real-Time Protocol (RTP).

4. Check your cabling

Most of the current cabling for phone communication and data transmission is a CAT 5 or higher. Ensure your phone system has the right wiring and cabling for its purpose.

5. Choose good handsets

Another quick and easy troubleshooting method is to get new and improved headsets. Low-quality headsets can easily hinder call quality and make simple communication difficult and unclear. Get good headsets for your employees so they have the best tools to work with.

6. Avoid hubs on your local access network (LAN)

A LAN with multiple hubs can result in low call quality. The recommendation is that each phone is individually connecting to the switch.

7. Determine whether “crackling” is because of faulty wiring or hardware problems

Lastly, if you are experiencing “crackling,” it is important to identify where it is coming from so you can fix it appropriately. Are all lines experiencing crackling? Are cords not properly or tightly plugged in? And so on.

Improve VoIP Quality and Enhance Business Communication

One of the top reasons why businesses are switching to Voice Over IP is because issues related to these phone systems are easy to identify and fix. Ready to switch to VoIP for business? Call us today to find out how our VoIP systems can benefit your business!

The Ultimate Guide to Voice Over IP Security & Encryption

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Voice over IP security is something you must pay close attention to. In this detailed guide, we will cover everything that you need to know about voice over IP security and encryption.

Are VoIP Calls Secure?

While voice over IP is fairly secure, there is still a possibility that hackers may target and compromise your VoIP system. To avoid such security breaches, VoIP security should be taken seriously and steps must be taken to ensure a secure VoIP phone system.

The 6 Most Common Vulnerabilities of Your Voice Over IP System

In order to best secure your VoIP numbers against hackers, you must be aware of the different VoIP security vulnerabilities and types of attacks possible. Here are the top Voice over IP security vulnerabilities to be aware of:

1. Default security settings
VoIP credentials need to be configured accurately. Your web phone is essentially a smartphone that has computer-like capabilities. Instead of using default settings and passwords, users should configure secure credentials to avoid vulnerabilities.

2. Using VoIP over WiFi
Using shared WiFi or networks can often cause security breaches. And since VoIP systems need an internet source — mostly WiFi — to work effectively, there is a chance of the security being compromised when using a public or shared WiFi connection instead of a secure office connection.

3. Attacks on the network
Similar to the WiFi being hacked, one’s user network can also be disrupted and breached. There are various types of network attacks. Attacks on one’s business phone network can directly impact their VoIP security.

4. Remote eavesdropping
In most cases, when your system is vulnerable or attacked, hackers have the ability to eavesdrop on confidential and private information. This information can then be used against your company, either via blackmail or by selling it to the competition.

5. Viruses infecting the system
The internet can be easily invaded by viruses and malware. Any internet application and device associated with it is therefore prone to viruses and security breaches. And since VoIP uses the internet, it too remains vulnerable to such attacks.

6. VoIP phishing
Phishing, also referred to as vishing, is a concept similar to catfishing. With VoIP phishing, when a call is made, the caller pretends to be from a credible organization and inquires about private or sensitive information. These callers often perform VoIP phishing by gaining information about you and your company which makes them appear as legitimate and credible. This creates a false sense of security which may result in sensitive information being shared.

How to Recognize a VoIP Attack

So, how do you know if your VoIP phone system has been attacked? Here are a few key indicators of a VoIP security breach:

1. Huge monthly bills
Has your monthly VoIP bill increased dramatically and unexpectedly? If so, there’s a good chance that your VoIP system has been attacked. Hackers are able to make a call’s IP similar to one recognized by your system. This allows them to use your VoIP infrastructure to make multiple calls without being charged.

2. Suspicious call history
Similar to the above issue, if your call history is irregular and doesn’t fit the number of calls your business is making, it is likely that a hacker is using your system to make calls. To combat this, keep tabs on your call history, check it regularly, and make note of unrecognized call patterns and disparities.

3. Redirected internet searches
If a search through your VoIP system has been redirected to an unknown or unwanted page or website, then it is a sign of your internet system being hacked. Always remember to log out of the system when users are done.

Is Voice Over IP More Secure Than PSTN?

VoIP can be more secure than PSTN depending on the measures your business and your VoIP provider take to protect it. This leads us to the next section that details various methods to increase VoIP security for your business phone system.

Are VoIP Calls Secure?

How to Protect Your VoIP System

There are various strategies that businesses can implement to have a secure VoIP system. Encrypting voice traffic and running regular security checks are the best ways to protect your VoIP calls. Let’s look at the top best practices for voice over IP security:

12 Best Practices to Secure Your VoIP System

1. Encrypt voice traffic
Voice encryption is of utmost importance. Encrypt voice traffic and other traffic that moves through your VoIP system using encryption techniques.

2. Encrypt WiFi
Besides encrypting your voice traffic, you should also encrypt your WiFi providing it with maximum security from breaches.

3. Use a VPN
A virtual private network or VPN adds an additional layer of security. A VPN protects calls occurring over mobile or wireless networks and is a good solution to keep your system secure for on-site as well as off-site workers.

4. Strong passwords
This goes without saying. Make an effort to understand your security system, change default security settings, use strong passwords, and change passwords regularly.

5. Run regular security checks
Conduct regular security checks to test your system and see how it responds and how your security measures perform. Look for backdoors, vulnerabilities, or traces of past hacks.

6. Enable Network Address Translation (NAT)
Network address translation (NAT) is a router feature. This feature gives your VoIP system and devices associated with it a private IP address that is only visible on your LAN. It, therefore, acts as a wall between your system and the internet, making it difficult for outsiders to view your IP address. If they can’t view the IP address, then they can’t use it to hack your system.

7. Close Port 80 With a Firewall
VoIP devices — especially phones — on a local access network need ports to connect to the internet. A port is an active channel located on a router. Port 80 or the Hypertext Transfer Protocol is a port on the router that has HTTP traffic. HTTP traffic is the kind that is used on most websites. This is why port 80 is prone to easy hacking. Use a firewall to close your port 80 so that hackers can’t use it to access the web interface.

8. Keep systems and software up-to-date
Whether it is the computers’ operating systems or anti-virus software, keeping these systems and software up-to-date is crucial to security and protection. You may even consider using an intrusion prevention system or VoIP firewall to add additional layers of security.

9. Avoid international calling, unless needed
Unless your company works in international business and calling internationally is crucial to its operations, it is a good practice to disable international calling. However, if your business needs to call internationally, then make sure to check call records and history often to ensure there are no irregularities.

10. Consider remote device management
Remote device management enables remote access to a device which can then be wiped if the employee quits or is fired, or if the device is stolen. Whether your business issues laptops or implements a remote device management policy, ensure you activate remote device management on devices used by employees.

11. Educate users about VoIP security
It is important that all users of your VoIP phone system understand how the system works and how to keep it secure. Take time out to educate your employees about VoIP security and best practices.

12. See something, say something
By educating employees about VoIP security, you can train them to observe and notice irregularities or suspicious activity which they can then report to you. Such suspicious activity should then be brought to the notice of your VoIP provider.

Most Common VoIP Encryption Methods

In order to encrypt your VoIP traffic, you need to first understand how VoIP and SIP work together. SIP technology or Session Initiation Protocol in a VoIP phone system begins and ends a call session. SIP vulnerability occurs when a hacker invades the SIP process and uses it to eavesdrop on the call, collect sensitive information, and more. To secure your VoIP system, you must first secure your SIP transmission. Here are some VoIP encryption methods to consider:

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)

Typically, this type of security is used to encrypt a VoIP SIP system when sessions begin and end. TLS keeps your VoIP secure by authenticating a security certificate and encrypting the information transmitted between two or more parties.

  • Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP)

Typically, this type of security is used for high bandwidth VoIP usage. For example, you can use SRTP to secure voice calls and avoid bad or low call quality. SRTP protects voice data and information during the call by encrypting the call and adding message authentication within the channel.

  • Physical Protection

Lastly, you want to protect your company’s data from unhappy employees and other users who may have physical access to your VoIP system and hardware. The best way to avoid privacy and security breaches, such as the ones mentioned above, is to limit access to your system and enable remote device management.

Learn More About How to Secure Your VoIP System

Enabling VoIP security is essential to ensuring high-quality and fraud-free voice calling. This will help you offer secure services to your clients and keep their data safe. And doing so goes a long way in building strong customer relationships and credibility. Learn more about United World Telecom’s VoIP systems for business by speaking with our experts today!

What is a PBX Phone System?

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Looking for an upgrade for your business phone system? One that reduces calling costs but enables better and reliable connection? A private branch exchange or PBX system works alongside your current telephone network. However, it has the potential to give you access to high-quality voice and video communication. In this post, we explain what a PBX phone system is and how it can benefit your business.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX): What is it?

A private branch exchange is a telephony solution that enables communication between users of a private network. A PBX system works with your business’ telephone network and handles forwarding and routing features for calls. Companies use private branch exchange systems to reduce monthly phone bills as it operates internally and uses fewer phone lines.

Most PBX providers will offer you communication features along with the system. These features include voicemail, cloud IVR, custom messages, call transfer, and extensions.

Before these systems worked only through plain old telephone service lines. However, now, you can connect your PBX with VoIP technology. Voice over IP technology uses the internet instead of analog phone lines to make and answer calls. Both of these systems together will give you the ability to use SIP trunking as a feature that offers voice and video calling at inexpensive rates.

Setting up a private branch exchange system, however, needs expertise. To install PBX for your office, you will need specific hardware, physical space, and an IT team for maintenance. Costs for these can increase quickly. Thankfully, cloud PBX functions as a cost-effective solution.

4 Reasons for Businesses to Use a PBX System

So, why should your business consider getting a private branch exchange phone system? There are many benefits to using a PBX system, which include:

  1. Running a call center: PBX systems can hold inbound and outbound calls in a queue and transfer them to the right department when the time comes.
  2. Connecting multiple locations: a PBX system can route users to employees, agents, or departments in another office location, enabling team collaboration.
  3. Transferring calls through extensions: calls can be transferred quickly and with ease, without the worry of calls being dropped.
  4. Custom call management: Handle and route calls according to your needs and desires by setting rules within the system.

With advancements in telecommunications, there are a few different private branch exchange systems to choose from. The most common are hosted/cloud and on-premise/IP PBX. Let’s delve into these types first.

On-Premise Private Branch Exchange System

An IP or on-premise PBX system refers to a system that is installed within the office, is IP-ready, and is handled and maintained by you. If you want a system that you can control and manage and you have the budget for it, then an on-premise system may be your solution.

You can set up your PBX to work with VoIP technology, otherwise known as IP PBX. This enables users to make and receive business calls through the internet instead of analog lines. With IP PBX, you can rely on high-quality calls and use features such as call forwarding, queuing, transfer, etc.

Cloud PBX

A hosted or cloud PBX system works similarly to an on-premise system, except that it is operated by your provider. Therefore, you do not need to worry about installation and maintenance costs or even hiring an IT team to manage the system. In fact, you simply sign up for the service, complete the minor set-up, and start using it.

With hosted private branch exchange, calls made are routed to the provider and then the destination. Cloud PBX systems are VoIP-based systems that help you take advantage of cloud communication features such as call forwarding, recording, IVR systems, and more. Furthermore, they eliminate maintenance costs as the provider is responsible for maintenance.

On-Premise vs Cloud PBX

On-Premise Cloud
Customizable Customizable
May use VoIP tech Uses VoIP tech; Needs a broadband connection
Low monthly costs; High upfront costs Low monthly costs; No upfront costs
Limited calling features Variety of calling features
Physical space required; closet or room No physical space required
Costly maintenance No maintenance costs
Limited scalability On-demand scalability
Can handle SIP trunking for high-definition voice and video calling Can handle SIP trunking for high-definition voice and video calling

Get a PBX System for Your Business

Here at United World Telecom, we can help get you set up with a private branch exchange system that makes call management simple and efficient. You can sign up on our website or speak with our experts to learn more! Call us at 1 (877) 898 8646 to see how we can assist your specific business.

ITFS Explained: What is International Toll Free Service?

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Need an improved and reliable business phone system? Have you considered an international toll free service to attract customers from all over the world? Such a service can help you establish communication overseas while having calls routed to your main office or smartphone, anywhere in the world. Here is an in-depth guide to international toll free service (ITFS), its benefits, and why you should consider one for your business.

What is International Toll Free Service (ITFS)?

An international toll free service (ITFS) refers to a toll free service that makes international calling possible and easy on the budget. With such a service, you can get international toll free numbers (ITFN) for different countries across the globe. Customers from within those countries can call your ITFN for free while incoming calls route to a number or line of your choice, anywhere in the world and on any device.

This is the main reason why most modern and international businesses are using an ITFS provider to establish a strong international presence. International calling can be expensive, which is why new and small businesses stick to local clientele only. However, with ITFNs, even a small business can go global without incurring a tremendous increase in their expenses.

Reasons to Consider an International Toll Free Service

So, why should your business consider subscribing to an international toll free service? Here are a few top reasons.

1. Expand to New Global Markets
An ITFN helps you test out and enter new markets spread across the world. Think your service will do well in Mexico but are not sure? Get a Mexico toll free number and conduct market research. Run small-scale campaigns or surveys and study how potential customers respond to your product. Then, you can decide whether to further invest in this country or try a different one.

2. Extend Sales Operations to New Countries
Once you are sure you want to extend operations to a new market, you can start small. With ITFNs, you do not need to immediately open field offices to offer sales and customer support services. Start by getting a toll free number and creating a local virtual presence. All incoming calls will route to your original office, wherever it is located. Later, as your business grows in that country or region, you can run a small office with remote and local employees.

3. Offer International Customer Support
An international toll free service will let you provide international customer support to all clients located across the world. You can have calls sent to your main office, home office, or remote agents spread the world over. This way, you can offer support during different time zones and in different languages as well. Customers who can quickly connect with a business at a time convenient to them will remain more loyal.

4. Build a Reputation as an International Business
Use an international toll free number to generate sales and provide support across the world. And by doing so, you can establish your business as an international one. This will only help increase brand visibility and awareness, all of which are important to keep sales growing.

5. Increase Credibility and Reliability
For years toll free numbers have been associated with well-established and large corporations. Getting an international toll free service can help you develop a credible reputation in more than one country. By remaining accessible and easily reachable, you become a business that is reliable and trustworthy. Your customers know that they can reach you quickly no matter what and that will make them want to continue doing business with you.

6. Offer 24/7 Multichannel Customer Service
An ITFS provider like United World Telecom does not only offer a reliable toll free service but also gives you access to communication features that will boost sales and customer service. You can offer 24/7 customer service by:

  • Using our IVR technology to provide quick answers or troubleshooting solutions
  • Forwarding calls to multiple locations simultaneously or during specific hours
  • Offering support in local languages and time zones
  • Using voicemail and SMS services
  • Using our CallMe Click feature that lets web visitors put in their contact information to receive a call back from your business immediately, and more

Being able to provide customer support around the clock goes a long way in retaining valuable clientele.

7. Be Flexible and Mobile
Lastly, your business can remain flexible and portable. Take your business with you wherever you go, set-up offices in different locations, and offer remote-working opportunities. Remote working has become increasingly favorable and being able to offer this option to employees can positively impact productivity.

Choosing an ITFS Provider

Think an international toll free service can boost your international sales? The next step is to find the right ITFS provider. Here are a few factors you must consider when looking for the right provider.

1. Reliable Service
How long have they been in business and what are current customers saying about their services? Looking up the company’s history and customer reviews can be helpful in determining how reliable their service is.

2. Wide Range of Plans
Do they offer you different business plans? Is there any flexibility or are there only long-term contracts that are hard to get out of? This is important to consider as subscribers sometimes want to change plans because the process is not working out. If your provider has a strict long-term contract policy or high cancellation fees, then you may want to find a different one.

3. Variety of Communication Features Included
Besides forwarding calls from international clientele to your desired phone, you can also take advantage of enhanced business communication features. For instance, United World Telecom offers the following features with our virtual phone number plans:

When looking for your new international toll free service provider, ensure they have features that you need to build the right business phone system.

4. Easy Access to Customer Support
Finally, you should be able to reach your provider easily and 24/7; whether it is by phone, email, or chat. United World Telecom, for instance, offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, live chat, and trouble tickets.

Is ITFS Right for You?

If global expansion is on your business to-do list, then an international toll free service is highly recommended. This service will make creating long-distance business connections easier and less expensive. Speak with our global specialists today to see how we can help you!

Guide to Local Phone Numbers

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As a business, you want to remain reachable and accessible at all times. Customers need to know you are close by and can be contacted easily. And one way to achieve such a local presence in various areas is through virtual local phone numbers.

What are Local Phone Numbers?

Local numbers are virtual phone numbers attached or assigned to specific areas or regions. They have area codes to indicate which city, state, or region is being called. For example, the United States has area codes for almost every state and city across the country. Some states or cities may even have multiple area codes.

Calls made to local numbers are charged local calling rates as opposed to long-distance rates. For this reason, local phone numbers make for a good regional contact number. With multiple local numbers, you can establish a virtual presence in different areas and offer customer service to customers residing in these areas. Interested individuals can contact you without worrying about high calling charges. And the best part, you do not need to move or relocate to use these numbers.

Benefits of Getting Local Business Numbers

Local business numbers from a virtual phone service provider like United World Telecom come with various advantages and perks such as enabling you to:

  • Create a local presence in multiple countries, states, and cities across the world.
  • Choose local numbers from more than 160 countries world over.
  • Encourage interested prospects to contact your business from wherever they are located.
  • Forward incoming calls to any number or line you want.
  • Display a custom local caller ID when contacting clients in different regions or states.
  • Add DID numbers for each department, team, employee, branch, etc.
  • Expand globally without needing to relocate or open physical offices.

Additionally, you can make use of virtual communication features and tools that increase productivity and efficiency such as:

  • Call forwarding
  • Call recording
  • Interactive voice response system
  • Extensions or DID numbers for different departments
  • Outbound calling with customizable caller ID
  • SMS forwarding, and more

Local vs Toll Free Numbers

When choosing a business number, most choose a local or toll free number. How do you decide which is better for your business? You can get bulk numbers for different parts of the country. If you are trying to create a stable and reliable local presence or seem closer to your customers, then local numbers are the way to go. Toll free numbers provide a free calling option but they do make your company seem more distant compared to local numbers.

How to Get a Local Number?

Before you purchase local phone numbers, you first need to decide which areas or regions you want to target or expand services. Once you decide that, find a provider that offers you the coverage and numbers you need.

You can buy a local number from United World Telecom by simply signing up on our homepage. We offer virtual phone numbers for over 160 countries across the globe. Choose the country and area code you want, add premium services such as call recording and outbound calling, and complete your purchase.

Now prospects can connect with your business through local calls. And when you place calls, you can choose which caller ID to display.

Ready to Purchase a New Business Number?

We at United World Telecom can help you expand and cover the areas and markets most useful for your company. Sign up for local numbers on our homepage or call us at 1 (877) 898 8646 to learn more!

6 Reasons to Change Your Toll Free Number Provider

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Wondering if your toll free number provider is the best that’s out there? Here are 6 reasons you may want to consider switching your toll free number provider for a better option.

6 Reasons to Change Your Toll Free Number Provider

Your toll free number provider determines how customers interact with your brand. Whether it is through quick and high-quality communication or with the help of advanced technology such as hosted call recording and cloud IVR. Therefore, you must be sure that your current provider is the best that is out there and serves your needs effectively. Here are 6 factors to consider when evaluating your current toll free number provider.

  1. Support
  2. Call quality and reliability
  3. Access to cloud communications
  4. Cost and calling rates
  5. Access to advanced communication features
  6. Long-term contracts or high cancellation fees

1. Lack of Customer Support

Is your current toll free number provider accessible and easily reachable? A business phone number provider needs to offer multichannel and 24/7 support so you can connect with them easily in case of an emergency. Additionally, you need to be able to talk to a real person as opposed to an automated response, especially in regard to urgent issues. Lack of customer support is a leading cause behind businesses switching providers (phone numbers or otherwise).

2. Low Voice Quality

Another reason why you may want to switch to a new toll free number provider is if your current toll free number has poor quality. Most toll free service providers offer a call forwarding service through which your incoming calls are routed. However, if the audio is not high-quality, your calls will be interrupted and dropped. Customers usually have a bad impression of businesses that don’t take care of their communication system. Dropped calls or bad call quality can hinder good customer service.

3. Desire to Use Cloud Communications

Are you ready to get a virtual cloud phone system for your business? Virtual phone systems let you move your PBX system to the cloud. Hosted VoIP services offer you all the benefits of a virtual phone system without the bother of purchasing and maintaining expensive hardware or hiring an experienced IT team. Cloud phone systems can upgrade your existing toll free number system without tremendously increasing your cost of operations.

4. High Costs and Calling Rates

Do you want a plan with more comfortable rates? With advancements in telecom, a lot of virtual communication providers are able to offer common features such as call forwarding, IVR, hosted call recording, and so on. However, plan costs and calling rates may still differ. Don’t settle for a plan that goes beyond your budget with extensive calling rates.

5. Need for Advanced Communication Features

Also, don’t settle for mediocre business communication features. You have the opportunity to create the ideal business phone system along with your toll free number. Take advantage of what toll free providers have to offer. Look for premium services that can not only create channels of communication but those which can also help you track and measure performance. Features and services to consider strongly include:

  • Call forwarding and routing options
  • International call forwarding
  • Cloud IVR
  • Multiple extensions
  • SIP trunking
  • Outbound calling (with dynamic caller ID)
  • Inbound/outbound call recording software, and more

6. Don’t Want to be Locked in Contracts

Lastly, any toll free number provider worth their salt won’t ask you to make a long-term commitment or offer up high cancellation fees. You should be comfortable with your provider and if need be, get out and find another easily. United World Telecom, for example, does not require you to sign a contract, make a commitment, or pay any cancellation fees. We believe our excellent service speaks for itself. If your current provider has too many restrictions that make it hard to leave, then look for one that makes working with the service easier.

Consider United World Telecom

United World Telecom has been a reliable international toll free number provider for years and continues to offer high-quality communications to businesses across the world. You can get international toll free numbers for over 160 countries across the world, all while taking advantage of our excellent variety of communication features. To learn more about what we have to offer, chat with us, or call us today!

What is the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)?

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Here we will look at the public switched telephone network in detail. We will highlight important terminology, technology involved, costs, and alternatives to consider.

What is the Public Switched Telephone Network?

Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN is a telephone service that connects various residents and businesses through underground copper wires. This type of phone service is also called plain old telephone service (POTS), a landline, and fixed-line telephones. Furthermore, this phone service has been widely used across the world for generations. However, advancements in telecommunication have resulted in a decline in demand for PSTN lines.

PSTN Terms Explained

To understand how PSTN works, you first need to familiarize yourself with important PSTN terminology. Here are terms to know:

1. Circuit switching
For voice to move from one point to the next, it needs to be converted into voice signals. These signals are transmitted through copper wires. However, to transmit to the destination successfully, they need a dedicated switch. Circuit switching is the act of operators plugging wires into a common panel so as to establish a connection between the two parties. They do so by plugging the caller and receiver’s wires into the same wire (also called a trunk).

In simpler words, when calls are made, the switches create a circuit between two phones and maintain the connection for the duration of the call.

2. Central office
A central office (CO), local exchange, or switching exchange consists of one or more exchanges. In fact, it may have as many as 10,000 lines. A central office hooks its subscribers to a PSTN line. All phones within an area connect to a local exchange located in the area.

When a local call is made, the call is sent to the local exchange and is then routed to the supplier. Since this is a local call, the call does not leave the local exchange.

Example: Calling a business located in the next building or block from your building.

3. Tandem office
A tandem office or junction network covers a larger geographical area and hosts multiple local exchanges. When you make a local call to someone in a nearby suburb or region of the same city, the call goes to your local exchange then to the tandem office which will then route it to the local exchange of the receiver’s location.

Example: Calling a business located in the next suburb but within the same city.

4. Toll office
A toll office is responsible for national long-distance switching. All tandem offices connect to a toll office. When you call an office or resident in another city, the call is switched via the toll office. This was common before the Bell System Divestiture.

Example: Calling a business located in another city or state within the same country.

5. International Gateway
The international gateway is responsible for international switching. This makes long-distance and international calling possible.

Example: Calling internationally.

Hows Does a PSTN Line Work?

A public switched telephone network combines phone networks across the world. These include:

  • Telephone lines
  • Cellular networks
  • Fiber optic cables
  • Switching centers
  • Cable systems

All these elements together make it possible for phones to communicate with each other. In other words, on dialing a contact, the call flows through a network and reaches the appropriate destination. This is the journey your call takes when using a PSTN line:

1. When you dial a number, your phone converts sound waves into electrical signals which are then transmitted to the terminal over a cable.

2. The terminal sends these signals to the CO.

3. The CO routes the call through a fiber optic cable to the final destination.

4. The call is routed to a CO or tandem office based on the type of call.

5. When the call reaches the appropriate destination, it is changed back to an electrical signal and routed to the terminal which then routes it to the appropriate number.

6. When the call reaches the receiver, the electrical signals are transformed back into sound waves.

Now while this journey seems complicated, it all occurs only within a few minutes.

PSTN Service for Business

When setting up a PSTN system for a business, you will be required to get a line for each employee. A small business with less than 10 employees might find this phone setup suitable. However, once your business size increases, you will need more lines leading to more costs. Generally, PSTN phone services charge about $20-$30 per month. This, however, does not factor in costs for set-up, maintenance, additional lines, handsets, and communication features.

Large corporations with more than 40 employees may find a private branch exchange (PBX) system more suitable. A PBX system converts your business into a central office. It also makes features like call transfer, conferencing, IVR, voicemail, etc., accessible. External calls are routed to your local exchange. And internal calls route through your PBX.

Most businesses prefer a PBX system to manage calls efficiently. However, an in-house system can lead to further expenses such as:

  • High set-up and installation fees
  • Software and hardware costs between $2000-$4000
  • Monthly in-house maintenance (hiring of an IT team, regular updates, etc)

All of this can lead to a heavy monthly bill.

PSTN Alternative: Hosted PBX and VoIP

However, there are alternatives such as hosted PBX and VoIP phone systems. Hosted PBX is a PBX service run by a third party business. You will not be responsible for regular maintenance or need to hire an IT team. Plus installation fees are much lower without the need to install heavy software and hardware on-site.

Additionally, you may also consider a voice over IP or VoIP phone system that routes calls through your internet or DSL connection. VoIP uses the internet instead of cable wire and therefore, you do not require a local exchange to make VoIP to VoIP calls. A call to a PSTN line, on the other hand, will require an exchange.

Additionally, instead of using circuit switching, business VoIP uses packet switching. When a number is dialed from the VoIP line, voice is converted into digital data or a packet which is then sent to the router. This router transmits the packet to the router closest to the recipient. This means that data is sent and received when needed and a dedicated line is not required. VoIP and packet-switching make business communication cost-effective and boosts productivity.

Choosing a Business Phone Service

Deciding on a business phone service can be overwhelming. However, it is crucial to find the ideal system for your business needs. Call us to learn more about how our outbound calling service can improve business communications or whether PSTN is the service you need.