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UIFN or ITFN: Which is Best for Your Business?

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When you consider expanding your business to neighboring countries, one of the biggest concerns to consider is: how will you maintain communications and customer support with individuals in this part of the world? International phone numbers are one way to maintain reliable communication. And virtual phone service providers have two options for you: ITFN and UIFN.

UIFN versus ITFN

Which is a better number type for your business? To determine whether your communication system will work better with an ITFN or UIFN number, you first need to know how these numbers work and how they differ from each other.

What are International Toll Free numbers?

International toll free numbers (ITFN) are telephone numbers that are free to dial and can connect you to a representative in a different country. Businesses can use ITFNs to provide a free method for customers to call them. You can get an ITFN for any country that you want to expand operations to or provide customer support. United World Telecom offers ITFN numbers for more than 160 countries across the globe. Incoming calls are forwarded internationally to any number or line located anywhere in the world.

Therefore, even if your company is located in the US, you can get a UK toll free number (an 0800 or 0808 freephone number) and have incoming calls forwarded to your US office line. This enables free calling for customers and business contacts in the UK.

Advantages:

  • Choose from a list of 160+ countries to expand operations to.
  • It is the most cost-effective option for any company wanting to expand globally.
  • You may forward incoming calls to any location, as needed.

Disadvantages:

  • You will need a different ITFN number for each country you want to expand to.

How do Universal International Freephone Numbers Work?

A Universal International Freephone Number — also known as a Global Toll Free Number or UIFN — is a type of international toll free phone number that works in multiple countries through a single number. With a UIFN number, customers and contacts in up to 45 different countries can connect with you through that one toll free number. Here is a list of the countries where UIFN numbers are available, including information about mobile accessibility:

Country Mobile Country Mobile
Argentina No Latvia No
Australia Yes Luxembourg No
Austria Yes Macau Yes
Belarus Partial Malaysia Partial
Belgium No Netherlands Partial
Brazil Yes New Zealand Yes
Bulgaria Partial Norway Yes
Canada Yes Philippines No
China No Poland Yes
Colombia Yes Portugal Yes
Costa Rica No Russia Partial
Cyprus Yes Singapore Partial
Czech Rep No Slovenia No
Denmark Yes South Africa Yes
Finland Yes South Korea Yes
France Yes Spain No
Germany Yes Sweden No
Hong Kong Yes Switzerland Yes
Hungary Yes Taiwan Partial
Ireland Yes Thailand Yes
Israel No U.K Yes
Italy No Uruguay Partial
Japan Partial

While UIFN numbers sound good in theory, when deciding what number type works best for your business, one must look at advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of UIFN:
A UIFN is a single toll free number for multiple countries, including popular locations such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, etc.
Having a single number makes it easier to manage communications instead of displaying a variety of numbers.

Disadvantages of UIFN:
UIFN are accessible from only 45 countries around the world. International toll free numbers, on the other hand, give you access to more than 160 countries across the globe.

These numbers, most of the time, require specific prefixes to be dialed before the number. These prefixes vary based on the country which can lead to confusion and misdialing.

Not all countries within UIFN coverage are mobile-accessible (refer to the above list).
Registration fees apply.

Choosing the Right Number for Your Business

Which is better for your business depends on your business’ international reach. If you have customers in only a few select countries, then getting separate ITFN numbers for those regions will be more useful. However, if you have extensive global coverage, you may find UIFN more beneficial. This decision also depends on your budget limits and how much getting multiple ITFNs or one single expensive UIFN will cost you.

Get Your International Phone Numbers for United World Telecom

United World Telecom offers both ITFN and UIFN numbers. If you know what you want, sign up for your new number on our homepage today. Or, call us at 1 (877) 898 8646 to discuss your business needs so we can help you make a well-informed decision.