Virtual landlines: everything you need to know

With more and more businesses conducting their operations online, and servicing various areas, virtual landlines have become an increasingly popular option for business owners.

Virtual landlines utilise VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology which allows users to make and receive calls using an internet connection instead of a physical phone line, from anywhere in the world.

This article explores everything you need to know about virtual landlines including how they work and the benefits that they offer.

Table of contents

  1. What is a virtual landline?
  2. Why do you still need a landline number over a cellphone number?
  3. Benefits of virtual landlines
  4. How do i get a virtual landline?
  5. Final thoughts on virtual landlines

What is a virtual landline & how do they work?

Virtual landlines is a term which describes a cloud-based telephony service that utilises VoIP technology to direct and manage calls via a number of your choice, and across mobile and desktop devices. This means that you can receive and make calls from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection, so you stay connected, virtually anywhere you go.

Ordinary landline numbers are permanently connected to a building, in a specific area. A virtual landline exists in ‘the cloud’ which isn’t physically linked to a fixed telephone line.

A virtual landline number can be assigned to any location, so you can have a local presence in multiple markets without having to set up physical office space.

You can use a variety of virtual landline numbers including geographic numbers starting with 011, 043, 031 and 021, as well as non-geographic numbers starting with 0800, 0861, 0862, and 087.

You can also keep your original landline number and use it as a virtual landline with number porting.

Virtual landlines offer many features and benefits consistent with cloud-based telephony services, compared to traditional landline phone services.

virtual landline graphic

Why would you use a landline number instead of a cellphone number?

Despite most business being conducted online, landline telephone numbers still play a crucial role in the day-to-day running and operations.

Giving your business a landline number is part of your business’ ‘first impression’, and are often more familiar to customers. Going further, a business landline number establishes your organisation in a specific location or region. This helps customers as they know they are dealing with a locally based company and may make them more receptive to your services. For example, having a 021 number is incredibly useful while servicing consumers in Cape Town.

Landline telephone numbers are the expected numbers for businesses and should be used for your marketing such as your business websites, email signatures, business cards and leaflets.

A landline number is also necessary in the course of conducting business operations, and may be mandatory for applications and registrations related to business services, governmental bodies and more.

For example, all tender participants require a landline number to submit tender bids.

Benefits of virtual landlines

A virtual landline offers many benefits compared to a traditional landline phone service.

Using a virtual landline you can choose from a wide variety of numbers to direct calls using VoIP to devices anywhere in the country or around the world – without anything being physically linked to a fixed telephone line.

This provides a number of benefits, including cost reduction, increased flexibility, is helpful when localising services and access to a range of helpful features unlocked by using cloud based telephony.

Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits virtual landlines offer.

Voip landline and headset

Reduce phone system costs: Physical installation & call rates

Virtual landlines are cheaper to set up and maintain than traditional phone lines since you don’t need to pay for expensive hardware or telephone lines. In addition, virtual landlines can be easily scaled up or down to meet the changing needs of your business, which can further help to reduce costs.

Virtual landlines utilise VoIP technology, which means you can also benefit from reduced calls rates when dialling locally or internationally.

employee calculating phone system costs at desk

Increased flexibility and mobility

With virtual landlines, employees can make and receive calls from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This can be a big benefit for businesses with employees who travel frequently or work remotely.

Calls can be directed to any compatible desktop VoIP landline phone, or smartphones/mobile devices, and PCs using a softphone extension application or web portal.

Virtual landlines can be added and removed online within minutes, making it easy to match the exact size of your team, expanding into new areas, or scale back the cost of their communication strategy.

Separate your business calls from personal calls

Having a virtual phone linked with your personal or business smartphone gives you the opportunity to make or receive work calls from a specific office number wherever you are

Incoming and outbound calls are managed using a softphone extension and the receiver of the call will only see your virtual office phone number. This means that a personal number associated with your device is kept private.

business phone call at desk

Professional appearance

A location-specific or national virtual landline number is likely to be more appealing to customers than a personal mobile number, or a number that looks like it originates from a call center.You are able to provide a number with a local area code to clients in specific areas. Therefore, virtual numbers help businesses solidify in a customer’s mind that they operate in the client’s local area, and appear more professional overall

Effective remote support

Your virtual landline number service/virtual phone system can be maintained remotely, any issues are usually resolved within a short period. This saves customers the cost of callout fees and time spent on-site with technicians as they fix issues associated with a fixed telephone line solution.

support team on calls with clients

Benefit from cloud-based communication management features

Virtual landlines, calls and features can be managed from mobile and desktop device-friendly self-service portals and can harness the benefits of fully featured cloud PBX. Features such as, but not limited to, call forwarding, call recording, auto-attendant, interactive voice response help businesses manage internal and external communications more effectively.

woman dialing on a landline

How do I get a virtual landline?

To use a virtual landline, you will need to sign up for a VoIP service which will provide you with a unique telephone number or you can port your existing landline number. The virtual landline is set up remotely and can be activated on the same day.

You can choose between a South African local (geographical) or national virtual phone number.

female on a video conference call

Final thoughts on virtual landlines

Unlike landline numbers, virtual numbers are not exclusively tied to a fixed telephone line and calls to a virtual number can be managed across a range of devices, anywhere you go.

Virtual landline numbers create a localised and professional impression in the minds of customers, and are useful for many types of business-specific operations and activities, such as marketing, submitting tenders, and more.

The public tends to trust geographic landline telephone numbers more than mobile phone numbers and non-geographic numbers. The familiarity associated with localised numbers shouldn’t be underestimated. That being said, one can also use non-geographic numbers as virtual numbers.

They can be added or removed with ease, and can be used to separate personal or inter-company communications from external, customer related communication.

If you’re interested in setting up your virtual landline number, contact United Telecoms to find out more and get answers to any queries you may have.

We assist businesses across South Africa with fully customisable and personalised phone system solutions that match their needs.

Got questions? Contact our experts today.

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We service the following locations in South Africa

Western Cape: Cape Town, Belville, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Vredendal, Hout Bay, Green Point, Bloubergstrand, Durbanville, Melkbosstrand.
Eastern Cape: Port Elizabeth, Knysna, East London, George.
Kwa-Zulu Natal: Durban, Pinetown, Ladysmith, Newcastle, Ballito, Port Shepstone, Pietermaritzburg, Umhlanga, Westville, Hillcrest, Amanzimtoti.
Gauteng: Johannesburg, Vereeniging/Vaal, Sandton, Midrand, Pretoria, Centurion, Randburg, Roodepoort, Germiston, Alberton, Edenvale, Menlo Park.
Free State: Bloemfontein, Welkom, Bethlehem.
Mpumalanga: Witbank, Nelspruit.
Northern Cape: De Aar, Kimberley, Repra (Upington Area).
North West: Klerksdorp, Mafikeng.
Limpopo: Phalaborwa, Polokwane/Pietersburg.
Outside South Africa: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique.

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