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Get increased brand recognition, and a low cost - yet effective marketing tool with a vanity phone number!
 
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Some newer facts on why you should secure a vanity phone number:

*Are area-codes irrelevant these days?

The short answer is yes - area codes hardly matter anymore - geographically speaking (and considering a realistic outlook based on what's presently happening in telecommunications). Read on for a full explanation...

In the new age of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) coupled with mature telecom services such Local Number Portability, area-codes are quickly losing any geographical relevance. Simply put: if telephone companies (Telcos) can now offer you numbers from area-codes outside your locality, then area-codes will cease to indicate physical boundaries.

If you have any doubts about the future viability of VoIP, rest assured that it's here to stay and will eventually take over the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS a.k.a. PSTN) that we know today. This is because all major Telcos are committed to VoIP in one way or another since it's a lot more efficient and less costly that the current system. To further illustrate the maturity of VoIP and its effect on area codes, some countries (like the U.K. & Japan) have assigned special area codes (056 & 050 respectively) for "non-geographical locations" (as much as it may sound like an oxymoron).

What does this mean to me in general? ...and how does this apply to vanity telephone numbers?

(The answers below so far apply to the U.S. & Canada, referred to in this text as North America)
  • In general... (...and yes, all this applies today!)

    • The ability to choose any area-code & phone-number regardless of your physical location - based on availability of course. Broadband Phone Companies (such as Vonage & Lingo) have been offering this feature for quite some time and now traditional Telcos are jumping on the bandwagon.

    • The elimination of long-distance (LD) charges as we know them. The technical nature of VoIP eliminates the extra cost associated with routing LD calls. Originally pioneered by Broadband Phone Companies, most Telcos now offer unlimited LD in North America for a set monthly fee.

    • Complete worldwide telephone number portability. This is the ability to take your number and be reachable literally anywhere.
      Going abroad and wish to take your local number to your hotel room? Doing a business show overseas and still want your reps to handle local customer calls? Simply connect the VoIP phone or adapter to the Broadband Internet service available at most hotels & conference centers.

    • A host of new Internet integrated features available. A practical example would be accessing, replying or modifying your Voice Mail & faxes via the Web or email.

    • Ten (or 11) digit dialing locally or across North America. This is more of a highlighting fact rather than an advantageous feature (unless you have vanity spellings in mind - see below). With the new global oriented phone system, there's not nearly enough 7-digit numbers go around. Adding new area codes to complete 10-digit dialing vastly increases the supply to meet demand (for now). Many major cities & localities have begun this implementation and more are scheduled to follow.

  • What it means to vanity telephone numbers...

    • For starters, it means a vast increase of vanity number selection. Now that you know (see above) that area codes are becoming geographically irrelevant, the playing field of choices has immensely expanded from your local town to all across North America!

    • You already know (see above) that long distance rates are being phased out, so in essence every local number will be a Toll-Free number

If increased brand recognition, and a low cost - yet effective marketing tool aren't enough to convince you to promptly secure a good vanity local phone number, the above facts should at least give you a fresh perspective to do so.

Now that we've established that area codes are becoming geographically irrelevant, yet we still need them to complete 10-digit dialing, here comes the million-dollar question:
What is the future significance of an area code?

The answer: Pure Vanity.

At VanityTel, we believe the above answer plays a two-fold role:

Role #1. Vanity by location impression.

Although it's true that area codes are becoming "location irrelevant", it's still hard to erase the memory of an entire generation who grew accustomed to a certain type of phone (area-code-by-location) establishment. Enter here the vanity factor.

Say you're a marketing firm in North Dakota seeking to gain national/international business and recognition. You can now technically obtain a downtown New York (212) or Chicago (312) area code & phone number for clients to reach your Bismarck office.
For that matter, with VoIP, even a small software startup in Bombay, India, can get an area code & phone number from San Jose, CA., ...and it's being done now all the time!

Role #2. Vanity by added spelling possibilities and a unique 10-digit composed word(s) to identify your business across North America.

Adding the 3-digit prefix to a 7-digit telephone vastly increases it's spelling possibilities. Furthermore, in the near future once long distance rates are completely eliminated, your 10-digit unique phone number can be advertised as a word across North America!

For Example: Imagine a professional or business group with a(n uptown Chicago) 773 area-code announcing on national radio "Dial: 1-SPECIALIST" (1-773-242-5478).


Ironically, the first role mentioned above will often conflict with this one. This is because most original area-codes typically found in major cities and downtown cores contain a second digit being either a 1 or a 0 which do not correspond to any letters for spellings. (As for why did they originally establish it in such fashion remains for another technical discussion.) Therefore, for the time being at this transitional stage, the first role mentioned remains the most compelling.

Now that's meaningful vanity!

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Please note that there may be some restrictions associated with number portability depending on each carrier, which in some cases may limit the number transfer to a VoIP only company. Extreme diligence is required when inquiring with both carriers as per the entire transfer process before moving or acquiring a telephone number from a 3rd party.

More information on Local number Portability (LNP) may be obtained from the Federal Communications Commission's website (fcc.gov). Refer to the Number Portability and the newer Wireless Number Portability sections. (All external website links will open in a new browser window.)

 


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