VanityTel Registry - Browse phone listings...
Get increased brand recognition, and a low cost - yet effective marketing
tool with a vanity phone number!
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
(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).
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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!
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
Refer to the
Number Portability and the newer
Wireless Number Portability
sections. (All external website links will open in a new browser window.)