Survey: People Want Phone Number for Life

More than 80 percent of respondents would like to have the option of a permanent number they can take anywhere.

By Ted Stevenson | Posted Aug 28, 2009
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Brussels, Belgium-based Voxbone, provider of DID phone numbers and VoIP transport services worldwide, this week released the results of a survey that samples consumers' attitudes about the necessity of changing telephone numbers when they change their city or country of residence.

Bottom line: They don't like it. Seven out of ten people surveyed report having lost contact with people as a result of phone number changes. Over one-fourth have had 20 or more numbers over the course of their lives. And an overwhelming 82 percent expressed enthusiasm about having a permanent, movable number wherever they happen to move.

Voxbone co-founder and CEO Rod Ullens commented: "It seems crazy in this day and age that people are still regularly forced to give up or change a vital part of what identifies them to other people just because the majority of the telecoms industry still deals with its customers in a way that is line-focused rather than based around the individual.

"As the world population becomes increasingly migratory, phone numbers need to evolve to reflect users’ changing expectations," Ullens continued. "There’s a new geography being created that's about local presence and global relationships rather than distance or national borders."

It is no coincidence that Voxbone offers one of the few solutions to this problem—if not the only solution—in its iNum or international numbers initiative. iNums uses the +883 area code to route calls to any destination in the world.

Voxbone provides these numbers, gratis, to wholesaler carriers and service providers, who in turn give them at no cost to their customers.

When an +883 is dialed—anywhere in the world—the call is initially routed through one of four participating carriers and/or peering exchanges, which in turn route the call to the network of the issuing provider.

Note that iNums are currently reachable only through the networks of the 25 participating carriers (see list here), although Voxbone assures us that "eventually," they'll be reachable from any network. In the mean time, iNum has established local access numbers in 62 cities and countries around the world.

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