Virtual telephone numbers are available for purchase in many countries around the world – but not available in many others. For instance, virtual numbers are not allowed in India as of this writing.
In general, countries that restrict use of virtual numbers are also countries that regulate use of VoIP internet telephony – and, usually, telecom markets in general.
In such countries, governments are typically trying to nuture incumbent telephone companies and protect them from low-cost competitors, especially from low-cost VoIP companies.
In countries with liberal telecom regulation, like the US, virtual numbers are easy to obtain with few, if any, restrictions on their use.
Virtual Phone Number
A Virtual Phone Number is a telephone number that forwards incoming calls to one of the pre-set telephone numbers chosen by the client.
For example, a company located in China can have a phone number in Los Angeles. Virtual Phone Numbers are very popular among Call Centers, which are physically located in one country, when in fact they really work in another. International virtual phone numbers are also popular with people currently residing in a foreign country, giving their family members and friends a virtual phone number so that they can contact them at a local call price rate.
Frequently, the subscriber can easily set the Virtual Phone Number to forward calls to different telephone numbers (both landlines and mobile phones) depending on his or her preference. For example, on work days incoming calls can be set to be forwarded to one’s workplace, but on weekends to one’s mobile phone.