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Creative Uses for Virtual Phone Numbers in Marketing

Creative Uses for Virtual Phone Numbers in Marketing

The truth is that creative uses for virtual phone numbers in marketing depend on appealing directly to customers, especially those who are located abroad. There’s nothing more off-putting than being …Read More »

Becoming an Entrepreneur in 2019

Becoming an Entrepreneur in 2019

There has never been a time more convenient to launch a successful business than now. Would-be entrepreneurs that have been contemplating a shift to starting their own successful venture now …Read More »

Using Technology to be an Efficient Entrepreneur

Using Technology to be an Efficient Entrepreneur

Are you looking to find new ways to use technology to make your business and personal life better? Becoming an efficient entrepreneur takes hard work but its possible. We break …Read More »

Cold Calling is Tough – Here’s some tips that can help!

Cold calling is tough - tips

Facing the fact that you may sound exceptionally awkward, be rejected by not-so-nice recipients, and possibly misrepresent your business interests can be enough to make you avoid cold calling altogether. …Read More »

Cloud Telephony for Growing Businesses

cloud telephony for growing businesses

Cloud telephony is a proven method that can help aid growing businesses meet customer demand and scale operations accordingly. In this article, we’ll cover how cloud telephony for growing businesses …Read More »

Why it’s Important to Trust Your Virtual Number Provider

Why it’s Important to Trust Your Virtual Number Provider

In today’s modern marketplace, it almost seems as though trust isn’t something we can find in the businesses that we interact with. Fortunately, Global Call Forwarding isn’t an ordinary business. …Read More »

How to Make a Telephone with Paper and Plastic Cups

With iPhones and Snapchat it’s difficult to imagine kids growing up without the excitement of making telephones out of paper cups and string. It seems like every childhood friendship consisted of wishing you lived close enough to each other to communicate through your bedroom windows with the latest and greatest in “cup and string telephone technology.” It made you feel like you were getting one over on your parents, while it gave you and your friend a sense of adventure and autonomy. Secret late-night chats about hypothetical missions or the latest gossip… those were the days!

Just because we have actual technology that lets us do this much easier, does not mean it’s not still fun though, and making telephones is a great ways to teach kids about sound waves and how a traditional telephone works. Let’s take a look at how to make an effective cup and string telephone.

Steps to Make a Telephone out of Paper Cups and String

For materials you’ll need to buy two paper (or plastic) cups and a non-stretchable string, and you’ll need a pair of scissors. Here are the steps to make a paper cup telephone:

  1. Poke a hole in the bottom of each cup with the scissors or another small, sharp object.
    (Optional) Decorate your cups with markers to customize your own personal cup telephone.
  2. Cut the string to your desired length – we recommend you start with anywhere from 60 to 100 feet (we’ll talk about the science behind this later in the post).
  3. Thread each end of the string through the holes in the cups and tie knots in each end to prevent the string from pulling back through the cups. You may also use paper clips to keep the strings attached.
  4. Then, both you and your partner begin walking away from each other until the string is tight. Careful not to rip the string out, but you will need some tension in order for the sound waves to carry.
  5. Finally, as you hold your cup to your ear, your partner can begin sending you secret messages through their cup. Play with the length of the string to see how shorter or longer strings make the message more or less clear. Have fun!

Science Behind the Cup and String Telephone

While this activity is certainly fun and harkens childhood treehouse fantasies, it is also an excellent chance to learn about telephone technology and sound waves. We can communicate with each other because the sound waves our voices make are put out into the air around us. These waves do dissipate if directed into the air, which is why it is easier to hear people that are physically closer to us than farther away – this is why we shout from long distances.

Sounds travel between the two cups through the following process: when the first person speaks into their cup, their voice creates sound waves which then vibrate the bottom of the cup, making it move back and forth about 1000 times per second – or faster! This vibration travels down the string so long as there is tension and it is not a stretchable string (kite string or cotton twine are good ones to use). Once the vibrations reach the other cup, the second person should be able to hear what the first said. You can speak at normal volumes because the sound waves aren’t lost in the air. But, if your string becomes too long, this can also cause the sound waves to weaken and your message won’t be delivered to the other person. This is why it would be fun to experiment with string lengths to see when the message is clearest, and when it starts to fade. You can also experiment with different kinds of cups, whether they are small, big, plastic, paper, or styrofoam. All of these adjustments will affect the clarity and volume of your message.

A traditional telephone operates in much the same way as this rudimentary version. With actual telephones, an electric current replaces the string, and an aspect known as the diaphragm converts your sound waves to electrical energy, and it travels to your friends phone via the established telephone network. Transferring the waves to electrical energy allows the waves to travel further. This is a very oversimplified explanation, but for the sake of comparison, it accomplishes the task of comparing the transference of sound waves to a second party.
paper plastic cup string telephone

How Telephones Work Today – Smartphones/ Virtual Numbers

The technology we use today even with our high tech smartphones is very similar to the technology that has always existed. Instead of converting our sound waves into electrical signals, they are converted to radio signals. Then those signals are picked up by radio towers and sent to our friend’s phone, which then translates those radio signals back to sound waves.

Virtual numbers also work in a similar way. When you buy a virtual number, it is simply a number that is not assigned to a specific telephone line. Instead, these numbers are programmed to be forwarded to another established landline, cell number, or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). The rationale behind this is that during the week from 9-5 you can forward the number to your office phone, and on the weekends, you can forward the calls to your cell phone. The reason people find these numbers and this flexibility attractive is that you can give out a local phone number to a local business even though you may be operating your company in an entirely different locale or country. You can even use these phone numbers over the internet on your computer, so if there is no cellular service, but you have wifi, you can still dial and receive calls.

Back to the Basics

No matter how technologically advanced we become as a society, it’s fun to get back to the basics and have some good old fashioned fun with crafts and friends. It’s good to remember the basics behind some of the things we take for granted, especially with the many conveniences of modern technology. Whether you’re in a small midwestern United States town or the bustling city of Toronto, you’ll see folks walking around talking on their cell phones. It’s safe to say that a good portion of these individuals couldn’t tell you how their phones really worked. It might be time for them to sit down and make a cup and string telephone to understand the fundamentals of the amazing technology we have available at our fingertips!

How to Use Verizon Call Forwarding

Call forwarding is not a complicated feature to use. In fact, the instructions to follow in activating this feature are not difficult at all. You will be tasked to enter and press a few buttons, and if you are successful in activating the service, you can reap the benefits of using Verizon call forwarding. For some people, call forwarding is simple and uncomplicated, but if you have special needs and preferences, you will need to learn more about it in order to get the most out of it.

What is Verizon Call Forwarding?

Call forwarding is a feature that is normally used by people for personal or business purposes. Also known as call diversion, this allows the phone call to be redirected to an entirely different phone number if the original number being called is unavailable or if no one picks up the call. If you are signed up under Verizon, you can activate the Verizon call forwarding feature by following a few simple steps.

How to Activate Call Forwarding

You need to use your mobile phone to activate Verizon call forwarding.
These are the steps to follow to start forwarding calls with Verizon:

  1. Dial *72
  2. Enter the phone number that you are going to forward the calls to.
  3. If it is successful, you will start receiving calls whenever your original number is not available.

Another way to activate call forwarding is by following these steps:

  1. Visit www.verizonwireless.com/callforwarding.
  2. Follow the prompts that will allow you to forward the calls to your desired number; it’s quite easy!

How to Turn Off Call Forwarding

If you would like to turn off the Verizon call forwarding service, follow these steps:

  1. Dial *73 from your mobile phone number.
  2. Go to My Verizon. You can access this through your laptop or any other chosen device. Follow the given steps in order to turn off call forwarding services.

This can also be done using your iPhone or other smartphone device.

Call Forwarding – Will it be Expensive?

The cost of adding a call forwarding plan will depend on your circumstances, budget, and how pertinent to your needs it is.

Many people are interested in trying out Verizon call forwarding but they are concerned about its affordability. The amount you will be billed will depend according to the plan that you have chosen. Even if you answer the phone from your landline, the amount you will have to pay may actually be the same, depending on the terms of the service.

However, the only time you should expect to be billed additionally is when you choose to take long distance calls, unless this is also included in your plan. If you opt for a simple phone plan with call forwarding on Verizon, and you decide to have extra features added, you may be charged a certain fee for this.

Also take note that Verizon call forwarding to international phone numbers may require certain fees depending on the Verizon calling plan you have acquired.

Troubleshooting: Why Can’t People Contact Me?

Whenever someone tries to call you and they get a busy tone on your forwarded number, there may be something wrong with the Verizon call forwarding service. Check the following:

  • Did you input the correct number when you were asked to place it?
  • You may have placed additional numbers in the field; verify that you haven’t.
  • You may have forgotten to place the area code.

Double check the number you placed. If you know that it is correct, you can contact Verizon to let them know of the problem. You may be given some instructions on how to troubleshoot the issues you are facing. You can also try call forwarding for iPhone as long as you have followed all of the instructions mentioned above.

The Advantages of Call Forwarding

Now that you know the basic details of using call forwarding, you should become more familiar with call forwarding for iPhone with Verizon and the benefits that you can get. Here are some of the ways call forwarding may be of benefit to you:

  1. You allow yourself to become more available to different markets – This is more ideal if you have a business. You allow yourself to answer the calls of your customers whenever they need you. If you cannot be available all the time, you can forward customer calls to some of your employees who will take the calls on your behalf.
  2. You do not have to rely heavily on voicemail. You may think that voicemail is good but when you need to utilize Verizon call forwarding for your business, or you need it for personal purposes, people can speak to a real person instead of being asked to leave a message.
  3. It can be more convenient for a lot of people. You can be reached even when you are not at your usual location and you can also turn the feature off if you do not need it. Just do not forget to turn it off. You might end up being disturbed on your “off” days when you are trying to take a breather.
  4. If you have your own business, you improve your chances of becoming more recognized in the industry because customers know that you are available for them. You can also use some features of call forwarding through a toll-free number. A lot of people may prefer using toll-free numbers versus calling international phone numbers for the obvious reason of saving money on calls.
  5. It will allow you to track sales easily. There are customers who may call your business the moment they see your contact number on your website. You can analyze the web traffic you are getting, and see if it corresponds to sales.

One of the disadvantages you may encounter when you use Verizon call forwarding is if you forget to turn off the function and you do not have a mobile phone nearby. You need your mobile phone to turn off this feature. Check out the different ways that you can turn off the call forwarding feature whenever you need to; it may offer some much-needed convenience in certain situations!

What is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

Have you ever heard a sales pitch on your answering machine and wondered how it got there? Telemarketing messages are notorious in the eyes of the public, often seen as annoyances, especially if the person who received it never signed up for it in the first place. In response to this, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was born.

First passed in 1991 by former President George H. W. Bush, the TCPA was put into effect for the purpose of restricting telemarketing, or telephone solicitations. This act mainly addresses automatic dialing systems, “robocalls,” pre-recorded voice messages, and other artificial messages. The hope of the TCPA is not to take revenue away from businesses, but to limit and regulate these communications for the sake of consumer privacy. After all, no one appreciates an unsolicited sales call before or after working hours, or when they’re trying to spend some time with their family.

The TCPA Rules

So what are the parameters of the TCPA? Unless the consumer has given express consent beforehand, corporations or businesses cannot call residential homes before the hours of 8am or after 9pm local time. This act not only applies to calling, but to fax messages and text messages (SMS) as well.

The TCPA requires that companies keep something called a “Do Not Call” list. If a consumer requests to be on this list, they cannot be contacted for sales purposes. “Do Not Call” or DNC, must always be honored by the organization and its employees. The Federal Communications Commission does not regulate this list, but every organization must manage their own. All organizations must have a prepared written policy so that if a consumer requests it, they can read the guidelines on their own.

The TCPA Exceptions

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act still allows for businesses to communicate with their clients. If you would like to leave a pre recorded message, all you have to do is meet the following criteria to stay within the boundaries of the TCPA rules:

On the message, you say the name of the organization or entity calling, and which individual is being contacted.
List a phone number where the organization can be reached. Keep in mind that this number must be different than the one associated with the pre recorded message player.
State the main purpose or reason for the call. The purpose, of course, should not be telemarketing.

“Telemarketing” refers to a message given for commercial purposes, the purpose of investment or rental properties, or selling goods and services. As long as the pre recorded calls do not contain telemarketing messages, your organization should be safe. If someone chooses to “opt in” to telemarketing messages, then consent must be given in the form of a written message, electronic form, or signature.

Another restriction applies to emergency lines. Companies are prohibited from using automated equipment to an emergency line, such as 911, poison control centers, fire stations, physicians’ offices, or law enforcement agencies.

Fortunately, many businesses are not impacted by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, especially if you must leave informational messages with your audience. This includes airlines announcing flight changes or cancellations. Calls for the purpose of debt collection also do not count as telemarketing calls. Again, if there’s no sale involved, then there’s no violation.

What Happens in Case of a Violation?

When organizations are unsure about the rules of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, they risk some very hefty fines and fees. A violation of the TCPA can result in a consumer suing for $500 or up to $1500 on each offense. If any revenue is lost because of the violation(s), then the consumer may sue for that amount as well.

Even the largest agencies are at risk. For instance, did you know that Resort Marketing Group, who represents Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines, violated the TCPA by spamming thousands with recorded calls without their consent? They advertised cruises by leaving unwanted messages on consumers’ phones. Now, as a result, any individuals who were called during that time have the ability to be compensated and receive financial gain.

How to Comply with the TCPA?

Companies with call centers and telemarketing capabilities should not be on the wrong side of the law. It’s a very serious issue. Business owners must adjust their operations to comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act if they have not done so already. If they don’t, they may face some very expensive legal fees later on, just like Resort Marketing Group.

Written procedures, proper training, and regularly updated Do Not Call lists are all factors that ensure you remain free of fines. Businesses can also utilize technology to organize consent information from customers. Keep your teams vigilant about your communications processes both internally and with third party marketing partners so that there are no big issues down the line.

If you want to leave an informational message with a customer, it should remain neutral in terms of content. This means that anything you say should be free of ads, sales, or promotions. If you’re unsure how to word a message, then pre written scripts could be a great tool for you. Give these scripts to employees and call centers so that every team member is following the right instructions.

Analytics software is another way to keep in line with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulations, such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. These analytics help businesses understand how to provide the most optimal and consistent experience for their customers.

Your Resource For TCPA Compliance

Global Call Forwarding is your resource for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. We have local and toll free phone numbers for you to use in over 140 different countries. Our state of the art network offers features such as call recording, call transfer, SMS to email, local ringback tones, and more. For more information about the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, we can answer your questions and concerns. It’s time to invest in an industry-leading service for better quality communications. Contact our team today.

How to Turn On Call Forwarding with AT&T

T&T’s Device Support Tutorials

Access the Call Forwarding Device Support tutorials website to learn how to turn on call forwarding with AT&T. The following process shows how this is accomplished.

  1. Go to “https://www.att.com/devicehowto/dsm.html#!/make.” This site lists the brands of cell phones and tablets.
  2. Then, select the device manufacturer.
  3. Select the device model. If the device is not found, select Load More Devices and then select the device.
  4. Under Search device support, type call forwarding. If that does not get the tutorial, go to Additional Support.
  5. Select Learn How to Use.
  6. Select Calling.
  7. Select Call Forwarding.

Setting Up Call Forwarding on Different Cell Phones

The following sections give the AT&T call forwarding tutorial steps for a variety of popular cell phones. This is just a sampling of the available tutorials. Follow the above procedure to find a tutorial for a specific phone not shown here. Note that there is not a tutorial for the Google Pixel phones.

AT&T Tutorial for Samsung Galaxy 8

  1. TURN ON CALL FORWARDING: Select the Phone app from the home screen.
  2. Select the Menu icon and then select Settings.
  3. Select More settings.
  4. Select Call forwarding.
  5. Select Always forward.
  6. Enter the desired Forwarding number and then select TURN ON.
  7. When call forwarding is turned on, the Call forwarding icon will be displayed in the Notification bar.
  8. TURN OFF CALL FORWARDING: Select Always forward from the Call forwarding settings menu.
  9. Select TURN OFF.

Note: To change the call forwarding number, edit the number, then select UPDATE.

AT&T Tutorial for Apple iPhone 8 & 8 Plus
  1. To set up Call forwarding on the device, from the home screen select the Settings app.
  2. Scroll to and select Phone.
  3. Select Call Forwarding.
  4. Select the Call Forwarding switch to activate Call Forwarding.
    Note: You must be in range of the cellular network when you set an iPhone to forward calls, or calls will not be forwarded.
  5. Enter the desired forwarding number.
  6. Select Back to return to the Call Forwarding screen when finished.
  7. When Call Forwarding is active, the Call Forwarding icon will appear in the Status Bar.
  8. To change the Call Forwarding number, from the Call Forwarding screen select Forward To.
  9. Enter the new desired forwarding number and then select Back.To turn off Call Forwarding, from the Call Forwarding screen swipe the
  10. Call Forwarding switch to off.
AT&T Tutorial for LG V30
  1. TURN ON CALL FORWARDING: From the home screen, select the Phone App. Select the Menu icon, then select Call Settings.
  2. Select More.
  3. Scroll to and select Additional Settings.
  4. Select Call Forwarding.
  5. Select Always Forward.
  6. Enter the desired forwarding number and then select TURN ON.
  7. When call forwarding is turned on, the Call Forwarding icon will be displayed in the Notification Bar.
  8. TURN OFF CALL FORWARDING: From the Call forwarding screen, select Always Forward then select TURN OFF.
    Note: To change the call forwarding number, edit the number as desired then select UPDATE.
AT&T Tutorial for Huawei Ascend XT2 (H1711)
  1. TURN CALL FORWARDING ON: From the home screen, select the Dialer app. Select the Menu icon, then select Settings.
  2. Select Call Forwarding.
  3. Select Always forward. Enter the desired forwarding number and then select ENABLE.
  4. When call forwarding is turned on, the Call Forwarding icon will be displayed in the Notification bar.
  5. TURN CALL FORWARDING OFF: From the Call Forwarding screen, select Always Forward then select DISABLE.
    Note: To change the call forwarding number, edit the number then select CHANGE.
  6. AT&T Tutorial for Motorola Moto Z2 Force Edition (XT1789)
  7. TURN CALL FORWARDING ON: From the home screen, select the Phone App. Select the Menu icon, then select Settings.
  8. Select Calls.
  9. Select Call Forwarding.
  10. Select Always Forward.
  11. Enter the desired forwarding number and then select TURN ON.
    Note: To change the call forwarding number, edit the number then select UPDATE.
  12. When call forwarding is turned on, the Call forwarding icon will be displayed in the Notification Bar.
  13. TURN CALL FORWARDING OFF: From the Call Forwarding settings screen, select Always forward then select TURN OFF.
AT&T Tutorial for Alcatel ONETOUCH ALLURA (5056O)
  1. To forward all calls to a different number, from the Phone App, tap the Menu icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Call Settings.
  4. Tap Call Forwarding.
  5. Tap Always Forward.
  6. Enter the Desired Forwarding Number.
  7. Tap ENABLE.
  8. When call forwarding is turned on, the Call Forwarding icon will be displayed in the notification bar.
  9. To turn call forwarding off, tap Always Forward.
  10. Tap DISABLE.
AT&T Tutorial for ZTE Maven 2 (Z831)
  1. TURN ON CALL FORWARDING: From the home screen, select the Phone App. Select the Menu icon and then select Settings.
  2. Select Call Settings and then select Call Forwarding.
  3. Select Call Forward-Unconditional. Enter the desired Forwarding Number and then select TURN ON.
  4. When call forwarding is turned on, the Call Forwarding icon will be displayed in the Notification Bar.
  5. TURN OFF CALL FORWARDING: From the Call Forwarding settings screen, select Call Forward-Unconditional then select TURN OFF.
    Note: To edit the call forwarding number, select Call Forward-Unconditional. Edit the number as desired, then select UPDATE.
AT&T Tutorial for AT&T Fusion 3 (Y536A1)
  1. From the home screen, tap Dialer.
  2. Tap the Menu icon.
  3. Tap Call Settings.
  4. Tap Call Forwarding.
  5. Tap Always Forward.
  6. Tap the Number Field to edit the number to which calls will be forwarded.
  7. Tap Enable.
  8. Call Forwarding is now enabled. While call forwarding is active, the Call Forwarding icon will be displayed in the Notifications Bar.
  9. To disable Call Forwarding, tap Always Forward.
  10. Tap Disable.
AT&T Tutorial for Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G (R800at)
  1. From the home screen, press the Menu key and tap Settings.
  2. Tap Call Settings.
  3. Tap Call Forwarding.
  4. Tap to select the desired forwarding option. To forward all calls, tap Always Forward.
  5. Enter the desired forwarding number and then tap Enable.
    NOTE: Follow the above steps to return and Disable Call Forwarding or Update (Change) the forwarding number.
  6. AT&T Tutorial for BlackBerry KEYone (BBB100-1)
  7. TURN CALL FORWARDING ON: From the home screen, select the Phone App. Select the Menu icon, then select Settings.
  8. Select Calls.
  9. Select Call Forwarding and then select Voice.
  10. Select Always Forward.
  11. Enter the desired forwarding number and then select TURN ON.
  12. When call forwarding is turned on, the Call Forwarding icon will be displayed in the Notification Bar.
  13. TURN CALL FORWARDING OFF: From the Call Forwarding settings screen, select Always Forward and then select TURN OFF.
    Note: To change the call forwarding number, edit the number and then select UPDATE.

How to Port a Phone Number from Google Voice

Google Voice is a service that provides users with a phone number, which is known as a Google number. The number is designed to unify several communication channels enabling you to receive calls, text messages and voicemails. Google Voice is available for free for all Gmail users. When you sign up, you are given one phone number which allows you to manage all of your phones and mobile devices. The service utilizes VoIP technology to route its calls and to allow free local calls and international calls at a cheap rate. The service also offers a number of other features such as giving you the option to have your call routed to up to six different devices, for example, your mobile phone, home phone or office phone. You can also specify which phones you want to ring at which time of day.

How Google Voice Works

Google Voice links with the PTSN (public switched telephone network) in combination with the mobile network to reroute the calls. When a call is made through Google Voice, it is initiated through the traditional landline phone system, but it is transferred to Google’s internet space, then directed to its final destination number. This method of unifying numerous channels of communication has the added benefit of reducing costs. It also means that you can change your mobile carrier service without having to change your current phone number. All you need to do is change the number to which your calls are routed.

Though you still have to pay your monthly subscription to your wireless or phone carrier, Google Voice has several benefits such as:

  • You have a wide range of available phone numbers to choose from. You can select specific area codes from anywhere in the United States and even look for specific number or letter combinations.
  • Because you have a dedicated number to receive calls from all your other numbers, you’ll never miss a call. You can still make outgoing calls from all of these devices independently.
  • You can make free local calls to anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
  • You can make calls at low VoIP rates to international numbers.
  • You can read and send free texts messages with your Google number, as well as access your voice mailboxes, check out your call history and make and receive video calls, all from an easy to use interface. You can do all of this on your laptop, tablet or smartphone.
  • If you prefer not to listen to your voicemail, then Google Voice will send you written transcripts of your recorded messages. You will still have the option to listen to the messages as well.
  • How to Port a Phone Number from Google Voice
    When you sign up for Google Voice, your number is initially locked so that it cannot be ported without your approval. However, you can, if you wish, port out your Google Voice number to another provider once you have unlocked it. Google will charge you a fee of $3 to port your number, unless you have already ported your mobile number to Google Voice.

How to Unlock Your Google Voice Number

  1. Sign in to your Google Voice account.
  2. Beneath your Google Voice number, you will see a link that says “Unlock my Number.” If you have more than one Google Voice number, click on the link beneath the number you would like to unlock.
  3. Click “Continue.”
  4. Log into Google Wallet to complete your transaction.
  5. Your Google Voice number can now be ported out. This means you are ready to use the ported number with a new service provider. Should you at any stage change your mind about porting out your Google Voice number, you can choose to re-lock it. Simply follow these steps:
  6. Sign in to your Google Voice Account.
  7. Beneath your Google Voice number, you will see an option that says “Relock my number.” Click on the clink.
  8. Click “Continue” to confirm.

Once your Google Voice number has been unlocked, you will see a screen message confirming this and telling you that you can now port your number. It is advisable to take a screenshot of this message so that you can use it to show your new porting agent that the number has been unlocked.

You may, if you wish, lock the number again at a later date. You will have to pay Google the $3 unlocking fee again. However, if you follow the port-out procedure with an external carrier, for example, SIPStation, you will not be able to re-lock the number.

Drawbacks to Google Voice

  • It is currently only available throughout the United States.
  • You are also not able to make emergency calls with your Google Voice number.
  • Support is limited. If you are having difficulty using your Google Voice number, you can seek help from the online help pages and FAQs, but there is no one-on-one customer service where you can call, email or chat online with a representative.
  • You will need to use Google Hangouts if you wish to message pictures or videos directly or send SMS to multiple recipients. Google voice alone does not have the technology to manage this because it does not utilize the more advanced Multimedia Messaging Service.
Porting Your Google Voice Number to a Different Provider

Once your Google Voice number has been successfully ported, you will then be ready to use your unlocked Google Voice number with a different telecommunications provider, such as Global Call Forwarding. This will allow you to take advantage of a number of advanced features such as call recording, time of day routing or advanced IVR. You may transfer one or all of your Google Voice numbers, or any other portable phone numbers.

It is quick and easy to complete the process. All you need to do is fill out the online form. You will receive a confirmation email from Global Call Forwarding shortly afterwards, and then you’re good to go. The complete porting process usually takes only 3-4 days.

How to Call 1800 Numbers From Puerto Rico

There are many questions that you may have regarding making calls across borders, especially when you are calling another location in the world. If you are in Puerto Rico and you have to make an international call using a 1800 number, do you know exactly how to do it? If you do not know how to go through the prompts, it can be a bit complicated. You may end up spending a lot of money for a single call. Above all, you need to know the steps for calling 1800 numbers from Puerto Rico.

Do you Need to Call From Puerto Rico Often?

There may come a time when you need to make calls from Puerto Rico. Perhaps you want to call 1800 because your family is in another location and it will give you peace of mind if you can speak to them as often as possible. All the while, it will be of utmost importance to be able to make calls without huge expenses.

Here are the steps for how to call 1800 numbers from Puerto Rico to the United States:

  1. Dial 011-1
  2. Dial 1800
  3. Dial the landline number or the mobile phone number that you are trying to call.

If in the event you do not understand the numbers that are mentioned above, you should remember the following:

  • 011 – This is the exit code for Puerto Rico. When you dial this, it means that you are making an international phone call.
  • 1 – This is the country code of the United States.
  • 800 – This is one of the area codes of the United States. Remember that there are different codes available. You need to dial a different area code if you are calling a person or a company located in a different country.

Let us say that you want to know how to call Puerto Rico when you are in a different location. You also have to know the international code (+787), the area codes and the actual Puerto Rico phone numbers in order to proceed. This is the same with all other destinations.

What If You Need Unlimited Calls?

It was mentioned earlier that if you needed to make calls to your loved ones and you would be calling internationally all the time, the phone bills will be exorbitant. As an alternative, there are different ways that you can get unlimited calls to the US from Puerto Rico.

Use Call Collect – This is ideal if you are calling to contact a company. Perhaps you have some questions about some products you have purchased recently or you have some inquiries about the availability of the products you want. A company may offer call collect so that you can call them and not pay for the call. It will also help to know Puerto Rico toll-free numbers that you can use for your calling needs.
Use an App – Applications have truly changed the way that people communicate with each other. Gone are the days when writing letters was the only method available in order to communicate. Calling via phone used to be very expensive; but now you can use an app to call people for free. Whether you are going to call sellers, companies, your friends, or your family members, the right app can be effective. With different features available, there are things you can utilize that would not otherwise be available via other platforms.
Find Affordable Phone Services – There are phone providers that offer various packages that will fit your different needs. Global Call Forwarding is one of such companies that can provide the services you want by looking at their offerings. They even offer plans with unlimited calls. Subscribers have the option to reach more than one number when they call from Puerto Rico to another country. There are different considerations to think about, but with the right service provider, meeting your needs as a caller will be possible.

Some Tips on Calling Internationally

  1. Make sure that you know the right area code. There are various codes assigned to different areas. The moment that you make a mistake with even a single digit, you will be dialing a wrong number. This can be a hassle not only for you but for the household, company, or person that you called.
  2. Take note of the time difference. A 12-hour time difference is no joke, especially if the receiver is getting the call at an awkward or absurd hour. Companies normally offer 24-hour services but if you are calling 1800 for personal reasons, take note of the time zones.
  3. Calling via landline or mobile phone is almost the same. You just have to know the exact number to call so you will not make a mistake.
  4. If you are going to use phone services in order to make calls, make sure that you choose the best one available depending on your needs. There are different packages and plans offered by different companies. It will be up to you to choose.
  5. Have a phone that can call internationally. In some countries, though you may have a phone to make outgoing calls to international locations, there are some types of calls that are limited. Make sure that your phone can be used internationally before you start calling, however.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that people assume that calling from Canada, or other areas in North America will be the same as calling from Puerto Rico. This is not the case, and you should always learn the specifics prior to making calls to 1800 numbers so that no surprises will come up.

Additionally, there are still going to be some slight differences such as with the phone service plans that are being offered by different providers. Calling internationally will not be hard to do when you choose a service provider such as Global Call Forwarding that offers calling plans at affordable rates.

With all of the details that you have learned, you are now aware that calling 1800 numbers from Puerto Rico is possible, as long as you know what to do.

How to Port a Phone Number From Vonage

Number portability is a service that allows you to transfer your phone connection from one provider to another, without changing your phone number. Instead of being stuck with the same old service provider you can instead upgrade to a better provider while keeping your existing phone number. This is the major difference between switching to a new provider and having to deal with getting a new number, and the convenience of porting your phone number.

There may be many reasons for porting your phone number. Some of them include:

You are moving: If you are moving to a new location that isn’t served by your current provider, you may need to change to a different carrier. Number porting is a good way to ensure you can retain your phone number at the new location while enjoying quality service.

  • Network coverage: Not every service provider has the same quality of network coverage. Some providers offer excellent coverage, while others have poor network coverage. If your provider does not offer you decent network coverage, it is a solid reason for you to look into porting your number.
  • Tariff: Obviously, tariff charges vary greatly from one provider to another. If your current plan is too expensive, porting your number to a more affordable service provider is a good idea.
  • Speed: Seamless connectivity is what everyone desires, but not every provider offers good speed. When you need to communicate with clients daily, you cannot afford to have a slow connection. In such a case, number porting is a stellar option.
  • Customer service: An important but often overlooked feature is customer service. It should be prompt and available all the time. It is always beneficial to port your number to a different provider that offers better customer service.

Porting your Vonage number to a different provider is the same as with any other number. The only issue with a Vonage number is that they do not list your phone number on the phone bill, but it is essential for proving that you have authority to port the number.
In this article, we will guide you through the steps for porting your Vonage number to another provider. They are as follows:

Step 1: Gather All your Documents

Before you even start the porting process, you need to have all the documents and information to prove that the number is yours and that you have the authority to port it. Collect all the documents associated with the number, including the most recent phone bill with your name on it. You will need to submit this to the provider you are porting your number to.
Since the phone bill doesn’t have your number on it, you have to contact Vonage and ask them to provide you with a Customer Service Report (CSR), which contains all the information they have on file for your number. You should also let them know that you are porting your number and ask if there are any formalities you are required to fulfill.

Step 2: Screenshot of your Account Page

This is another workaround to the issue of not having your number on the phone bill. If the CSR does not suffice, you have to provide further documentation. This can be done by taking a screenshot of your Vonage account page and submitting it to the new provider. Make sure that the page has your name and number on it because this is required to prove your authority to port the number.

Step 3: Submit Documents

Now that you have all the pertinent information regarding your number, it is time to submit it to the service provider you wish to port your number to. Phone bill, CSR, screenshots, and any other information to prove your authority to port the number must be submitted to the provider. Always make sure that there is sufficient proof of your ownership of the phone number.

Step 4: Complete and Sign an LOA

This is an essential step. A Letter of Authorization (LOA) is required for any phone number port, because this letter explicitly proves that the primary account holder (you, in this case), has authorized the transfer of the numbers to a new service provider by signing. This is an electronic document that can be completed, signed, and submitted online.

Read and complete the form carefully, making sure that the information you put in matches the information that the current provider has on file for the number. The form will be emailed to you when you initiate your porting request.

Step 5: In Case your Port is Rejected

A port getting rejected is a common occurrence. If your port gets rejected, you may only be given the official reason for the rejection by asking an agent of the new service provider. It may not be clear why your number was not ported, and you may not be given any information on whether or not there is anything you can do to fix this.

The best way to figure it out is by talking to a Vonage agent. This is also a good time to consult your CSR and find out if you provided the correct information to the carrier. If you think all information was correct, you should contact Vonage and get the issue fixed.

Step 6: Check your email

That’s all you have to do on your end to initiate the porting process. Once the provider has all of your information, you will receive an email that states when you can expect to have your number ported. The majority of ports are simple, and they take a week to ten days, on average if all the steps are completed promptly. A few days before the port is completed, you will get another email that lets you know the day and time when your number will port. You can also find out the status of the port by talking to the customer service agent.

Keep in mind though, that number porting doesn’t always guarantee you will be able to keep your existing number. However, unless you are moving to a completely different country altogether, it is very possible that you may be able to retain your existing number through porting it from Vonage.

How to Get A US Phone Number

Do you have a business? If yes, you most likely need to reach more people throughout the world in order to gain recognition from potential international customers. There may also be the potential of customers working with your business simply because you have a US phone number, which is an indicator of your business being an international one, with multiple locations.

No matter what your reason for getting a US phone number, you need to know all the details as to how to do it, and why it can be so beneficial. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a USA Phone Number?

USA phone numbers are phone numbers in the US that your customers can call, even if your main branch or office is not located in the US. This can be ideal for businesses who would like to become recognized in the US market. Some customers from the US tend to be wary of international businesses, and even suspicious of foreign numbers. They assume that the business is not credible in supplying their needs, and because it may be foreign, they fear the international call charges. By having US phone numbers, you will allow your US customers to feel more comfortable when transacting with your business.

The best thing about having a US phone number is that it is highly cost effective. It is so affordable that even if your business is small, you will not have to invest heavily to be able to afford a US phone number. The best advantage is that you will not need to undergo a complicated process to get a US phone number; it is incredibly easy.

Is A US Phone Number Advisable for Small Businesses?

Businesses that are just starting out may be a bit hesitant to get a US phone number because of the assumption that having one is more ideal for medium to large businesses. No matter what the current size of your business is, however, there are advantages from having a US number. You will realize that expanding your business to the US or any chosen country does not need to be expensive and complicated. Setting up a number is a breeze; it takes just minutes!

Some Notable Features

  • What exactly will you get when you decide to get a USA phone number? Here are some details:
  • Phone management packages that will allow you to manage your calls without incurring high charges.
  • You will be able to accommodate and answer calls from your customers in a faster amount of time.
  • You can improve overall customer service.

When customer satisfaction is high, expect that your customers will trust your business more, and be happy to continue working with you. Your new customers will be returning customers and your sales will increase as a result. Consider it beneficial as a long-term investment; the effort you spend to gain new customers goes a lot farther if they continue doing business with you over a longer period of time.

How to Activate Your US Phone Number

Have you decided that getting a US phone number is the best option for your business? If you answered yes, then you need to know how to activate it. Here are the steps:

  • Step 1. Access the signup form.
  • Step 2. Choose “USA” from the list of accessible international area codes.
  • Step 3. Input the number that your US number will be routed to.
  • Step 4. Provide contact information and add to cart.
Trial Period for a US Phone Number

If you would like to get a US phone number to try it out before purchasing, you can choose to have a trial first. You will get to test out your US phone number and if you are satisfied with the many conveniences and options it avails, you will have the option to keep the phone number.

Here are the steps to get a US phone number:
  1. Choose the plan that will best fit your business. Always consider the amount that you have to pay plus the features that the plan offers.
  2. Pay for the plan through the checkout process.
  3. Start using it.
Benefits of Having A US Phone Number

Still not convinced on why you should buy a US phone number? If you want to expand your business and reach more people in the US, these are some of the benefits you will gain from offering a US number for your business:

  1. Consider the power of maintaining the impression that your business is an international one, with multiple locations, including one in the US. This can help you not just in the US, but in your own local area as well, as it asserts that your business is global.
  2. Aside from having an actual US number, it may coincide with other phone features that will be vital for your business. For example, the plan may also offer call forwarding services so you can receive calls from your customers even when you are not in office. With simultaneous ringing, you can also forward calls to more than one number so that customers will be always be able to reach someone from your company.
  3. It is incredibly simple to have a US number. You do not have to set up multiple offices with phone lines in various parts of the world just to receive calls from your customers in specific locations. Even if there are different numbers, they will all be directed to the phone of your choice; whether it’s an office line or your mobile phone.
  4. No paying for setup fees! One misconception many business owners have is that they assume they will have to pay for setting up their US phone numbers. However, when you work with Global Call Forwarding, there is no setup fee!
  5. Activation is easy. Those who have tried it say that they normally start receiving calls for their new number within 5 minutes. Just imagine how much this will change your business and your availability to customers.

If for some reason you find you are unhappy with the services you are receiving, or you think that a US phone number is not needed by your business, you can easily cancel your subscription.

Aside from the USA, Global Call Forwarding also offers numbers from many different parts of the world. You can simply choose the country you wish to do business within, and you can start getting calls from customers in various countries quickly and easily, making US phone numbers a very good option for your business if you wish to begin expanding in the US!

The New AT&T 5G Networks

The term “5G” stands for the fifth generation of mobile technology. This technology will push the performance envelopes of mobile networks. It will be of flexible design to accommodate a diverse user environment, and it will utilize a new, high-frequency radio interface. The development of 5G will be an industry collaborative effort using open source software.

 

AT&T’s 5G Roadmap

On February 20, 2016, AT&T unveiled its 5G roadmap including its planned trials in 2016. The 5G networks will utilize technologies such as millimeter waves, network function virtualization (NFV), and software defined networking (SDN). AT&T has filed dozens of patents for these technologies.

  • Millimeter Waves – Millimeter waves (mmWaves) can transmit large amounts of data. The wavelength of mmWaves is longer than infrared waves or x-rays and shorter than radio waves or microwaves. Their band frequencies are in the extremely high frequency range of 30 GHz to 300 GHz.
  • Software Defined Networking – SDN is a software-controlled network architecture as opposed to a network using only equipment.
  • Network Function Virtualization – NFV means that virtual devices replace physical devices. Mobile phone apps that play music, track fitness, or navigate are good examples of this concept.

AT&T Collaborations

AT&T conducted laboratory collaborations with Ericsson and Intel during the first two quarters of 2016. During the summer, they ran outdoor tests and trials, and planned field trials of 5G technologies in Austin, Texas to begin by the end of 2016. The expectations for these tests were to achieve 10 to 100 times faster speeds than 4G LTE (gigabits/sec versus megabits/sec). Another expectation is to lower latency time (the time to begin streaming) with 5G to between 1 to 5 milliseconds.

In October 2016, AT&T gave its first public demo of 5G technology at the Texas Wireless Summit. Summit attendees witnessed the following.
Multi-gigabit per second (gbps) bandwidth speeds reaching 14 gbps

How 5G works with 4K HD video

How antenna technologies for wireless communications like Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) and dynamic beam tracking and acquisition work.

AT&T also announced that it is working with Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, and Samsung Networks

AT&T’s SDN and NFV Leadership

AT&T had virtualized 5.7% of its network (14 million customers) in 2015 and planned to reach 30% by the end of 2016. SDN and NFV have lowered the cost to deliver a megabyte of data. AT&T is also building applications using open source software and contributing code to the open source community.

AT&T’s First 5G Business Customer Trial

On December 5, 2016, AT&T announced the first 5G field trials in one of Intel’s Austin, Texas offices. Trials, using bandwidths greater than 1 gbps, facilitated testing of internet access, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), unified communications applications, and 4K video streams. The trials studied 5G VoIP over the 15 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum bands. AT&T believes, “The future is mobile,” and expects to achieve speeds rivaling cable providers.

5G Evolution

On April 25, 2017, AT&T announced the launch of 5G Evolution to 20 metropolitan areas during 2017. The 5G Evolution technology has internet speeds two times faster than 4G LTE networks. The faster speeds were available only on Samsung S8 or S8 Plus phones. However, additional devices will benefit from 5G Evolution in the future.

Austin and Indianapolis were the initial sites for the 5G Evolution rollout. Plans for additional sites included Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, San Francisco, and others not specified. The faster speed of 5G Evolution reduces gaming lag and buffering on mobile devices. AT&T is also working on License Assisted Access (LAA), which is an LTE feature that gives a performance boost for mobile device users.

Critics of 5G Evolution point out that 5G does not exist yet. Furthermore, 5G will use millimeter wave (mmWave) band transmission and new antenna types. They state that 5G Evolution is faster 4G LTE, not 5G.

AT&T’s Second Field Trial

In June 2017, AT&T launched its second field trial with DIRECTV NOW in Austin using mmWave technology. Residential, small business, and enterprise locations are participating in the trial using Ericsson’s 5G RAN and Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform. Trial participants are able to stream live TV over a fixed, wireless 5G signal. Concurrently, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has accelerated their 5G New Radio (NR) timeline. This means that standards-based mobile 5G services could be available to consumers in 2018.

The Austin trials yielded information on how weather, environment, foliage, device placement, and building materials affected signal and system performance. The trials demonstrated speeds of 1 gbps and latency rates under 10 milliseconds for the radio link. On August 30, 2017, AT&T announced that it was expanding its fixed wireless 5G trials to Waco, Texas, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and South Bend, Indiana.

Verizon, Qualcomm, and Novatel Wireless

In October 2017, Verizon, Qualcomm, and Novatel Wireless began a collaboration for the development and deployment of 5G NR mmWave technology. Their goal is a full-scale commercial deployment by 2020. Their initial focus is the 5G NR operation in 28 GHz and 39 GHz mmWave spectrum bands with plans to deliver a common technology platform for mobile and home broadband wireless access.

The collaboration will include over-the-air trials in 2018 that will utilize the following Qualcomm technology:

  • 5G NR mmWave mobile test platforms operating at 28 GHz and 39 GHz
  • MIMO antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques
  • These trials will drive the development of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon™ X50 5G NR modem family.
GSM Association

The GSM Association (GSMA) is an industry trade body that represents mobile network operators. GSMA has 1,200 members, 800 of which are mobile operators. Its headquarters are in London, and its website is “https://www.gsma.com/”.

According to a GSMA report published in October 2017, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) will be the first region in the world to have commercial 5G networks. This report also made two other predictions.

By 2025, there will be 50 million 5G connections with 5G networks serving 30% of the population in the MENA region.

By 2035, 5G will result in more than $12 trillion in global income and 22 million jobs worldwide.

How SMS Forwarding Works

What Is SMS?

In recent years, SMS appears to be replacing phone calls to a large extent. People are making fewer calls and spending more time on their phones messaging to friends, family, colleagues, or business associates. We are here to answer the question, How SMS Forwarding Works.

Gone are the days when you could spot a good number of people talking on their phones on the bus or in the train. These days, everybody seems to be staring down at their phones rather than have them at their ears.

SMS is the abbreviation of Short Message Service. It can be referred to as a means of communication that allows you to send text messages between phones. The “short” in SMS simply refers to the maximum size of each text message which is 160 characters (symbols, letters, numbers consisting of the Latin alphabet). For other languages such as Chinese, the maximum size is 70 characters.

SMS/text messaging is very cheap or free in some cases, which is one of the reasons why it has become the preferred means of communication. Many telephone networks offer SMS as an additional feature to go with voice call subscription plans.

SMS is a very reliable means of communication when you are in a very busy and crowded place like bus stations or at concerts. It is a discreet means of communication especially when you are trying to pass across important information and you do not wish to be overheard.

How Does SMS Work?

Your phone is constantly sending and receiving information through what is called a “control channel” whether you are on a phone call or not. This control channel acts like a tracker which is constantly identifying what cell tower your phone is near and is able to track your phone as you change towers. While you are busy going about your daily activities, your cell phone is constantly exchanging packet data which keeps your phone connected to the control channel.

This information exchange between your phone and the control channel is why you are able to receive phone calls. Your phone rings as a result of a message which is sent to your phone when an incoming call is detected. This system of information traffic is why you are also able to receive text messages on your phone. When your friends and colleagues send you an SMS, the message passes through the SMSC to the control tower which then sends the message down to your phone as a packet data. The same process is repeated when you send messages to another phone. A SMS will usually feature a data format including a timestamp, message length, sender, and destination phone number.

cellphone sms hands

SMS Forwarding

SMS forwarding is a service that allows you to forward incoming SMS to your email or directly to a phone number that has been designated as the receiving number. Global Call Forwarding is a service provider in which subscribers can sign up for a virtual number that enables them to receive forwarded messages from country specific numbers or internationally directly to their email. SMS forwarding is fast becoming the new communication trend that appears to be attracting more users for both business and personal use.

Business Use

SMS forwarding for business use is just as important as call forwarding as it makes you more accessible to mobile communication anywhere in the world. This service allows you to receive SMS from your clients and customers in an email format. SMS forwarding serves as an alternative means of communication through which your customers can reach you.
While call forwarding is great for customers who prefer to make voice calls, SMS forwarding is an alternative for customers who prefer to send text. You can simply get an SMS forwarding number for your customers through which they can make reservations, bookings, and provide feedback.

Personal Use

SMS forwarding allows users to have a virtual number for the sole purpose of receiving text messages. SMS forwarding feature can be applied to a number of personal uses. For instance, some users subscribe to virtual numbers that are enabled to receive text messages for confirmation codes.
SMS forwarding allows people to receive text messages from friends and family from another country.

How Does SMS Forwarding Work?

It is important to know how SMS forwarding works. When text messages are forwarded to the SMS virtual number you designate, that same text message is sent to an email address that has been assigned by the subscriber. For example, if your business associate who lives in the U.S. sends a text message to your U.S. SMS forwarding number, you will also be able to receive the text message in email format.

SMS forwarding subscribers can get virtual numbers which will allow them to receive text messages from specific countries. The SMS forwarded in email format will include the sender’s ID and timestamps. Subscribers will be able to access all the details about their SMS such as date, time, and content by logging into their online portal on the website.

You can assign your receiving email address within the control panel of your online account. Global Call Forwarding will allow you to set up an online profile on their website where changes can be made on SMS features to suit your preference.

Subscribing To SMS Forwarding

Subscribing to SMS forwarding is the easiest part. The process is simple and straightforward and you can have your SMS forwarding service available to you in a matter of minutes.

Simply sign up with a call forwarding provider such as Global Call Forwarding. Select a country, state, and city, and your SMS forwarding number will be assigned right away. The next step will be assigning your destination number.

For most SMS forwarding services you will get a free trial period in which you will be allowed to become familiar with the services. The time limit is 7 days for individuals and 14 days for businesses depending on the number and destination chosen, if you are working with Global Call Forwarding.

Some services offer monthly plans, while others offer packages that are dependent on the volume of incoming text. There are also packages that are designed for enterprises with a huge volume of incoming text messages.