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For global entrepreneurs venturing into multiple overseas markets, the management of communication methods can get complicated, but it does not have to be. For example, if a company is looking into simultaneously expanding into Germany, Italy, and Spain and the aim is to provide a virtual phone number through which customers can reach the company without incurring a fee, a Universal International Free Number can be purchased to facilitate the communications with customers in these countries in a streamlined manner.

What are UIFN Numbers?

Universal International Free Numbers, or UIFN, are also referred to as Universal Toll Free Numbers. UIFN numbers work much like virtual phone number services except for some slight variations and requirements. Variations include differences with regard to dialing prefixes based on the countries from which the company’s customers or other business contacts will be calling.

Requirements include the following:

  • A UIFN number must be registered in a minimum of two nations
  • A UIFN number must be in service for communication with contacts in two or more countries within 180 days from the day the number is first reserved
  • UIFN numbers require a one-time registration fee

UIFN Numbers from Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding, a long-standing provider of virtual phone numbers and corresponding features with a solid reputation of excellence, sells UIFN numbers. Global Call Forwarding provides global communication solutions for both the personal use of customers as well as for business use, although facilitating forms of better communication for businesses worldwide is at the core of Global Call Forwarding’s focus and offerings.

In today’s increasingly competitive global marketplace, international business owners and managers must stay steps ahead of the competition in order to achieve and sustain long-term success.

Communication is the lifeblood of any successful organization and Global Call Forwarding recognizes this, continually investing in research regarding the needs of global businesses, which methods of communication work best, and tapping into new technologies to enhance feature offerings.

UIFN numbers can be more difficult to obtain than a standard international toll free phone number, though Global Call Forwarding simplifies the process for its customers as much as possible by providing transparency and excellent customer service assistance that extends beyond the purchase of every phone number.

Rather than having to manage numbers for each country in which a business wishes to operate, business leaders have the option to purchase a UIFN number that will work for customers calling from multiple countries. UIFN numbers are essentially a conventional toll free number that comes with an extra digit at the beginning. The number is typically comprised of eleven digits with businesses gaining a slightly modified number for use throughout the world. The number is fundamentally the same as an original toll free number. This could be of special significance when a business has a vanity number or vanity numbers that are already in use as part of the company’s branding and marketing strategies.

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UIFN Calling: Regulations

UIFN numbers are regulated and assigned by the ITU. While UIFN numbers seem like the ideal way to connect with customers across the globe, it is important to keep in mind that there are some regulations and restrictions applied. For example, certain origination countries may impose restrictions on calling abilities and the networks your customers can dial from. Additionally, countries have different prefixes that need to be dialed before dialing the 800 number. Some of the regulations regarding purchasing and dialing UIFN numbers include:

1. The UIFN number needs to be registered in at least two countries.
2. These numbers require a one-time set-up fee.
3. The number needs to be activated for inbound calls from at least two country codes within 180 days.
4. A different format is needed to dial UIFN. Customers will have to include a country code or international access code as a prefix at the beginning of the 800 number.

Why Businesses Need UIFN Numbers

Providing UIFN numbers creates a way for customers and other business contacts to more easily reach the company globally, expanding the business’ availability as well as prospects. Allowing customers access through UIFN numbers helps to establish or further expand an already established global presence. Another benefit of using UIFN numbers related to marketing and advertising efforts is allowing a business to create advertising materials with one phone number for multiple countries versus different phone numbers for each country the business operates in.

For a business that is looking to expand further in the future, it is important to point out that additional countries can be added to an existing UIFN number that is already in use. This helps to increase engagement across the globe for a business, providing callers a way to reach the company at no charge to them.

Related: What is a Universal International Freephone Number (UIFN)?

Global Call Forwarding also offers a multitude of features to complement the use of virtual phone numbers and UIFN numbers provided to businesses. Some of these features include advanced call forwarding to any landline or mobile phone number of the company’s preference, conference calling, voicemail customization, and much more. We provide tailored and cost-effective communication products and services for businesses of all sizes, ranging from small to large. In many cases, international entrepreneurs are now able to eliminate the use of actual physical call centers, replacing them with the use of virtual phone numbers, UIFN numbers, and call forwarding features.

Contact Global Call Forwarding today to learn more about the benefits and requirements of UIFN numbers, international toll free numbers, and other virtual communication tools we offer that might enhance your business’ ability to expand and succeed.


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