How to Find Number Blocks (and When You’d Need Them)
Businesses often need more than one phone number for a variety of reasons.
With SIP trunks it’s easy to add blocks of numbers with Direct Inward Dialing or, DIDs.
A DID is a dedicated phone number that allows you to receive calls directly from your VoIP IP PBX or analog PBX extension.
With a DID you can receive calls on any of your SIP trunk lines because unlike traditional phone lines, the DID is not dependent upon a dedicated phone line.
DIDs are scalable, you can order as many as you need:
- More Than One: If you just need a handful of numbers, more than one, say, two numbers or a few.
- More Than One Hundred: You can buy large banks of phone numbers – 10, 20, 100, or more.
- No More Than One Trunk Needed: You only need one SIP trunk – DIDs give you the flexibility of direct phone numbers for each employee without the expense of buying multiple phone lines.
Where Do Phone Numbers Come From?
As a consumer you can’t get phone numbers the same way that telecommunication companies do.
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) administered by the similarly named North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA) distributes numbers to phone companies which then trickle down to CLECs (competitive local exchange carrier), VoIP service providers, and then to you the consumer.
Here’s a brief background of the NANPA:
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) is an integrated telephone numbering plan serving 20 North American countries that share its resources…AT&T developed the North American Numbering Plan in 1947 to simplify and facilitate direct dialing of long distance calls. Implementation of the plan began in 1951.
The number of area codes in use surged with the advent of faxing, mobile phones, and modems for dial-up internet service creating a demand for more dedicated phone lines for specific devices and uses.
One of the responsibilities of NANPA is to provide area code relief planning to make sure that we don’t run out of phone numbers as their availability decreases.
Why Do I Need Number Blocks or, DIDs?
When telecommunications companies are assigned blocks of numbers from NANPA they’re acquiring them in blocks of 1,000s.
Moving down the food chain, a VoIP service provider can then lease only what they need from a CLEC. And in turn you can buy only what you need from your VoIP provider.
This gives you the flexibility to buy only a couple DIDs or, buy larger blocks of numbers as your company grows.
You don’t have to waste resources on a large amount of numbers that you may never use.
Here are some reasons you may want blocks of DIDs:
With a dedicated phone number your contacts and customers can connect with you instantly and directly – there’s no need for them to fumble around with an extension or IVR (interactive voice response).
Call Forwarding on the Road
With a dedicated line, any remote or travelling employee can have work calls forwarded to a mobile phone
Track Your Marketing Campaigns
Use a dedicated phone number specifically for an advertisement and then track those calls to see how well it worked.
DIDs and blocks of DIDs provide numerous options for your phone number needs.
Click here to learn more about standard features of different types of DIDs.