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AN INTRODUCTION TO PHONE NUMBERS

A cartoon head with telephone numbers coming out of it illustrating telephone numbers in the real world


Just how do phone numbers work and what should you know? We reveal the answer to these and other questions below.

INTRODUCTION

Your phone numbers say a lot about your business - do yours say good things?

Did you know that in many areas of the country there is a shortage of phone numbers and Ofcom are rationing number allocations? With Birchills you can have any phone numbers you choose, reserved now - you can even port numbers to the service. You can add any available UK telephone number to your system, now, including geographic numbers which are not for your area. There is no waiting and, usually no charge for new phone numbers.
Birchills Telecom provides public phone numbers to work on our system. All phone numbers are available, world wide, for you to use, connect, divert and cancel on demand.

When you want to make or receive a telephone call you need a telephone number to identify you to the systems and the person you are calling. Because the UK phone systems have evolved since Victorian times the telephone number ranges that are available have been carved up badly.
If you have a traditional telephone line (misleadingly called a copper line) then it will come with a telephone number which will start with a geographical code associated with your area. So for example phone numbers that start with 01922 are for Walsall. With the traditional system you can’t have a telephone number without a telephone line and you can’t have a telephone line without a number, sometimes called a bare line.

WHAT NUMBERS CAN YOU HAVE?

With the Birchills Telecom system you break free from all old fashioned restraints. So you can:
Add any available UK telephone number to your system including geographic numbers which are not for your area.
Add any available foreign telephone number to your system

CAN YOU KEEP OLD NUMBERS?

If you have some telephone numbers that you want to keep then you can port them into our system. You will need to contact your existing supplier and ask. They can be reluctant but we will do all we can to help. Unfortunately, the process often takes a couple of weeks. However, if you are anxious to get going we can supply temporary numbers and you can get a call divert set up so that you can start using the system within a couple of days. There are charges associated with porting numbers imposed on us by the transferring supplier.

WHAT NUMBERS DO CUSTOMERS SEE?

You can choose to display to your customer any phone number you own. So if you want your customer to think you are in London and you have a London number then you can display that number to them although you may be in Glasgow.

WHAT FOREIGN NUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE?

Any available – simply ask us.
 
CAN YOU USE NUMBERS AS FAX NUMBERS?

Yes

CAN YOU CONNECT PHONE NUMBERS TO ANY DEVICE?

By applying a simple call diversion rule you can get calls to ring on any device including mobiles. There may be a divert cost if you are using the public network or the mobile network.

WHAT ABOUT NUMBER PORTING?

Number porting is the process of moving a telephone number from one provider to another. It is possible to move over to Birchills Telecom internet based telephony services whilst retaining your current landline telephone number. We want to make it simple give us a call and we can help.

HOW TO REQUEST A NUMBER PORT?

You will need to complete a form and as proof of ownership supply us with a copy of your latest bill showing the number or notification from your existing supplier that you have the number.
Porting timescales vary greatly from a few days to several weeks. The important thing is to make sure that the process is managed well - you don't want a break in service.

Although we work hard to minimise any impact relating to the migration or porting of a number, there may be a short period of downtime when the actual port occurs as the losing network updates its systems. This sometimes causes people dialling your number to occasionally reach your old provider rather than Birchills for a short period of time, although this is very rare.

Other services on a BT line will be affected.
It is important to remember that when you port a number away from a fixed line, the line itself will usually be ceased as it is generally no longer required.
 
If you have other services on a BT line, such as (but not limited to) ADSL or RedCare, porting the number away may also cease those services, and you may need to pay additional charges to get them reconnected. Please contact your existing provider for more information regarding this.
 
You will also lose access to any services provided by your old telecoms provider, such as voicemail. However, following the completion of the port, the full range of Birchills services will be available to you on that number.

PORTING A NUMBER BACK OUT

In the unlikely event that you are not happy with our service after porting a number in, you can port back out.
This requires full co-operation of the original telecoms provider to accept the number back onto their systems. If you are in doubt, check with them before porting the number into us.


 
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