Better ready the Guest Room, your phone number is here to stay!   I really enjoyed my interview with TechTarget journalist Tessa Parmenter about the future of telephone numbers which resulted in following article.

Some key points she highlighted:

How are telephone numbers being used as the common denominator between networks today?

Goldstein: One thing we find in our business [for OTT providers] is that businesses like to have numbers in different geographies. It’s something that helps them deal with global markets. So if you run a business in L.A. and you sell to people in Japan, France and Brazil, [and] if you only put an L.A. number there, it’s still difficult for people around the world to call an L.A. number. It’s a perceived economic barrier. Not everyone’s phone plans allows them to call international. Some of them feel reluctant to dial that international number. Maybe there’s perceived language issues. But let’s say in that scenario they put a Japanese, French and Brazilian number up on their webpage — that opens up the game and allows people in those markets to call and interact to do business with them. [For] Voxbone and other OTT providers like us, the cost to add numbers like that … is very low. So a lot of over-the-top and hosted PBX providers, I think they’ve found this as something that customers like. For their businesses, it’s a way to increase the average revenue per user, because that business is very competitive based on price, so there’s a certain amount that you can realistically charge for a phone line and voicemail. But now with international numbers, suddenly that customer in L.A. is [saying;] ‘I’ll upgrade my account, and I’ll add the number in Tokyo, Rio and Paris, and they see a lot of value in doing that. That’s what’s happening today and that illustrates to an extent why [phone] numbers are still very important.

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