July 13th, 2009
We interrupt our normally scheduled postings for a word from our CEO, Paul Hammond.
So, I’m finally going to be taking my first vacation in four years. I’m heading out to Italy for a while, and am researching the ways to stay in touch with work and family without paying an arm and leg to my US iphone cell phone carrier that shall remain nameless.
After a conversation with a very nice rep with said carrier, I was still in shock to know that I will have to pay $2.00 a minute to send and receive calls whilst in Italy. It’s a good thing I don’t plan on talking that much, but the high costs got me thinking about how I can stay in touch and still have my legs to walk around Florence and my arms to hold the camera.
I’d been hearing about how we at VirtualPBX.com have almost got our international phone service up and running. The idea is that we can provision a local number in a foreign country and have it ring directly in the VirtualPBX system. So I went to ask about how that was going and after three minutes on the computer, the team allocated me a local number in Florence, Italy. It rings directly into the VirtualPBX, and I can now have access to all our employees, voicemail, and dial tone to make outbound calls.
I’m also going to need a phone to use when I get there so that I can call my new number at local rates so I’m bringing my old RAZR and when I get into Italy, I’ll just drop into a local phone store and switch out the Cingular SIM chip for a local SIM chip. Quick, easy, buy a big pack of minutes for local calls there, save a whole bunch of money.
With my new local Italian SIM chip in my phone I will simply call the Florence number at the cost of a local phone call, reach my messages and business services as needed, and use the outbound dialing feature to connect me to anyone I want to talk to at home – mostly my kids, but I can keep track of anyone I want to without having to pay international rates.
That’s way cheaper than the $2.00 a minute that the major phone companies would be charging me. And if I meet anyone in Florence that wants to call me, I just give them my VirtualPBX Florence phone number, they will reach the main auto attendant, they can dial my extension and the VirtualPBX will call out to my cell phone – the new Italian one of course!
If anyone else wants to test the Italian VirtualPBX number, it is 39-055-398-0579, and it’ll take you straight to our main system. I’m really excited about seeing how the total price compares when I get back from my trip. I’ll keep track of the number of minutes of phone time I use and let you all know how it goes. If you’d like your own international number in one of over 40 countries, send an email to email@example.com and ask to be part of our international beta program. Meanwhile, ciao, and Italy here we come.