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The Disappearance of the Phone Number?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Let’s face it, phone numbers are very much alive. In fact, I believe that people are just not ready to abandon their phone numbers for a VoIP service, let alone a mobile messaging app regardless of its success or bold claims and predictions.

What I agree with is that the phone number has become a rather old-fashioned gentleman in the present digital world. Why? We still have our phone numbers tied to a single device, although we live in a multi-device world where we switch from one device to another at least a hundred times throughout the day. But, what if we could free the phone number from its legacy place and use it across all our favourite devices?

At this point you might be thinking that OTT VoIP applications have been trying to achieve this for years. And to some extent we can all agree that OTT VoIP and messaging applications are also here to stay despite their drawbacks like the lack of cost effective PSTN linkage. In fact, your subscribers have most likely taken advantage of free or cheap voice and video calls that OTT VoIP and messaging applications offer them. And remember, all of this occurs over your network or via WiFi.

So what comes next? We have already pointed out that the OTT telephony fruit is the juiciest and ripest fruit in the carrier’s backyard. In case you missed it, carriers all over the world have been harvesting. The past year was full of ballyhoo about OTT-like telephony services coming from carriers — Deutsche Telekom’s immmrT-Mobile’s Digits, O2’s Message+Call, and others.

These services have come in broad variety of flavours, which sometimes even include the very complicated redesign of the IMS core and the HLR, or different softphone solutions that allow subscribers to make and receive calls and texts from any device.

We are sure that fiddling with your HLR is one of the last things you would want to undertake. That’s why we have thought that it’s best to go with a softphone based on WebRTC technology. You can easily implement our solution into your network enabling your customers to use their beloved phone numbers directly from their browser or even from the comfort of an app. So, the first main advantage for yours subscribers will be simultaneous ringing. They will be always reachable on their main mobile or fixed device and also in all the computers or smart devices where they have logged in to the softphone.

Crystal Clear Connections and Cost-Effective Calls

What other advantages would your subscribers have? Well, tons! Imagine the possibility of also giving them crystal clear connections and cost-effective calls over your reliable network that can be originated or received from any of their devices and wherever they are, even while they are travelling. On top of that, they can keep getting what they are used to from OTT players, like video calls, multimedia messaging, cheap international calling, etc.

Another thing to keep in mind. Remember our blog about OTT Regulations? Soon OTT players would have to comply with regulatory stipulations such as supporting access to emergency services, mandatory records of identity, etc. These things would be hard for OTTs to achieve and would also level the playing field between carriers and OTTs.

So, maybe phone numbers are for some the least exciting experience of a smartphone. But phone numbers are not going anywhere. And most importantly, now is the perfect time for carriers to bring phone numbers to the 21st century. I would love to tell you more about how to achieve this with our WebRTC based softphone.

Diego Vivas