International and Domestic Toll Free Numbers

Domestic toll free numbers usually have fewer restrictions and lower costs associated with them than their international counterparts.  However, in most countries, there is no noticeable difference between an international and domestic toll free number for the caller. toll free number is simply a phone number where the owner is charged for all incurring calls rather than the caller. 

Which Countries Use Domestic Toll Free Numbers?

While most countries have both international and domestic toll free services, there are only a few countries where the difference is extremely important. The distinction between international vs domestic toll free numbers is fundamental in the following:

Philippines

In the Philippines, domestic toll free numbers can only be dialed from the Globe network, while ITFS can only be reached from the Sun and Smart cellular networks. Most companies will buy both types of toll free numbers for full coverage in the Philippines.

Japan

In Japan, domestic toll free 0120 numbers are recommended. Japanese domestic toll free numbers have no mobile restrictions. ITFS numbers are handled by many different regulators and carriers with different restrictions, making them less reliable.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, mobile access for ITFS numbers (0800 dial-code) is blocked by default. This is not the case with DTF numbers (0809 dial-code). However, New Zealand's domestic toll free numbers are generally more expensive than their alternative. In addition, providers like AVOXI usually disable the default mobile restrictions associated with ITFS numbers before providing them to customers. For this reason, traditional 0800 numbers are still the most preferred toll free number type for most businesses in New Zealand.

Singapore

In Singapore, all foreign companies are assigned ITFS numbers, recognized by the ‘800’ dial-prefix. Companies based in Singapore use domestic toll free numbers, recognized by the ‘1-800’ dial-code. However, there is no difference in functionality between these numbers.

Brazil

DTF numbers cannot be reached from outside of Brazil.

South Korea

ITFS numbers (003 dial-code) are not portable. South Korea DTF numbers (0809 dial-code) are recommended for full coverage in the country.

Taiwan

ITFS numbers (801 dial-code) cannot be accessed from the KG Telecom Network. Taiwan DTF numbers (0800 dial-code) are recommended for full coverage in the country.

International Toll Free (ITFS)

International toll free numbers allow customers to dial, free of charge, and connect to your designated phone number or IP Address. Toll free numbers are great for businesses that have a global customer base but want to add a local presence. These numbers also offer additional flexibility with call forwarding functions. This feature enables you to forward and route calls to different locations using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Rates for calls vary depending on where the calls terminate and on what device. 

Three Primary Factors to Determine Costs

The calling rate per minute charges is country-specific, with three main factors determine the overall rate: 

Originating Country

  • To determine the rate per minute for your toll free number service, you first need to establish from what country your calls originate or your customers’ location. If your customers are in Australia, you want an Australia Toll Free Number (ITFS) so that your customers have no charges on their phone bills when calling your business. 
  • Using the Australia toll free number as an example, an ITFS number does offer mobile access, but there is a charge for airtime. An Australian domestic toll free number (DTF) includes mobile access—with no additional charges.

Terminating Country 

  • The terminating country is the one where you forward your calls. Normally, this is the country where your employees are located. The terminating country is important because it impacts your rate per minute. This rate varies depending on the country in which your call terminates. 
  • Again, using the Australia toll free number as our example, let’s say that you set your call forwarding to terminate in the Philippines. Your termination rate is associated with a different rate than a call terminating in the United Kingdom.
  • In many countries, a blended rate for landline, or fixed-line, and mobile is increasingly popular. With a blended or “mixed rate,” your termination rate is an average across all termination rates including landline and mobile. This means that there is one termination rate regardless of the device. 

Device: Mobile vs Landline vs VoIP 

  • The decision to choose between mobile or landline services isn’t always apparent. While there are benefits to receiving calls over a traditional landline service, such as quality and reliability, there may be associated costs. Sending calls from your toll free number to a landline is normally more expensive than receiving calls on a VoIP phone. Any time calls transmit over the Public Switched Telephone Network, you are subject to additional charges from the telephone company. Fundamentally, this increases your rate per minute. 
  • Forwarding or routing calls to a mobile device is common for people who work remotely, or need the flexibility to take calls while away from the office. Similar to landline services, there may be additional fees added by the cell phone carrier for transmitting the incoming call. International plans and long-distance options are often available and offer more competitive rates. 
  • The most cost-effective method for receiving calls is through your Internet connection using a Voice over IP enabled phone or softphone. VoIP calls don’t transmit on traditional phone lines or through mobile carriers and that makes them far less expensive. All you need to receive a VoIP phone call is a softphone on your laptop and Internet connection. 
  • One thing to be aware of is the restrictions or added fees that occur when roaming to certain countries. For instance, the countries of China, Brazil, and Greece restrict mobile service; but it is available in other countries at a premium rate. Potentially, there are also other access issues, such as payphone restrictions. Your service provider can guide you through the coverage and restriction details of each country. 
  • Additionally, each country has its own set of restrictions and added fees for particular services. 

Who Can Call My Phone Number: ITFS

An International Toll Free number is like the US Toll Free number mentioned above, but instead, it is country specific for other countries around the world. The prefix and dialing format looks different depending on the country. An example is AVOXI’s UK toll free number: 0800 652 5029

The one thing to keep in mind about toll free numbers is that they’re country specific. They only work in the country for which you bought them. So if you have an interest in these numbers, make sure you get one for every country in which you have customers.




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Updated:

February 25th, 2021

Author:

Louise Ross

Updated By:

Louise Ross

KB ID:

405258

Page Views:

972

Tags:

itfs, dtf

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