How to Get a Local Phone Number in a Foreign City
Having a local phone number in a foreign city can be very useful to the business traveler, whether it’s to establish a business presence or make it easy for friends and family to reach you. Before the Internet, the only way to do this would be to contact the local telephone company in a particular city and order remote call forwarding, if such a service were available.
Today, however, there are multiple Internet-based phone companies out there that offer such a service. One of them is Callcentric.
The Callcentric International Unlimited phone number service is available in over 35 countries, including Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.
In my case, I wanted a local number in Austria, and Callcentric offers this for only $5.95 per month. My phone number can be dialed from any landline or mobile phone in the world and the system supports two incoming calls to the same number at the same time.
There was a one-time setup fee of $7.95 and the cost per minute is actually $0.00! (Note that, if you want a phone number in Germany, you must be able to provide proof of a physical address within the city you are ordering a number from.)
Rates do vary by country. A similar service in Brazil is $10.95 per month while the service for Israel is $12.95. In the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, it’s $7.95, and for a local number in Japan, the cost is $10.95.
Ordering and setting up the service is fairly straightforward. After I signed up, I received an e-mail with a Web login. All I had to do is go to the Web site, enter the phone number to which I wanted callers dialing my Austrian phone number sent, and I was off and running.
Callers have no idea that their calls are terminating on foreign soil but, if you forward your foreign number to your mobile phone, remember to turn it off when you go to sleep lest you be awakened by someone who is six or eight hours ahead of you.
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.