A virtual number is a telephone number without a directly associated telephone line. Usually these numbers are programmed to forward incoming calls to one of the pre-set telephone numbers chosen by the client; either Fixed, Mobile or VoIP (voice over IP)
Subscribers to virtual numbers may use their existing phones, without the need to purchase additional hardware.
A Virtual Private Number is a telephone number that forwards incoming calls to any of a number of pre-set telephone numbers. These are also called a follow-me number, a virtual telephone number or (in the UK) Personal Number
Usually a virtual telephone number can be set to forward calls to different telephone numbers depending on the time of day and the day of the week; for example, between 9-5 on working days incoming calls will be forwarded to one’s workplace, but in the weekends to one’s cellphone.
Some companies offer International Virtual telephone number. Thus a company located in China can have a phone number in Los Angeles or London without paying for a fixed Foreign exchange line. Virtual Numbers are very popular among call centers which appear to be located in one country, when in fact they are in one or more countries in different time zone, delivering efficient 24/7 cover. Other popular users of international virtual numbers are immigrants, who appreciate the fact that their friends and family back home can contact them using a local call.
Some countries limit the use of Virtual Phone Numbers because they may bypass restrictions on international calls.