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I'm a painter and decorator by trade, I use my mobile number as my primary business line to take calls from customers mainly down to the fact I don't have a manned office. As my job takes me all over and I work on site at different jobs I wouldn't be able to answer a fixed land line myself and I can't afford to employ a secretary just to take messages. :?

As such all my advertising material, business cards and stationary have my mobile number on, but I have always had my concerns that I could be losing business by using my mobile number as my primary business line.

Anyway, last night a mate was telling me about voip? Apparently I can get a UK phone number without a contract, without the need to pay line rental and the best part... no install is required I could simply divert the number to my mobile and all I pay is the per minute rate of the incoming call? He said I could install an app on my iPhone and use my mobile internet allowance to make and receive calls for free.

Is it really too good to be true?
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By WelshPaul
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Your friend is correct, you can have a local number, freephone or almost any other number you like from a VoIP provider and use it to divert calls to your mobile phone. There is however a small monthly charge of around £2 per month for UK phone numbers, sipgate.co.uk however do not charge for one.

If your using it for business I would do your homework and choose a VoIP provider that is reliable and offers good support. My recommendation would be voipfone.co.uk. A UK number costs £2 per month with them, you pay 10p per minute for any inbound calls that are diverted to your mobile and that's it. Again as your friend mentioned you can install any sip/VoIP app and register your VoIP account against it and your then able to receive incoming calls for free.

Two great apps to check out for the iPhone are Zoiper and Acrobits. neither are free but they sure are great, reliable and easy to use apps for making and receiving VoIP calls on your mobile.
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Thanks for replying to my post Paul. I have setup an account with Sipgate just to try it out with minimal cost to me, if all goes well and I manage to get my head around it all I will take your advice about looking for a more reliable business quality service. :thumbsup:
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By astraqomuk
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I hope I am not violating any posting rules but I wanted to give you some information that is quite relevant for your situation.

AstraQom UK offers Hosted PBX services with IVR (Auto-Attendant) and many other features included (e.g. Call Forwarding).

I will list below just a couple advantages of having a Hosted PBX even for your one man operation:

1. IVR (Auto-Attendant) - The IVR allows you to configure a custom menu for when customers call you (e.g. Thank you for calling AstraQom UK, your telecom business partner! For Sales please press 1, For Customer Care please press 2 etc.). You can also set recordings with your hours of operations, coverage area, promotions and services and even configure a Voicemail-To-Email.
NOTE: as the name indicates AstraQom's Voicemail feature sends you an audio copy of your voicemails directly to you email address so you can listen to them on your PC or smartphone.

2. Selective Call Schedule - based on the time of day you can choose how your Hosted PBX routes incoming calls. You can set it so that calls are routed/forwarded to your mobile during business hours (e.g. 9AM - 5 PM) and to a different IVR menu outside business hours (e.g. Thank you for calling AstrQom UK, your telecom business partner! Please note that our hours of operations are Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Kindly leave a message with your contact details and we will return your call as soon as possible)

3. Virtual Receptionist - I am sure you had plenty of situations where you missed calls as we have many customers that encountered the same issue. With that in mind we have added to our portfolio the Virtual Receptionist service. The Virtual Receptionist is a Live Telephone Answering service that can be integrated with your Hosted PBX or just as a stand alone solution.
With Virtual Receptionist all your incoming calls are answered by our specialists and handled as per your instructions. We can take messages or just forward calls or to a different number.

The solutions above will help you emulate a larger business and will provide you with a more professional appearance.

There are plenty more than we can do for our customers as we even provide a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) tool and E-SMS services for your marketing activities.

If you are interested please email us at info@astraqom.co.uk and one of our representatives will contact you immediately.

Best regards,

AstraQom UK Team

P.S. Prices for our Hosted PBX solutions start at £9.99/user/month and our Virtual Assistant from £14.99/month. You can choose to get a month-to-month, yearly or contract subscription.

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