International Calling

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March 19, 2008

Follow Me Mode for Packetel International Calling Service Enables Anywhere Reachability

International Calling

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Senior Editor


When Packetel (News - Alert) designed its international calling service, the company thought a lot about how customers make long distance calls, and what features would offer the most convenience coupled with low per-minute rates.
In particular, Packetel wanted its service to be flexible enough to meet the needs of different users, without sacrificing cost savings or making the online interface (used to purchase minutes and manage plan features) too complicated. This is why the company designed its service so users can set different modes depending on their calling needs.
The way Packetel’s service works, at the most basic level, is pretty simple. Each user is assigned a Personal Access Number, is which similar to the toll-free number used on a calling card. This is a local number dialed to access low international calling rates. Settings in the Online Phone Book, managed via a Web-browser interface, introduce added conveniences to complete the rest of the calling process.
For example, Packetel’s service lets the user choose between two main modes: Call Out and Follow Me/Local Presence. The first mode works as described above: dial the Personal Access Number to make outgoing calls.
If saving money and time on incoming calls is more of a concern, the second mode provides a convenient way for friends and family to reach the user. In Follow Me/Local Presence mode, the Personal Access Number is used by incoming callers to reach the user regardless of where he or she is located.  
Follow Me/Local Presence makes use of another Packetel feature called XPress Number. This can be any phone number where the user wants to be reached. Callers wanting to reach the user simply dial the Personal Access Number, and then are automatically forwarded to the XPress Number. The user can change the XPress Number as needed to become reachable from different location. This could be cell phone, work phone, home phone, or any other number.
The Follow Me/Local Presence mode is useful for users who travel, are in and out of the office a lot, or simply want to be reachable during the day at one number and in the evening at another.
For travelers, the Follow Me/Local Presence mode also offers a way to help callers save money when wanting to reach the user. This is achieved because the Personal Access Number is a U.S. number, so it’s less expensive to call (especially if it’s local to the caller) than an international number.
To learn about other convenient features of this service, please visit the International Calling channel on, brought to you by Packetel.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is Migrating Your Messaging System, brought to you by Active Voice.

Mae Kowalke is an associate editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae’s articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.


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