How Call Forwarding works
How does call forwarding work – and how can you activate it on a phone number?
These are some of the questions we will answer in this article
Call forwarding is redirection of incoming calls
When you activate forwarding on a phone number, this means that you want incoming calls to that phone number to be redirected to some other phone number.
Anyone calling your phone number will be connected onward to the forwarding destination number that you have set.
Will the caller notice anything?
The caller will be connected directly to the forwarding destination when they call your number, but they may notice that the call is being forwarded.
These are the reasons why:
- Network message
The phone company may play a message to the caller saying that the call is forwarded, such as “Your call is being forwarded”.
- Music on hold
The phone company may play some music to the caller while the call is being set up.
- Different ring signal
The ring signal at the destination may sound different than the ring signal on your regular phone number. This is especially true if the call is forwarded to another country.
- Delay before ringing
The forwarding may take a few seconds extra, as the call to the destination takes a few seconds to set up. This leads to a longer wait time before the caller hears ring back tone.
A forwarded call is actually two calls
When you use forwarding, this usually means that there are two calls being connected together by your phone company.
- The incoming call
The call from the person that called your number.
- The outgoing call
The call from your phone company to the destination you selected.
The two calls are bridged together by the phone company, so that the caller, and the person answering at the forwarding destination can talk to each other.
You pay for the outgoing call
Since call forwarding generates a 2nd call for the outgoing “call leg” to the destination, this means that you usually will be charged for the outbound call.
If the call forwarding destination is within the phone company’s own network, they may opt to not charge for the call forwarding.
How can I activate call forwarding?
If you want to activate forwarding on a mobile number or landline that you already have, then you need to contact your phone company and get instructions from them. There is no global standard for activating forwarding.
The forwarding is done in the network
The actual forwarding is done in the telephone network, and not in your phone.
Your phone can be turned off – and call forwarding will still work
If you want to have more flexibility, you may want to get a forwarding number.
They are also called Virtual phone numbers or Online numbers – and are basically regular phone numbers that are not connected to any physical phone line or SIM-card.
Their forwarding settings can be configured via a website.
Most Virtual phone number providers also offer you the option of answering calls across the Internet, and to play voice response messages to callers.
You can read more about such numbers here.
Sonetel is a provider of forwarding numbers. You can try one for free here.
In many cases it is possible to convert an old phone number into a virtual phone number by porting (moving) it from your current phone company to a virtual phone number provider such as Sonetel.
Photo by Peggy Anke, Angelika Agibalova, Jon Ly and Chad Madden on Unsplash