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What is a VoIP service provider?
A service provider offers the connection to other VoIP services or to the PSTN. In other words, they are responsible for directing your call to where it is supposed to go.
As with any other type of service provider, VoIP service levels will differ. Most service providers charge a monthly fee, then additional costs when calls are made. Service providers offer different rates based on their services. Charges to look out for are local call rates, STD rates, mobile rates, and rates to any international destinations that may be of interest to the consumer. These prices are usually charged by the minute and are continually negotiated by the service provider, other VoIP providers and telcos around the world. As a result, call prices can change rapidly, so it is important to keep an eye on the cost of your calls.
Users should note that there are differences between public and private numbering schemes.
If the user only wants to make cheap outgoing calls, and receive calls within the service provider's own network, then a private number is sufficient.
Some services also enable users to receive calls from regular telephones -- at no extra cost. This feature is known as DID (Direct Inward Dialling) and, although you can't use your existing number for the moment, you can get a real, regular eight-digit format number for people to call.