(Gawkwire.com) Vonage today announced the grant of a virtual phone number patent. The patent titled “Method and Apparatus for Placing a Long Distance Call Based on a Virtual Phone Number,” allows consumers to communicate to distant locations without incurring long distance or international calling charges. This is Vonage’s second patent related to the use of virtual phone numbers. Vonage’s first patent directed to the use of virtual phone numbers — No. 7,386,111 — was granted on June 10, 2008.
“We continue to drive innovation that translates into unique products and services for our customers,” said Nick Lazzaro, senior vice president of product development and information technology. “This breakthrough takes advantage of our Session Initiation Protocol-based network and enables our customers to save significantly when they communicate with their friends and families across the country or around the world.”
Virtual phone numbers allow people outside a Vonage customer’s local calling area to call for the price of a local call. Vonage customers can choose a virtual phone number in the calling area of a parent, relative or friend or wherever they want to establish a “virtual” presence. Vonage offers virtual phone numbers across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and in more than 14 other countries.