Almost all types of businesses, who cater to a customer base, end up asking one question – which virtual phone number system is the ideal fit for their organization: ITFS or UIFN? And this decision needs careful and detailed research since investing in the right tool can attract a greater number of prospects while an incorrect choice can prove detrimental for your business. 

Hence, this article. We will try to answer your question so that you are at least on the right track. But before proceeding further, you must understand that any number that allows your customers to access you from anywhere and at any time at zero charges is the first step for a successful business. Now, the more tricky question. Which is the better option? Let’s find out.

So, what is ITFS, and what is UIFN?

ITFS is the abbreviated version of the International Toll-Free Service. They follow the same mode of operation as the US Toll Free numbers. These numbers allow customers to call a company at no additional charge. In fact, the concerned company incurs the charges for the calls. 

It allows customers from another country to call an enterprise located in a different nation. However, the international toll-free number is a type of free phone number that is specific for specific countries.

On the other hand, UIFN stands for Universal Free Phone Number. UIFN comprises one number that is accessible from various countries – free of any charges to the caller. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) launched the first global numbers, way back in 1988, and UIFNs were introduced during that time only. 

Each UIFN includes 11 digits – three-digit country code for a global service application, which is 800. Every country is assigned its own unique toll-free numbers, and different customers from different nations can choose the respective, distinct number.


CallHippo is one of those reliable brands which has been operating in the field of providing virtual phone numbers since its inception. Their virtual number systems are equipped with all the modern features, such as Call Transfer, Call Conference, Call Queuing, Call Barging, Local phone numbers, Smart Call Forwarding, Team Collaboration, Ring All, Call Recording, Voicemail, Call Analytics, and On Hold Music. Their business spans across 50 countries and for any additional queries, you can always reach out to us.

Differences between ITFS and UIFN?

While you may think that a UIFN is a more feasible option, which can be accessed from multiple countries, why should one opt for ITFS? Well, there are some restrictions. The services of UIFN numbers are regulated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – which means that only nations included under the UIFN program can use these numbers. 

If you look at the numbers, around 50 countries are included in the UIFN program. On the other hand, ITFS is available in more than 140 countries.

Moreover, even dialing a UIFN number has some rules. Whenever a caller dials on this number, they must first enter their own country’s international access code (IAC) aka international dial-code or international country code. Since the process is complex, many callers find this task to be more complicated.

In certain countries, ITFS numbers are accessible from all cellular networks but UIFN numbers can only be dialed from specific mobile networks. 

Additionally, UIFN comes with a one-time universal registration fee – something that is not a requirement for ITFS numbers. In the latter case, the registration fee is incurred by the carrier which, in turn, pays it to the ITU. Additionally, investing in UIFN also means that you need to pay a monthly subscription fee for each country included in your UIFN plan. Hence, ITFS is more economical in this case. 

So, which is the better choice for my business: UIFN or IFTS?

Well, the answer to this question will depend on the global reach of your business. For instance, if you have customers only in a few countries, you are strongly advised to invest in an ITFS number – minus the registration fee. Meanwhile, if you cater to several countries and using too many numbers prove confusing, the best bet is to opt for a single UIFN number.

Furthermore, when you are already spending a considerable sum on marketing and are advertising your number through multiple channels, apart from your internet site, you should go for a UIFN number. Some of the companies that can make use of UIFN numbers are software services companies, data facilities, patient care, and medical rehabs, scientific studies businesses, and universities.

To sum it all up, if your business falls among any of the ones mentioned above, a UIFN number can be the ideal fit. But to tell the truth, there is no universal toll-free number that exists today. But with the help of the correct ITFS or UIFN number systems, you can establish a real-time global presence.

Updated : April 9, 2021


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