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VMN is an acronym for virtual mobile number. They are similar to regular mobile numbers, except that they are not tied to a physical device. They are standard 11 digit numbers that look just like any other phone number. Usually VMNs are not able to take voice calls, however, so they are almost exclusively used for SMS.
To use two way text messaging, you need to have either a VMN, shortcode, or keywords on a shortcode. If you use a VMN, then you can receive messages on that number. VMNs are much more affordable than dedicated shortcodes and potentially less expensive than keywords on shortcodes when purchased on an annual basis.
On the NetMessenger platform, you can purchase a VMN from your account. It can take up to 48 hours to activate the number because it needs to be registered with the networks. The process can sometimes be done faster if there is a need.
Many customers use multiple VMNs. A company might choose to use a different number for each of their marketing lists in order to help segment the customers. Others might want each of their sales agents to have their own VMN so they can manage their communications without the possibility of mixing up messages.
Schools also use VMNs for communications with staff, parents and students. For example, they may send out messages to parents to verify a child’s attendance on a given day. The parent can then respond confirming the absence or late arrival in the case of illness. Alternatively the schools can let parents proactively send in an SMS message notifying them that their child will be absent that day.
Another benefit of VMNs is that they can be used internationally. Shortcodes usually don’t work across country boundaries, but since VMNs are just like regular mobile numbers they work from anywhere.