How Does VoIP Extension Dialling Work?

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Extension Dialling or Direct Inward Dialling – commonly abbreviated to DID – is a feature that has been available on enterprise phone communication systems for years.

Largely used by corporations, DID enabled employees within a company to call each other directly through 4 digit extension numbers.

It eliminated the need to memorize phone numbers and also allowed external callers to bypass the internal directory to contact people, if they knew the extension number.

VoIP extension dialling is one step further, in fact several steps further. Hosted VoIP providers typically offer virtual extensions that are included in the subscription plan and some even provide unlimited extensions.

VoIP extension dialling offers flexibility, enables cost savings and allows employees to contact each other regardless of which location they’re currently working in.


While businesses traditionally used four digit extension numbers, hosted providers offer 3 digit and 5 digit dialling as well depending on the needs of the company. The great thing about extensions is that a company can use multiple extensions without having to pay for additional lines.

For instance a company may have purchased 10 lines that is more than adequate for the current needs of the business. But they can also have multiple extensions attached to each line, enabling features such as ringing several devices simultaneously or one after the other.

Extension dialling doesn’t care about location

Nowadays even a small business can have employees scattered across multiple locations or working from home. Using extensions, calls between employees who are working in different offices do not use up the minutes included in your plan and are generally free (subject to specific plan conditions).

As an example, an employee working from the office can call a co-worker sitting in the next room  or a colleague working from home and both these calls are treated the same.

Another advantage is that calls can be transferred through these phone number extensions as well.  Employees can transfer inbound calls directly to other staff or tell them the purpose of the call before transferring it.

Customers who are calling do not have to know whether the employee is sitting at their desk, traveling for work, or sitting at home.

Unlimited virtual extensions

Some services include a few extensions and the subscription plan and charge for every additional number. Others offer unlimited virtual extensions which are a good fit for companies with many employees, but doesn’t need a lot of lines.

An executive who has several devices such as a home phone, office phone, a smartphone etc. can configure them to ring all these devices simultaneously or one by one until it is answered or forwarded to voicemail.

Setting up this feature is also very easy through the online dashboard. This way workers do not have to miss calls simply because one device is not working or otherwise unavailable.

Another advantage of extension dialing is that customers can easily bypass the auto attendant if they know the specific extension number they wish to reach. This way they don’t have to go listen to the entire directory when they already know the destination.

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