Changes to Non-Geographic Numbers

As of 1st July, Ofcom are changing the way that non-geographic numbers (NGNs) are charged in the UK. We can advise you on how best to use NGN’s to benefit your business. For more information call us on 0844 824 8757. You can also visit or see our guide to UK telephone number codes and prefixes.

What are Non-Geographic Numbers (NGN’s)?

  • Non-geographic numbers, such as 0800 and 0845 numbers, are used by businesses to provide flexibility when handling inbound calls.
  • NGN’s are sold as numbers rather than lines, so they can be re-targeted to any phone.
  • This allows staff to work in different locations, or from home, negating the need to be office based.
  • Companies can also use NGN’s to track responses to marketing campaigns, including adding interactive voice response, call forwarding and call statistics.

Anyone using NGN’s should be aware of the following:

Calling 080x numbers
All 080x numbers will be free to call from all UK destinations including mobiles.

Inbound 080x numbers
If you own or operate a 0800 number, an additional charge will be generated for calls to that number. This takes into consideration that these number are now free of charge from all platforms including mobile operators.

Calling 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers
To make the cost to call 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers clearer for you, Ofcom have split the cost into two parts; a service charge and an access charge:

– The service charge for numbers is set by the original range holder and remains the same regardless of where the call is made from. This will be a standard charge.
– The access charge is then applied to deliver the call.

Also, as of the 1st of July, your bills will display the access charge and the service charge separately; business bills can combine the rate on the bill though this may change in the future.

Inbound 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers
One major change is that charging bands are no longer associated to the prefix. For example ‘0870’ is no longer associated with a national call rate.

– All 084 and 087 numbers are now banded by their service change ranging from 1 – 13ppm. 084 numbers are capped at 7ppm and 087 numbers are capped at 13ppm.
– The service charge for a number has been dictated by the original range holder and has no bearing on the previous charge for the number i.e. a 5ppm 0844 number may not remain a 5ppm service charge number.

Finally, advertising rules have changed for 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers, which now take place in the format: “Calls will cost you x pence per minute, plus your telephony company’s access charge.“

All of the changes come into effect on the 1st July 2015 and will be itemised on your invoice from the following month onwards.