Ofcom (the UK’s telecoms regulator) has today released a statement confirming changes to 080 and 116 numbers, as well as alterations to the way non-geographic calls are regulated.
As from 2015, Ofcom has confirmed that calls made to 080 and 116 number ranges will become free to call from mobile phones. The changes will therefore make 080 numbers free from both UK landlines and mobiles. This is excellent news and something Windsor Telecom has campaigned for over a number of years. With over 50% of phone calls now made from mobile devices, this is an important development and will ensure that 0800 and 0808 will truly be ‘freephone’ numbers.
Ofcom has also confirmed an ‘unbundled’ tariff to be introduced; affecting calls that consumers make to 084, 087, 09 and 118 number ranges. Surveys have shown that in the current market, consumers have limited awareness of the price of a phone call, which can deter them from using such numbers. The changes will benefit consumers and ensure that the cost of making a phone call is more transparent.
Implementing these services will require detailed and accurate planning by telephone companies and service providers, to be implemented by 26 June 2015.
A second consultation regarding Ofcom’s proposal to withdraw the 0500 freephone number range has also been published; with Ofcom aiming to make a decision and issue a final statement on the future of the range next year.
Following feedback given regarding the initial consultation in October 2012, Ofcom is now proposing to open a number sub-range that would provide a migration path for service providers currently using 0500 numbers.
Stakeholders are required to voice their opinions on two alternative number sub-ranges 080 50 and 080 85 as well as a revised three-year timeframe for withdrawal of 0500. This consultation is open until 31 January 2014.