There were ranges allocated across 56 different area codes in January The Big Number Change removed many, especially in Northern Ireland, and by July there were only ranges in 42 codes. By April this had reduced to ranges in 40 codes, with still the same number in November The 40 area codes are listed in the table below.
These area codes, like many others, were changed by adding a "1" directly after the initial zero as a part of PhONEday in This is the geographic number format for the first round of five large cities moved to all figure dialling in the s, and subsequently also used in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear, eastern County Durham and south-eastern Northumberland from the s onwards. This is the geographic number format for the second round of large cities and towns moved to brand-new three-digit area codes.
At the time of the change, an extra digit was added to the subscriber number. The first three digits of the local number identifies a small area within the town or city. The former Reading area code had already been changed once, by adding a "1" directly after the initial zero as a part of PhONEday in This is the newest geographic number format.
It is used for the third tier of large cities and for Northern Ireland, and was formed as a part of the Big Number Change in The new area code is much shorter than the old one, and begins 02 unlike the previous 01 area codes. Numbers in these five areas are commonly misquoted , e. London as or Cardiff as The first four digits of the local number identifies a small area within the town or city. At the time of the change, the subscriber part of the number gained an extra digit in London, those in Northern Ireland gained two or three digits, and the subscriber part of the number in the other areas gained two digits.
All of these areas were also subject to a previous code change, one that added a "1" directly after the initial zero, as a part of PhONEday in Five-digit area codes have either five-digit subscriber numbers or a mix of four- and five-digit subscriber numbers. Five-digit area codes always share their first four digits with four-digit area codes. This is the oldest geographic number format and is used for twelve smaller towns and villages where the subscriber number is either five or in one area code four digits long. Therefore, the STD code and the subscriber number does not always total ten digits after the initial zero trunk code.
The number of places using these two formats has declined rapidly in recent decades and Brampton is the last place in the UK with four-digit local numbers. The above twelve area codes and their six 'parent' area codes , , , , and are known as 'Mixed' areas due to multiple area codes sharing the same SABC digits i. Currently, these numbers are mostly used as the termination points [ clarification needed ] for non-geographic numbers, and by some automated systems such as alarms.
As such they are not usually meant to be directly dialled. These numbers have been problematic as some mobile phone operators in the UK do not allow access to these ranges,  and there may also be difficulty accessing these numbers from outside the UK. Regulator Ofcom proposes that in future these numbers be released for wider, general-purpose use in up to 70 area codes facing number shortage.
Accordingly, if these numbers are eventually released for general use, Ofcom proposes completely removing the ability to dial locally without the area code in areas affected. This occurred on 1 November for the area code, which covers Bournemouth. Recently, the carrier TalkTalk have inadvertently released parts of the range to the general public,  with these numbers currently being in use.
Telephone numbers in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
For example, the charity Give a Car used the number for a while, but recently switched to a proper London number. Individual mobile phone companies are allocated different ranges within the xx , xx , xx , , xx , xx and xx area codes. Changes to mobile phone numbers in the Big Number Change were mostly straight replacements, such as Vodafone customers on the 03 78 block became Since the advent of Mobile number portability , mobile phone number prefixes can no longer be relied on to determine the current operator of a particular mobile phone — only the original operator.
Personal numbers beginning are regulated by Phone-paid Services Authority. From 1 October , Ofcom is capping the termination or wholesale rate for calls to numbers to be at the same level as for calls to mobile numbers. Ofcom " expect[s] this will allow phone companies to price calls to these numbers or include them in call allowances in the same way that they do for calls to mobile [number]s ". On 27 July , Ofcom announced that companies will soon be able to use an "03" non-geographic number, in place of other non-geographic numbers such as or numbers.
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- List of dialling codes and phone prefixes.
Callers would be charged at the same rate as if they were calling a geographic number 01 or Whilst 01, 02 and 07 numbers can receive text messages, currently the majority of cellular network providers do not support the sending of text messages to 03 numbers. Three different ranges of numbers were announced; those beginning x are reserved for qualifying public bodies and non-profit organisations, those beginning x, which are available for allocation to anyone, and those beginning x and x which will be used for migration from the matching x and x number ranges respectively.
Ofcom itself began using 03 numbers on 13 November for public use.
What you need to know before you check a number
Unlike 03 numbers there is no uniform pricing for 05 numbers; BT charge a number of different rates depending on the number dialled. Other operators are not required to charge the same rates as BT for calling 05 numbers. These numbers were different from the rest of the 05 range in that they are only 9 digits in length after the 0 trunk code, e. Numerous universities, government departments, airlines, banks and businesses also used these numbers.
They were allocated before the general trend of using longer numbers started in and long before the rest of the 05 range was assigned to corporate and VoIP numbering after The range was withdrawn by Ofcom in July  as a result of a series of consultations starting from . A number of other numbers can also called for free from mobiles,         but this varies by network.
With the exception of x freephone numbers, 08xx numbers are charged above geographic rates, with some of the extra revenue going to the terminating telco.
01 and 02 Virtual Local Numbers
This additional revenue may be shared with the subscriber, but is often used instead to subsidise additional network services, such as fax -to- email , virtual office applications, call queuing, voicemail and easy number redirection. None of these call management services is exclusive to 08xx numbers, and they could be provided on any number range. There were a few short "special" number in this range, such as 46 47 for NHS Direct; this was closed in and replaced by NHS except in Wales, where the transition took place in The usage of , and numbers is regulated by PhonepayPlus.
There is widespread confusion about the cost of calling and numbers. They often do not qualify for discounts and bundled minutes, and can be prohibitively expensive when called from mobiles and payphones. Many major companies persist in misdescribing them as "Local Rate", "Lo Call" often as 'locall rate' which can be easily misread as 'local rate' or "National Rate" for which the Advertising Standards Authority can take action.
In the future, it is likely [ clarification needed ] that users of and numbers will have to declare the service charge element of the call cost when advertising their phone number, whilst telecoms companies will need to inform their customers about their access charge for calling each number range.
Additionally, the EU Consumer Rights Directive requires that many entities that held and numbers will no longer be allowed to use them. The directive bans the usage of numbers that cost more than calling a geographic number for customer service and complaints lines, and other such purposes. From 1 July , the charge for calls to , , 09 and numbers is split into two parts: An access charge payable to the company you make your phone calls with - e. BT, EE, Sky, etc. Numbers in the 09xx range are charged at the highest rates of any calls within the United Kingdom, and are controlled by various regulations regarding their use.
The regulator is PhonepayPlus. The earlier unused x xxx xxxx - x xxx xxxx allocation for "Broadband Internet Services" no longer exists and was removed from the number plan in Although calls from UK landlines to landlines in the islands are charged at the same rate as those to other UK landlines i. Mobile operators may also charge more for calls to the islands and these calls are usually excluded from calling plans. Calls and SMS messages sent to island mobile phone numbers are not charged at the same rate as calls to UK mobile phone numbers.
This area code is used for the Bailiwick of Guernsey , i. Several Jersey companies also have non-geographic numbers allocated. On the Isle of Man , both fixed and mobile phone numbers can be dialled locally in the six-digit format. Ofcom has also reserved certain number ranges for use in television dramas and films, so as to avoid the risk of people having their telephone numbers displayed, and receiving unwanted calls.
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This is similar to the use of fictitious telephone numbers in the United States and Canada starting with the digits In most of the large cities with three-digit area codes a range of numbers is reserved, usually all the numbers starting with the digits There are also reserved ranges for fictitious mobile, freephone, and premium rate numbers.
The numerical equivalent of VIN was and all the caller got was the speaking clock i.
At around the same time as the other Big Number Change changes, Ofcom revised their recommendations to update the prefixes, add additional areas, and increase the size of the allocation from 10 to numbers per block. Those changes are listed in the Big Number Change article. In Coronation Street , the fictional Manchester suburb of Weatherfield uses the unallocated range xxxx. The UK has two free emergency numbers—the traditional , which is still widely used, and the EU standard , which can be used in all member states of the European Union.
Standard advice for Mountain Rescue or Cave Rescue is to ask the emergency operator for the police, who oversee the communication with these two services. Both numbers can be called from mobile phones with the keylock on, or without entering the PIN where that would otherwise be required. Although some mobile phones allow emergency calls to be attempted without a SIM card, at present the UK networks reject such calls. The chargeable number was introduced for non-urgent crime and community safety calls on a trial basis in In Wales, the scheme was taken forward by all four police forces, who adopted the number for non-emergency calls on a permanent basis in early In England the scheme was on trial until , when it was adopted nationwide and the cost to call changed from 10p per call to 15p per call.