The Office of Communications (Ofcom), empowered by the Communications Act 2003, is the primary administrator of the telephone numbering system in the United Kingdom. Ofcom’s National Telephone Numbering Plan can be broadly divided into 19 categories, which will be elaborated in detail below.
* Please note that all rates are only approximates as service providers may change their rates without notice.
Type: Geographic area code. This is the dominant prefix in the country alongside 03 and 0345.
Type: Non-geographic area code. The prefixes were introduced in 2007 to meet rising demand of phone numbers. Although they are not region specific, they are charged at standard geographic area code rates. This is the dominant prefix in the country alongside 01 and 02.
Type: This prefix is reserved for non-profit organisations, public bodies and charities, and enjoy discounted rate from phone service providers.
Type: Reserved for future use
Type: For large organisations such as banks which require non-region-centric uniform block of telephone numbers.
These numbers are intended for large organisations which require dedicated blocks of telephone numbers that are not associated with a specific locality – such as for an internal phone network spanning various branches around the country. Unfortunately, this prefix has not gained popularity among large corporations. Cost identical to standard geographic area code rates.
Type: A relic from the dawn of the internet era. Designed for electronic communications, it was originally favored by VOIP phone services providers. However, VOIP companies now tend to use 01 and 02 prefixes as users would like to be seen to be calling from specific localities. Cost identical to standard geographic area code rates.
Type: With the exception of 076 (which is reserved for pagers) and 070 (virtual phone number – rarely used), 07 numbers are used exclusively for mobile phones.
Type: Freephone (toll free)
Type: Numbers with a fixed surcharge (total cost typically higher standard geographic area code rates). The prefixes are typically favoured by companies dealing with online or event. Revenues from calls are shared between phone service providers and businesses.
Type: Numbers with a fixed surcharge - similar to 0843, 0844 and 0845 prefixes, but more expensive. The prefixes are usually used for dating, horoscope reading, etc. Revenues from calls are shared between phone service providers and businesses.
Type: Premium rate service numbers. It is used for competitions, lucky draws, adult dating, etc. It is the second most expensive among all prefixes. Revenues from calls are shared between phone service providers and businesses.
Type: Police, non-emergency.
Type: Power cut and emergencies helpline
Type: Non-emergency NHS medical advice.
Type: Emergency services
Type: Freephone to assist children and adults in need (e.g. Samaritans)
Type: Directory enquiries services, and the most expensive among all telephone prefixes. Revenues from calls are shared between phone service providers and businesses.
Type: Emergency services.