Last April, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom suggested some changes to the way non-geographic numbers are regulated.
It wanted calls to numbers that began 080 and 116 to be free from all fixed-line and mobile phones; currently some mobile operators charge for calls that are ‘free’ from fixed lines. In addition, it proposed a new tariff structure for other non-geographic calls with consumers being made more aware of the payments that go to the telephone network and the service provider.
Ofcom has now said it expects to introduce this new charging structure in 2015.
Consumers calling numbers that begin 08, 09 and 118 will pay an ‘access charge’ to their phone company plus a ‘service charge’ to the organisation they’re calling. Networks will set an access charge that applies to all these non-geographic numbers. Calls to 080 ‘freephone’ numbers will be free from all telephones.
A final decision will be made by the summer, when Ofcom will confirm the date on which any changes will be introduced. It says there’ll be 18 months from the conclusion of the review to the introduction of the changes.