Non-geographic Telephone Numbers In The United Kingdom
Non-geographic numbers (NGNs) are telephone numbers not assigned to a geographic location. The owner may forward their NGN to any geographic, mobile, or international location. Call costs depend on the prefix of the number called, not on the final destination. In the 1980s and 1990s, calls to NGNs were charged such that the caller was not financially disadvantaged. However, since deregulation of the telecoms market in the UK, call prices to geographic numbers have reduced and in many cases become part of an inclusive calls package. With those changes, calls to NGNs became substantially more expensive than calling geographic numbers. Additionally, BT call prices for NGNs are currently capped by regulation. Calls from BT cost no more than the "premium", whereas other landline providers and mobile operators add their markup. Users of NGNs often advertise only the capped call price levied by BT, meaning that the true cost paid by non-BT customers and by mobile users isn't advertised to many callers. Mobile users have always been heavily disadvantaged when calling 08 numbers.
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