03 Numbers

03 numbers are being introduced across the UK as an alternative to chargeable 08 numbers such as 0870.

Calls to 03 numbers will cost the same as calls to geographic numbers (starting 01 or 02), and will be included as part of any inclusive call minutes or discount schemes in the same way as geographic calls.

Revenue sharing - where the dialled party can receive a share of what the consumer pays to make a call - will not be permitted on calls to 03 numbers.

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03 UK Wide numbers

Ofcom intends these requirements to apply to calls from all types of line, including mobiles and payphones, and is seeking to confirm this by a change to General Condition 17, on which there will now be a short consultation.

Organisations using 03 numbers will offer consumers a single national point of contact without involving additional charges for the service, over and above the cost of calls to geographic numbers.

Ofcom Chief Executive, Ed Richards said: "Consumers will be able to dial 03 numbers with confidence about the cost of their call. We expect public services and many others to view 03 numbers as a real alternative to higher cost 08 numbers."

Numbers starting 030 will be designated for use only by public bodies and not-for-profit services;

Some 03 numbers are reserved so that service providers on existing 08 numbers can transfer to 03 by simply changing the '8' digit in the number to a '3';

Memorable numbers such as those starting with '0300' and '0333' will be made available. Ofcom will manage the allocation process for such numbers to ensure that they are distributed fairly between the communications providers who apply.

If you would like one of our telecommunications consultants to contact you for further advice, please email contact@it-cts.com with your details.

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