Big Number Change

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The Big Number Change addressed various issues with the telephone dialing plan in the United Kingdom.

The first was an update to a small number of geographic dialling codes in response to the rapid late-1990s growth of telecommunications and impending exhaustion of local numbers in several cities. The change greatly expanded the pool of available numbers within those places while retaining 'local dialling' (the ability to dial local numbers directly, without needing to dial an area code first). The change affected the dialling codes assigned to Cardiff, Coventry, London, Northern Ireland, Portsmouth and Southampton, culminating in a large switch on 22 April 2000. All of these places moved to eight-digit local numbers ensuring sufficient local capacity for many decades (London saw a five-fold increase in capacity, for example). No other geographic area codes were affected.

The other set of changes affected mobile, non-geographic and premium rate numbers, completing a series of steps first detailed almost a decade earlier. In the early-1990s, mobile, non-geographic and premium rate services had used nine digit numbers with various codes such as 0402, 0645, and 0898 scattered among the similar-looking geographic area codes such as 0384, 0562 and 0949. The number of available codes for new services was quickly dwindling. In 1995, PhONEday partially addressed this by altering all geographic area codes to begin 01, freeing up hundreds of codes beginning 02 to 09 for other uses. Existing mobile, non-geographic and premium rate services continued as before, using various codes from 02 to 09 and with nine-digit numbers.

In 1997 and 1998, mobile, non-geographic, and premium rate numbers started to be issued with ten digits and using only specific new prefixes: 070 for personal numbers, 076 for pagers, 077xx, 078xx and 079xx for mobiles, 0800 and 0808 for freephone, 0845 and 0870 for non-geographic revenue-share numbers and 090x for premium rate numbers. Within each of these groups some smaller number blocks were held aside for the older 9-digit mobile, non-geographic and premium rate services to move into at a later date. In 2000 and 2001, the Big Number Change put those final parts into place and they are detailed below.

At the end of the process, there were no numbers in the UK beginning 03, 04 or 06. Additionally, the 02, 05, 07, 08 and 09 ranges were only lightly used. With PhONEday and the Big Number Change, the UK had achieved huge spare capacity for new services, and simple to understand prefix groupings: 01 and 02 for geographic numbers, 070 for personal numbers, 076 for pagers, 07624, 077, 078 and 079 for mobiles, 0500 and 080 for freephone, 084 and 087 for non-geographic and 090 for premium rate. Further new allocations would initially conform only to those groupings. Over the following decade, the 030, 033, 034, 037, 055, 056, 074, 075, 091 and 098 ranges would also come into use for new services or for further expansion of old services.

Geographic number changes[edit]

These changes set the following areas to use 02 area codes and eight-digit subscriber numbers.

Great Britain[edit]

Area Before BNC After BNC
Inner London (0171) xxx xxxx (020) 7xxx xxxx
Outer London (0181) xxx xxxx (020) 8xxx xxxx
Portsmouth (01705) xxxxxx (023) 92xx xxxx
Southampton (01703) xxxxxx (023) 80xx xxxx
Coventry (01203) xxxxxx (024) 76xx xxxx
Cardiff (01222) xxxxxx (029) 20xx xxxx

Note Under the change the two London areas were reunified under the single (020) code.[1] New numbers beginning with 7, 8 or (later) 3 were allocated regardless of location.

All of the above areas now have an eight-digit local number, in place of their previous six or seven-digit local number. For a short while you could use either number for local dialling, but local access to the old, shorter, numbers was switched off after a few months of parallel running.

In London, new 70xx xxxx, 71xx xxxx, 80xx xxxx, and 81xx xxxx numbers became available for general use. These began to be allocated anywhere in London, with no regard for the 1990-2000 inner/outer London geographical split.

In all of the other areas, new BC0x xxxx and BC1x xxxx numbers became available for general use at the same time (where BC is '76' in Coventry, '20' in Cardiff, etc.).

Northern Ireland[edit]

Area Before BNC After BNC Actual county (if different)

County Antrim

Ballycastle (012657) xxxxx (028) 207x xxxx
Martinstown (012667) xxxxx (028) 217x xxxx
Ballymena (5-digit) (01266) xxxxx (028) 256x xxxx
Ballymena (6-digit) (01266) xxxxxx (028) 25xx xxxx
Ballymoney (012656) xxxxx (028) 276x xxxx
Larne (01574) xxxxxx (028) 28xx xxxx
Kilrea (012665) xxxxx (028) 295x xxxx Londonderry

County Armagh

Newry (5-digit) (01693) xxxxx (028) 302x xxxx Partially in Down
Newry (6-digit) (01693) xxxxxx (028) 30xx xxxx Partially in Down
Armagh (01861) xxxxxx (028) 37xx xxxx
Portadown (01762) xxxxxx (028) 38xx xxxx Partially in Down

County Down

Banbridge (018206) xxxxx (028) 406x xxxx
Rostrevor (016937) xxxxx (028) 417x xxxx
Kircubbin (012477) xxxxx (028) 427x xxxx
Newcastle (013967) xxxxx (028) 437x xxxx
Downpatrick (01396) xxxxxx (028) 44xx xxxx

County Fermanagh

Enniskillen (01365) xxxxxx (028) 66xx xxxx
Lisnaskea (013657) xxxxx (028) 677x xxxx
Kesh (013656) xxxxx (028) 686x xxxx

County Londonderry

Coleraine (6 digit) (01265) xxxxxx (028) 70xx xxxx
Coleraine (5 digit) (01265) xxxxx (028) 703x xxxx
Derry (01504) xxxxxx (028) 71xx xxxx
Limavady (015047) xxxxx (028) 777x xxxx
Magherafelt (6 digit) (01648) xxxxxx (028) 79xx xxxx
Magherafelt (5 digit) (01648) xxxxx (028) 796x xxxx

County Tyrone

Carrickmore (016627) xxxxx (028) 807x xxxx
Newtownstewart (016626) xxxxx (028) 816x xxxx
Omagh (01662) xxxxxx (028) 82xx xxxx
Ballygawley (016625) xxxxx (028) 855x xxxx
Cookstown (016487) xxxxx (028) 867x xxxx
Dungannon (01868) xxxxxx (028) 87xx xxxx
Fivemiletown (013655) xxxxx (028) 895x xxxx

Belfast area

Belfast (01232) xxxxxx (028) 90xx xxxx Antrim and Down
Bangor (01247) xxxxxx (028) 91xx xxxx Down
Lisburn (01846) xxxxxx (028) 92xx xxxx Antrim and Down
Ballyclare (01960) xxxxxx (028) 93xx xxxx Antrim
Antrim (01849) xxxxxx (028) 94xx xxxx Antrim
Saintfield (01238) xxxxxx (028) 97xx xxxx Down

In Northern Ireland, the situation was more complicated. While the primary reason for the changes was the lack of numbering capacity in Belfast (01232), this was not the only reason. When STD codes were introduced in the 1950s, Northern Ireland was allocated only 14 area codes for 34 charging groups. Normal practice in Great Britain was to allocate one area code per charging group, but as calls to Northern Ireland were national rate from anywhere in GB, it was not seen to be necessary to differentiate between all of them. So, area codes covering multiple charge groups ("mixed" areas) were created; in practice this meant that some areas had longer area codes. For example, while Enniskillen was allocated the area code 0365 (0EK5), Kesh was allocated 03656 and Lisnaskea 03657. As a result, numbers in Enniskillen could not begin with 6 or 7, as this would conflict with those of Kesh or Lisnaskea.

All this meant that while Enniskillen's numbers could be six digits long, Kesh's and Lisnaskea's (and those of other dependent exchanges) could only be five digits, due to the 9-digit limit of the length of a phone number at the time. This severely restricted capacity in these areas. As a result, at the Big Number Change, all these dependent exchanges were migrated to different numbers than their parent exchanges; in this instance while Enniskillen's 01365 (the 1 coming from PhONEday) was migrated to 028 66, Kesh went from 013656 to 028 686 and Lisnaskea from 013657 to 028 677. This meant that Kesh could expand into the rest of the 028 68xx range.

Note that the new numbering scheme groups numbers together such that the first digit identifies the county in alphabetical order. The exception is the Greater Belfast area where all numbers begin with 9, regardless of the county. The full list of changes for Northern Ireland[2] is as in the table above.

National dialling only ranges[edit]

In London, old National Dialling Only 0xx xxxx and 1xx xxxx numbers were migrated to new 0axx xxxx and 1axx xxxx numbers (where 'a' is mostly 0 or 1, so far).

In all of the other areas, old National Dialling Only 0xxxxx and 1xxxxx numbers were migrated to new 0aax xxxx and 1aax xxxx numbers.

The migration from old to new numbers was as follows:[2]

Area Old range[Notes 1] New range
Coventry 01203 0xxxxx 024 100x xxxx
01203 1xxxxx 024 101x xxxx
Cardiff 01222 0xxxxx 029 100x xxxx
01222 1xxxxx 029 101x xxxx
Belfast 01232 0xxxxx 028 100x xxxx
01232 1xxxxx 028 101x xxxx
Southampton 01703 0xxxxx 023 110x xxxx
01703 1xxxxx 023 111x xxxx
Portsmouth 01705 0xxxxx 023 100x xxxx
01705 1xxxxx 023 101x xxxx
London 0171-0xx xxxx 020 01xx xxxx
0171-1xx xxxx 020 11xx xxxx
0181-0xx xxxx 020 00xx xxxx
0181-1xx xxxx 020 10xx xxxx

Non-geographic number changes[edit]

Special services and freephone[edit]

The following changes were made to non-geographic numbering ranges to bring them in the 08xx special services range.

Code Charging rate Before BNC After BNC
0345 Local rate (BT Lo-Call) 0345 xxxxxx 0845 7xx xxxx
0645 Local rate (Mercury LocalCall) 0645 xxxxxx 0845 9xx xxxx
0374 5 National rate 0374 5xxxxx 0870 45x xxxx
0541 5 National rate (Mercury AreaCall) 0541 5xxxxx 0870 15x xxxx
0990 National rate (BT NationalCall) 0990 xxxxxx 0870 5xx xxxx
0321 Vodafone Freephone 0321 xxxxxx 0808 0xx xxxx
0500 Mercury Freephone 0500 xxxxxx no change
0800 BT Freephone 0800 xxxxxx no change

The 0500 (Mercury FreeCall) code has remained, but no new numbers have been allocated in it since 28 April 2001.

The 0800 (BT Freefone) code has remained, but no new nine digit numbers have been allocated since 1997. Instead, all 0800 numbers issued since that time have ten digits.

Premium rate[edit]

The following changes were made to non-geographic numbering ranges to bring them in the 090x premium rate range.

Code Charging rate Before BNC After BNC
0331 VoData premium rate 0331 Unknown
0336 0 VoData premium rate 0336 0xxxxx Unknown
0336 1 VoData premium rate 0336 1xxxxx Unknown
0336 2 VoData premium rate 0336 2xxxxx Unknown
0336 3 VoData premium rate 0336 3xxxxx Unknown
0336 4 VoData premium rate 0336 4xxxxx Unknown
0336 5 VoData premium rate 0336 5xxxxx Unknown
0336 6 VoData premium rate 0336 6xxxxx Unknown
0336 8 VoData premium rate 0336 8xxxxx Unknown
0336 9 VoData premium rate 0336 9xxxxx Unknown
0338 Mercury premium rate 0338 Unknown
0632 Premium rate 0632 xxxxxx 090x
0640 Mercury premium rate 0640 090x
0660 Mercury premium rate 0660 xxxxxx 090x
0696 Premium rate 0696 xxxxxx 090x
0696 6 Jersey Telecoms premium rate 0696 6xxxxx 090x
0696 8 Manx Telecoms premium rate 0696 8xxxxx 090x
0696 9 Guernsey Telecoms premium rate 0696 9xxxxx 090x
0836 premium rate? 0836
0839 Mercury premium rate? 0839 xxxxxx Unknown
0853 Premium rate 0853 090x
0881 1 Mercury premium rate 0881 1xxxxx 090x
0881 2 Mercury premium rate 0881 2xxxxx 090x
0881 3 Mercury premium rate 0881 3xxxxx 090x
0881 5 Mercury premium rate 0881 5xxxxx 090x
0881 6 Mercury premium rate 0881 6xxxxx 090x
0881 7 Mercury premium rate 0881 7xxxxx 090x
0881 9 Mercury premium rate 0881 9xxxxx 090x
0890 Premium rate 0890 xxxxxx 090x
0891 BT ValueCall 0891 xxxxxx 0906 5xx xxxx
0894 BT premium rate 0894 090x
0895 premium rate? 0895
0896 Premium rate 0896 090x
0897 BT premium rate 0897 090x
0898 BT premium rate 0898 xxxxxx 090x
0930 0 Premium rate 0930 0xxxxx 090x
0930 1 Premium rate 0930 1xxxxx 090x
0930 2 Premium rate 0930 2xxxxx 090x
0930 3 Premium rate 0930 3xxxxx 090x
0930 4 Premium rate 0930 4xxxxx 090x
0930 5 Premium rate 0930 5xxxxx 090x
0930 6 Premium rate 0930 6xxxxx 090x
0930 8 Premium rate 0930 8xxxxx 090x
0930 9 Premium rate 0930 9xxxxx 090x
0991 Mercury premium rate 0991 090x

Mobile, pager and personal number changes[edit]

Personal numbers[edit]

Personal numbers moved to the 070 range.

Code Charging rate Before BNC After BNC
0956 7 FleXtel Personal Numbering 0956 7xxxxx 070 107x xxxx

Mobile numbers[edit]

The following changes were made to mobile phone numbering ranges to bring them in the 07xxx mobile numbers range.

Code Operator Before BNC After BNC
0370 Vodafone 0370 xxxxxx 07770 xxxxxx
0374 0 Vodafone 0374 0xxxxx 07774 0xxxxx
0374 1 Vodafone 0374 1xxxxx 07774 1xxxxx
0374 2 Vodafone 0374 2xxxxx 07774 2xxxxx
0374 3 Vodafone 0374 3xxxxx 07774 3xxxxx
0374 4 Vodafone 0374 4xxxxx 07774 4xxxxx
0374 6 Vodafone 0374 6xxxxx 07774 6xxxxx
0374 7 Vodafone 0374 7xxxxx 07774 7xxxxx
0374 8 Vodafone 0374 8xxxxx 07774 8xxxxx
0374 9 Vodafone 0374 9xxxxx 07774 9xxxxx
0378 Vodafone 0378 xxxxxx 07778 xxxxxx
0385 0 Vodafone 0385 0xxxxx 07785 0xxxxx
0385 1 Vodafone 0385 1xxxxx 07785 1xxxxx
0385 2 Vodafone 0385 2xxxxx 07785 2xxxxx
0385 3 Vodafone 0385 3xxxxx 07785 3xxxxx
0385 5 Vodafone 0385 5xxxxx 07785 5xxxxx
0385 7 Vodafone 0385 7xxxxx 07785 7xxxxx
0385 8 Vodafone 0385 8xxxxx 07785 8xxxxx
0385 9 Vodafone 0385 9xxxxx 07785 9xxxxx
0390 Orange 0390 xxxxxx 07790 xxxxxx
0401 BT Cellnet 0401 xxxxxx 07701 xxxxxx
0402 BT Cellnet 0402 xxxxxx 07702 xxxxxx
0403 BT Cellnet 0403 xxxxxx 07703 xxxxxx
0408 BT Cellnet Personal Assistant 0408 xxxxxx Discontinued
by 28 April 2001
0410 BT Cellnet 0410 xxxxxx 07710 xxxxxx
0411 BT Cellnet 0411 xxxxxx 07711 xxxxxx
0421 Vodafone 0421 xxxxxx 07721 xxxxxx
0441 Vodafone 0441 xxxxxx 07741 xxxxxx
04481 Guernsey Telecom 04481 xxxxxx 07781 xxxxxx
0456 0 Orange 0456 0xxxxx Unknown
0456 1 Orange 0456 1xxxxx Unknown
04624 Isle of Man 04624 xxxxxx 07624 xxxxxx
0467 Vodafone 0467 xxxxxx 07767 xxxxxx
0468 Vodafone 0468 xxxxxx 07768 xxxxxx
0498 Vodafone 0498 xxxxxx 07798 xxxxxx
0585 BT Cellnet 0585 xxxxxx 07885 xxxxxx
0589 BT Cellnet
Vodafone?
0589 xxxxxx 07889 xxxxxx
0802 BT Cellnet 0802 xxxxxx 07802 xxxxxx
0831 Vodafone 0831 xxxxxx 07831 xxxxxx
0836 Vodafone 0836 xxxxxx 07836 xxxxxx
0839 Vodafone 0839 xxxxxx 07839 xxxxxx
0850 BT Cellnet 0850 xxxxxx 07850 xxxxxx
0860 BT Cellnet 0860 xxxxxx 07860 xxxxxx
0930 7
(0961 7)
One-to-One 0930 7xxxxx
(0961 7xxxxx)
07930 7xxxxx
0956 1 One-to-One 0956 1xxxxx 07956 1xxxxx
0956 2 One-to-One 0956 2xxxxx 07956 2xxxxx
0956 3 One-to-One 0956 3xxxxx 07956 3xxxxx
0956 4 One-to-One 0956 4xxxxx 07956 4xxxxx
0956 5 One-to-One 0956 5xxxxx 07956 5xxxxx
0956 6 One-to-One 0956 6xxxxx 07956 6xxxxx
0956 8 One-to-One 0956 8xxxxx 07956 8xxxxx
0956 9 One-to-One 0956 9xxxxx 07956 9xxxxx
0958 0 One-to-One Freephone 0958 0xxxxx Discontinued
by 28 April 2001
0958 1 One-to-One Local Rate 0958 1xxxxx Discontinued
by 28 April 2001
0958 2 One-to-One 0958 2xxxxx 07958 2xxxxx
0958 3 One-to-One 0958 3xxxxx 07958 3xxxxx
0958 4 One-to-One 0958 4xxxxx 07958 4xxxxx
0958 5 One-to-One 0958 5xxxxx 07958 5xxxxx
0958 6 One-to-One 0958 6xxxxx 07958 6xxxxx
0958 7 One-to-One 0958 7xxxxx 07958 7xxxxx
0958 8 One-to-One 0958 8xxxxx 07958 8xxxxx
0958 9 One-to-One 0958 9xxxxx 07958 9xxxxx
0961 0 One-to-One 0961 0xxxxx 07961 0xxxxx
0961 1 One-to-One 0961 1xxxxx 07961 1xxxxx
0961 2 One-to-One 0961 2xxxxx 07961 2xxxxx
0961 3 One-to-One 0961 3xxxxx 07961 3xxxxx
0961 4 One-to-One 0961 4xxxxx 07961 4xxxxx
0961 5 One-to-One 0961 5xxxxx 07961 5xxxxx
0961 6 One-to-One 0961 6xxxxx 07961 6xxxxx
0961 8 One-to-One 0961 8xxxxx 07961 8xxxxx
0961 9 One-to-One 0961 9xxxxx 07961 9xxxxx
0966 Orange 0966 xxxxxx 07966 xxxxxx
0973 Orange 0973 xxxxxx 07973 xxxxxx
0976 Orange 0976 xxxxxx 07976 xxxxxx
0979 7 Jersey Telecom 0979 7xxxxx 07797 7xxxxx

Pager numbers[edit]

The following codes for pager numbers were also changed, so that all are in the 076 range:

Code Operator Before BNC After BNC
0399 0 →
01399 0
VodaPage 0399 0xxxxx →
01399 0xxxxx
Discontinued
by 28 April 2001
0399 1 →
01399 1
VodaPage 0399 1xxxxx →
01399 1xxxxx
076 991x xxxx
0399 2 →
01399 2
VodaPage 0399 2xxxxx →
01399 2xxxxx
076 992x xxxx
0399 3 →
01399 3
VodaPage 0399 3xxxxx →
01399 3xxxxx
076 993x xxxx
0399 4 →
01399 4
VodaPage 0399 4xxxxx →
01399 4xxxxx
076 994x xxxx
0399 5 →
01399 5
VodaPage 0399 5xxxxx →
01399 5xxxxx
076 995x xxxx
0399 6 →
01399 6
VodaPage 0399 6xxxxx →
01399 6xxxxx
076 996x xxxx
0399 7 →
01399 7
VodaPage 0399 7xxxxx →
01399 7xxxxx
076 997x xxxx
0399 8 →
01399 8
VodaPage 0399 8xxxxx →
01399 8xxxxx
076 998x xxxx
0399 9 →
01399 9
VodaPage 0399 9xxxxx →
01399 9xxxxx
076 999x xxxx
0426 →
01426[3]
BT Paging 0426 xxxxxx →
01426 xxxxxx
076 26xx xxxx
0459 2→
01459 2
PageOne/Mercury 0459 2xxxxx →
01459 2xxxxx
076 592x xxxx
0459 3→
01459 3
VodaPage 0459 3xxxxx →
01459 3xxxxx
076 593x xxxx
0459 4→
01459 4
VodaPage 0459 4xxxxx →
01459 4xxxxx
076 594x xxxx
0459 5→
01459 5
VodaPage 0459 5xxxxx →
01459 5xxxxx
076 595x xxxx
0459 6→
01459 6
VodaPage 0459 6xxxxx →
01459 6xxxxx
076 596x xxxx
0459 8→
01459 8
VodaPage 0459 8xxxxx →
01459 8xxxxx
076 598x xxxx
0459 9→
01459 9
PageOne/Mercury 0459 9xxxxx →
01459 9xxxxx
076 599x xxxx
01523[3] PageOne 01523 xxxxxx 076 23xx xxxx
01893 BT Paging 01893 xxxxxx 076 93xx xxxx
0336 7 Vodafone 0336 7xxxxx 076 637x xxxx
0385 4 Vodata? 0385 4xxxxx Unknown
0385 6 Vodata 0385 6xxxxx Unknown
04325 BT Paging 04325 xxxxxx 076 25xx xxxx
04624 Isle of Man? 04624 xxxxxx 076 24xx xxxx
0660[Notes 2] PageOne 0660 xxxxxx 076 61xx xxxx
0839[Notes 2] PageOne 0839 xxxxxx 076 61xx xxxx
0881 0 PageOne 0881 0xxxxx 076 810x xxxx
0881 4 PageOne 0881 4xxxxx 076 814x xxxx
0881 8 PageOne 0881 8xxxxx 076 818x xxxx
0941 Orange (HPL) 0941 xxxxxx 076 41xx xxxx
0941 1 Orange (HPL) 0941 1xxxxx 076 411x xxxx

Non-standard pager prefixes beginning 01[3] were moved to their new 076 allocation.

Some of these codes, as indicated by the arrow "→", had already been changed during PhONEday to add a "1" after the initial zero, and now they have been changed again.

Numbers for drama[edit]

These fictional numbers were originally made available by Oftel for dramatic purposes, for example for quoting in TV, radio and film.[4] Ofcom revised the list some years after the Big Number Change and explains: "Telephone Numbers recommended for drama purposes cannot be allocated to Communications Providers for their customers because of the potential influx of calls that customers may receive should their Telephone Numbers be shown in a drama."[5]

Number range type Code area Before PhONEday Before BNC After BNC
Code Number range Code Number range Code Number range
Geographic Leeds 0113 496 0000 to 496 0009 0113 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Sheffield 0114 496 0000 to 496 0009 0114 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Nottingham 0115 496 0000 to 496 0009 0115 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Leicester 0116 496 0000 to 496 0009 0116 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Bristol 0117 496 0000 to 496 0009 0117 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Reading 0118 496 0000 to 496 0009 0118 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Birmingham 021 496 0000 to 496 0009 0121 496 0000 to 496 0009 0121 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Edinburgh 031 496 0000 to 496 0009 0131 496 0000 to 496 0009 0131 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Glasgow 041 496 0000 to 496 0009 0141 496 0000 to 496 0009 0141 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Liverpool 051 496 0000 to 496 0009 0151 496 0000 to 496 0009 0151 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Manchester 061 496 0000 to 496 0009 0161 496 0000 to 496 0009 0161 496 0000 to 496 0999
Geographic Tyneside/Durham/Wearside 091 498 0000 to 498 0009 0191 498 0000 to 498 0009 0191 498 0000 to 498 0999
Geographic London 01 946 0000 to 946 0009 0171 946 0000 to 946 0009 020 7946 0000 to 7946 0999
Geographic Northern Ireland     028 9018 0000 to 9018 0999
Geographic Cardiff     029 2018 0000 to 2018 0999
Geographic No area 0632 960000 to 960009 01632 960000 to 960009 01632 960000 to 960999
Mobile n/a 07700 900000 to 900009 07700 900000 to 900999
UK-wide n/a     0306 999 0000 to 999 0999
Freephone n/a 0808 157 0980 to 157 0989 0808 157 0000 to 157 0999
Premium rate services n/a 0909 879 0980 to 879 0989 0909 879 0000 to 879 0999

Although not directly connected with the official BigNumber changes, these number allocations were updated with the new prefixes and with additional areas, as well as changing from 10 to 1000 numbers allocated per block, around the same time as the other BigNumber changes occurred.[5][4]

Misunderstandings[edit]

Some widespread misunderstandings about area codes came about with the Big Number Change, most notably with London area codes. There is a widespread but erroneous assumption that London has two area codes 0207 and 0208, whereas in fact it has just one: 020. Similar misunderstandings came about with a few other area codes.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ These areas had added a '1' to the area code at PhONEday. Previous to that, these codes were 0xxx with six-figure local numbers, except London and parts of NI. London codes were previously 0x1 with seven-figure local numbers. NI codes added a '1' at PhONEday but some areas previously had longer codes than shown, paired with shorter numbers that were often only four or five digits long.
  2. ^ a b Page One numbers only. Oftel didn't publish details of PRS migration and asked people to instead refer directly to C&W.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ofcom (2009-08-20). "Telephone numbers – the facts and figures : (Boxout) Is it (020) 7 or 0207?". Office of Communications. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  2. ^ a b Ofcom (2001-03-20). "National Code & Number Change Framework Document" (DOC). Office of Communications. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  3. ^ a b c Pritchard, Stephen (1997-01-19). "We're talking telephone numbers". The Independent (London: Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  4. ^ a b Oftel (1999-06-01). "Numbers Used For Drama. ca. 1999". Oftel Numbering Bulletin 38. Office of Telecommunications. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  5. ^ a b Ofcom (2004-10-26). "Telephone Numbers for drama purposes (TV, Radio etc) revised 2004". Office of Communications. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 

External links[edit]