Shared-cost service

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Shared-cost service is an intermediate level of telephone call billing where the charge for calling a particular international or long-distance phone number is partially, but not entirely, paid for by the recipient.

Domestic[edit]

As of 2006, countries with shared-cost service include France, Germany (0180x number series), Switzerland. Portugal (808 number series), Australia (13xxxx number series) and the Netherlands (09 number series). Today, other shared cost numbers were in use, like China 400 numbers. In addition, UK Ofcom mandated use of UK 03 numbers for use with customer service applications in 2015. The China 400 numbers became very popular because they can be called from mobile numbers, unlike other toll free numbers in China.

Shared cost numbers normally enable long-distance calls that are priced to the caller as if they were local. The difference is paid by the called party. In Australia, for example, the 1300 shared cost numbers are often called "local call numbers".

A non-geographic 0345 prefix was once marketed in the United Kingdom as a "lo-call" rate, but these numbers are no longer available at the price of a local or national (01 or 02 geographic area code) call. The original 0345 numbers were displaced to 0845, a block of non-geographic numbers which carry a premium of which two pence per minute are paid to the called party. As of 2007, a newer non-geographic series of 03 codes is available for the same cost as calling 01 and 02 numbers, revenue share not allowed.

International[edit]

International shared-cost service is known as ISCS or UISCN (Universal International Shared Cost Number). The service has been allocated country code +808. As of 2013, the numbers are only available to Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

An ISCS number would allow the calling individual to make a call which terminates in another country, but pay only the maximum rate for calls within their country (the national rate, which is not defined in all countries). The portion of the total call charges in excess of the caller's national rate are billed to the recipient.

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