Monday 28 April 2014

What is a non-geographic number (NGN’S)?

The clue is in the name. Non-geographic numbers are not attached to geographic locations.

The purpose of non-geographic numbers is to give flexibility that fixed landline numbers don’t. These numbers can be forwarded to a mobile, landline or international destination.

In the past, when a fixed landline was the only telephone number available for both business and homes, when you moved unfortunately your number didn’t. However, there was an option “remote call forwarding”. This meant you kept your number and all calls were forwarded to your new number. The cost was expensive as it entailed paying for two number landline rentals and a high cost per pence in minutes.

The introduction of non-geographic numbers was by far a cheaper option with immense flexibility – when you moved, your number moved with you.

The first really memorable 08 range of numbers was introduced by BT is of course the Freephone 0800 number. This was perfect for businesses who wished to make a number available to their customers and potential customers calling from a landline number. Customer support lines used 0800 numbers. Although being kept on hold might annoy customers at least they weren’t doubly annoyed by having to pay for the inconvenience.

After the birth of the 0800 number it was followed by 0842, 0843, 0844, 0845, 0870, 0871, 0872, 0873 and 0808. With so many 08 number ranges now it would appear that the consumer has become confused as to what they will be charged calling from a landline and even more so from a mobile.

If in doubt always call a 08 number from a landline it is invariably cheaper than making the call from a mobile. If you have the time check out Ofcom and Wikipedia for tariffs or better still invest the time in checking with your own mobile or landline carrier to explain the rates to you. Avoid receiving a bill from your carrier which is similar to the cost of the last time you filled up your car with petrol.

The 08 non-geographical number ranges were a great introduction to flexible telephone numbers.

For more information contact Brayford Numbers on 0800 433 4838 or 0207 548 4456.

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