As you may be aware, the telecommunications industry is undergoing Ofcom mandated changes with regards to non-geographic numbers starting 08, 09 and 118, which will come into effect on the 1st July 2015. We are contacting you to make you aware of these changes and to inform you on how this will affect you.
This change has come about because research has found that there is confusion regarding how much it costs to call non-geographic service numbers. This has resulted in a lack confidence and sometimes avoiding calling such numbers altogether, exacerbated by how the mobile phone service operators charge for such numbers. The new system will introduce greater confidence by enabling organisations to say how much calls to them will cost. In another change happening at the same time, all Freephone numbers (most non-geographic numbers beginning 0800 or 0808) are being made free for consumers to call from mobile phones, just as they usually are from landlines / SIP trunks.
These changes do not affect calls made to ordinary landline numbers (01, 02), 03 numbers or mobile (07) numbers but many numbers previously classified as 'UK Local Special Services' (such as many 0845 numbers), 'UK National Non Geographic' (such as many 03 numbers), and 'UK National Special Services' (such as many 0870 numbers), are now classified as 'UK NGCS' (Non-Geographic Call Service) numbers and so will be charged differently.
Whilst Ofcom describe these “UK Calling” changes as “the biggest change to telephone calls in over a decade”, the areas you need to be aware of are simply and clearly laid out for you below.
Calls to non-geographic numbers & new pricing structure…
In future, the cost of calling a non-geographic service number (to remind, specifically those starting with 084, 087, 09 or 118) will now be made up of two parts:
1. an access charge. This is charged to the caller’s telephone company, charged as pence per minute, and in essence it’s the cost associated for passing the call via our (and any of our underlying carriers’) networks. Think of this as the usual call rate / tariff, the customary charge for dialling the number in question. We advise you of this charge in our call tariff / price lists.
2. a service charge. This is the remainder of the cost for dialling the non-geographic service number and it includes any revenue going to the ‘terminating call provider’ (that is, the company that ‘owns’ the number being called), charged either as pence per minute and/or as pence per call. The organisation you are calling decides this rate, and will tell you how much it is. This service charge is set by the organisation you are calling and this charge cannot be ‘marked up’ or surcharged in any way (and of course we will ensure that this charge remains fixed and as set by the terminating call provider).
For a revised list of charges please refer to the link to our rate card already supplied to you, or contact us and we will resend; if required, a list of prefixes and the destinations they are categorised under can be found here in our ‘Solutions’ area: Which Prefixes Are Associated With Which Destinations?
You produce my invoices for me, how will calls to these numbers be shown on my invoice…?
If we invoice you directly - and/or we produce invoices on your behalf - the overall call to any of the affected numbers will be rated as detailed in our price list, and will show an overall cost for a call made up of the sum of both the ‘access charge’ and the ‘service charge’.
I produce my invoices via my own billing system, what do I need to do for calls to these numbers…?
You should contact your billing service provider and ensure they are ready for the changes. As mentioned above, the service charge is set by the organisation you are calling and Ofcom regulate that this charge cannot be ‘marked up’ or surcharged in any way: this is important to note if you use your own billing service. If you make use our CDR files to produce your own bills, these do not contain any rating information: your billing system can and should apply the appropriate ‘access charge’ and ‘service charge’ at the rates you have instructed your billing service provider to use.
My business uses these numbers as our business contact numbers, what do I need to do…?
If your business contact numbers are in the affected numbers ranges (and so start with 084, 087, 09 or 118) then you will also need to ensure that your business complies with the new regulations when publishing them: for further information we suggest you visit this Ofcom-led website: http://www.ukcalling.info/industry
The Ofcom led website http://www.ukcalling.info/whats-happening provides further information on the changes and why they are being implemented.
Further details with regards to ‘access charges’ and ‘service charges’ are now detailed on our price list: please refer to link to our rate card already supplied to you, or contact us and we will resend. In the interim, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us or alternatively raise a support ticket.
Best regards, the SIP Trunk Plus Team.