In 2007 Ofcom introduced a brand new UK-Wide Geographic Number (NGN) range starting with ’03’. Following years of pressure to tighten up controls and regulations on premium rate numbers like 0844, 0845, 0870 and 0871, the new 03 prefix was introduced as a caller friendly alternative. To search for the 03 alternative to 08xx phone numbers check Smart Caller and start saving on your phone bill.
0345 Numbers are by far the most popular prefix in the 03 range with over 70,000 numbers currently in use. The 0345 phone number prefix is intended to be a direct replacement for the popular 0845 number range and many businesses are choosing them due to the simplified call charges and increased trust in the numbers. Having a UK Wide Geographic 0345 number also gives businesses more flexibility in how they manage calls coming into the business as they can be re-routed to other phone numbers anywhere in the country (or even somewhere else in the world) without the customer realizing. The other main advantage of a 0345 number is that nation-wide businesses can advertise a single hone number which isn’t tied into a specific town or city meaning there is no obvious way to tell where about in the UK the business is being operated from.
When you call a 0345 number by law the call must be charged at exactly the same rate as regular geographic phone numbers (ie. those starting with 01 or 02). On top of this, if your landline or mobile phone deal has ‘free minutes’ (or bundled minutes) or any other discount scheme that applies to landline numbers, then these must also be included for 0345 numbers. If this is the case then calls to 0345 numbers are essentially free and you will not pay any extra charge for calling them.
If you don’t have a free minutes allowance then you will be charged exactly the same as if you called a 01 or 02 number. Depending on your landline phone provider and contract, phone calls to 01 or 02 numbers can cost anything from 1ppm up to around 9ppm. Mobile call charges to landlines are typically a little higher and again vary by network but these can cost anything from 3ppm up to around 40ppm.
The 03 range is made up of the following prefixes which are currently in circulation
By law all ‘0345 numbers’ must be charged the same, regardless of what digits follow the 0345 xxx xxx. Some of the most popular suffixes are 03450 numbers, 03455 numbers, 03458 numbers and 03459.