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What the New 03 Prefix Brings
Ofcom, the regulator for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services has released millions of telephone numbers beginning with the prefix (020).
The new numbers that will start with (020) 3 instead of (020) 8 and (020) 7 (numbers starting with (020) 8 and (020) 7 will still be allocated) will begin to be allocated by telecoms providers to residential and business customers in London wanting new lines.
The reason for the new number is the increased demand for new numbers in London. Almost 400,000 new numbers are allocated every year in London and considering that
Ofcom already released three million of the new numbers to providers with seven million to be released further on; it is expected to meet the demands for the next years.
If (020) 7 and (020) 8 codes for Greater London were introduced during the Big Number change of 2000, the introduction of the new (020) 3 is the subject of an extensive advertising campaign.
Customers will be able to use the new numbers next year. The numbers, starting with the prefix 03, will be charged at local rates. The cost will be the same as for the usual landline that start with 01 or 02 code, but will not be connected to specific geographic areas.
Ofcom announced that the new 03 prefix is part of a package of changes to the UK's telephone numbering system, one of the goals being to convince organisations that the new prefix is more suitable as a national point of contact than the 0870 or 0845 numbers. Anyhow it is expected that the pricing for numbers beginning 08 will be clarified in a more understandable manner for callers too. One of the future Ofcom’s plans is to reclassify premium rate 09 numbers so people can tell how much they will be charged by different services by looking at the number immediately after the 9.
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