Premium Numbers and Services


Unlike generic numbers that are connected with area codes such as 020, 0161 for London and Manchester respectively, Non generic numbers are in fact a block of numbers that usually starts with prefixes like 0800, 03, 084 and 087.

These numbers not only give a smooth route to an incoming phone call but can also help the business by generating revenue for the paid services.

Call routing for the non generic numbers is simple and is to be done either through routing them via local geographical telephone exchange or through services like VOIP (voice over IP).

Non-generic numbers present the businesses and services beyond the geographical boundaries. There are hundreds of ways through which non-generic telephone numbers takes lead over standard landline numbers. For example, just one contact number of this class is enough to represent a business having multiple locations, which means, there is no need left to change or apply for a new number if the location changed. Non generic numbers are the alternate, when the standard landline numbers are unreachable due to some fault or damage or in the areas affected by the flood, earthquake etc.

Cost settlement for non generic prefixes that are separate from standard landline numbers can vary from free to anything.

Premium rate numbers (usually those numbers starting with prefixes like: 09, 118, 0871, 0872 and 0873) is a block of telephone numbers that falls into the category of non-generic numbers. These numbers cost more to the caller and generate income for the called party.

Cost settlement for these service numbers is the combination of two things;

  • Service cost which benefits the called party for their services.
  • Per-minute access cost imposed by the phone company used by the caller.

The service cost remains same for the caller, regardless of the caller’s telephone operator. While per minute access cost varies from operator to operator. For example in UK, the service costs can be as follow,

  • 084 numbers: up to 7p per minute and/or 7p per call
  • 087 numbers: up to 13p per minute and/or 13p per call
  • 09 numbers: up to £3.60p per minute and/or £6.00p per call

While, typically per minute access cost levied by the phone operator is 7p to 12p per minute except few phone operators which are costing almost 45p per minute.

In the past premium rate prefixes range for different purposes was introduced for premium rate services. For using premium rate services, consumers have to buy goods or services by calling non generic premium rate numbers and in return make payments through their telephone bills. With the advancement of telecommunication, premium rate voice and text services are easily available.

Usage of Premium numbers

Premium rate services accessed through premium numbers include verity of services, especially the services related to entertainment; few of them are listed below:

  1. Television Voting
  2. Diplomatic Services
  3. Embassy Services
  4. Television Shows Competition
  5. Charity purposes
  6. Business Information
  7. Adult services
  8. Chat Lines
  9. Technical support
  10. Directory Services
  11. Sports
  12. Complaints
  13. General Information
  14. Television Quiz
  15. Weather
  16. Mobile subscription
  17. Horoscope
  18. Ringtones