The way we dial phone numbers in the UK is about to drastically change.

Due to a shortage of phone number, communications regulator Ofcom are taking action by removing the ability to call someone in the same area code without the code itself.

Currently, if you want to call someone in the same area code as you (e.g. 01183), you can call them with their six digit number (e.g. 800 800), without the need for the area code. Because of this feature Ofcom has never issued six digit phone numbers that started with 0 or 9 to stop confusion at exchanges as to whether the call is local or national.

The move, which will impact on both traditional landline and VoIP users, will open up a large range of phone numbers and ease current pressure, but will only start with areas that start with 01 to begin with.

Bournemouth (01202) will be the first town to see the change, with Bradford, Cambridge and Aberdeen likely to follow soon after as new phone numbers in those areas are scarce.

The changes will take effect from next year, and will eventually impact up to 37 area codes by 2021. Ofcom said its own consumer research highlighted the plans as the least disruptive option for homes and businesses.

The move will open up a wider range of memorable numbers, allowing businesses to take advantage of the benefits, such as tracking marketing or enhancing brands.

To learn about how memorable numbers can benefit your business, contact our sales team on 01225 800 123 or email

(Image by Mark Fischer)


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