0800 numbers to be free, finally, on mobiles
Seeing as we've had mobile phones for aaaaaaaaages, it seems preposterous that we still have to pay for freefone numbers. And Ofcom agree, putting forward proposals which will see them costing nothing, down from an average of 21p a minute.
As well as that, Ofcom want to introduce a standard ‘network access charge’ for other numbers non-geographic numbers (such as the numbers given out on TV shows, 118 numbers and for things like NHS helplines). This will allow commercials to say how much calls would cost, rather than the current 'prices may vary' schtick.
Bob Warner, chair of the Communications Consumer panel, said "The proposals are good news for consumers. Charges for 0800 calls from mobiles particularly affect people on lower incomes, who are more likely to rely on a mobile at home and use it to make calls to essential services."
Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom, said “Consumers are often confused about how much they will pay to call these number ranges. Under our proposals, people will have much clearer information and there will be greater competition on prices. By making calls to 0800 numbers free from all phones, we will clear up any uncertainty about making calls, especially from mobiles, to the benefit of consumers and service providers alike.”
We'll find out the exact details and outcome of Ofcom's proposals in early 2013.