Ofcom are currently in discussion around the reality of 0800 ‘Freephone’ numbers.
The communications regulator has called for clarity in the way that calls to non geographic numbers are charged by mobile phone operators. Standard pricing for these types of calls are only regulated when dialled from a BT landline. Calling these ‘freephone’ numbers from a mobile incur charges that vary dependent on provider.
Mobile network providers charge an average of 31p per minute to call an 0800 number, originally set up to offer the caller a free of charge call. The volume of consumers now using a mobile phone as their primary means of communication has rocketed over the last 10 years and Ofcom believes this change is culture needs to be reflected.
The consultations will end on May 28th and Ofcom suspect the legal and practical changes will take approximately 18 months. If the changes go ahead we could see free 0800 calls from mobiles in place from the end of 2014/beginning of 2015.