Businesses to save money by switching non-geographic number now, says ComReg
- ComReg urges organisations using 1850, 1890, or 076 numbers to contact their telecoms operator and switch number immediately to make significant savings, get a preferred new number and safeguard access to their service
- 1850, 1890, and 076 numbers are being withdrawn from service and will no longer operate from 1 January 2022
- Organisations, including charities, in Ireland will make significant savings by switching to 1800 Freephone or 0818 Standard Rate numbers
ComReg, the statutory body responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector in Ireland, is reminding organisations using 1850, 1890, or 076 numbers to contact their telecoms operator and switch to new numbers now ahead of the cessation of these Non-Geographic Numbers (NGNs) at the end of 2021.
At a time when businesses are reopening following the easing of some Covid-19 restrictions, ComReg says that switching NGNs will deliver significant cost savings.
By switching to a new number immediately, organisations will also have time to promote and communicate their new number to callers, safeguarding access to their service in 2022. So, the sooner these organisations switch to new numbers, the better.
ComReg and telecoms operators are working together to support a smooth transition from 1850, 1890, and 076 numbers by organisations in Ireland.
Robert Mourik, Commissioner at ComReg said:
“ComReg has worked collaboratively and with great effort with telecoms operators to improve the Irish Non-Geographic Number platform for over two years. This change will lead to tangible benefits for both consumers and organisations who rely on these numbers, including significant cost savings. We are urging organisations using 1850, 1890 and 076 numbers to contact their operators and switch to new numbers now and well ahead of the 31 December 2021 deadline, thereby ensuring they get a preferred number and can promote their new numbers to callers in good time.”
Improving the NGN Platform
In 2018, and following extensive research and consultation, ComReg decided to introduce measures to improve the NGN platform. These measures were designed to address the prohibitive cost of calling NGNs, and to tackle confusion among callers on the differences between the five NGN ranges (1800, 1850, 1890, 0818 and 076).
In 2019, ComReg took the first step, introducing new tariffs which reduced NGN calling costs for consumers.
The final step in simplifying the NGN platform is the reduction in the number of NGN ranges. In less than four months, the five NGN ranges will reduce to two. 1850, 1890 and 076 NGNs will be withdrawn and, from 1 January 2022, only the 1800 Freephone and 0818 Standard Rate NGN ranges will remain in operation.
These changes will simplify NGNs and provide clarity on the costs of calling the two remaining NGN ranges (1800 and 0818). For callers, 1800 calls are free. Calls to 0818 are included in customer call bundles that include calls to landlines or, out of bundle, charged at the Standard Rate which is no more than the cost of calling a landline.
Notably for organisations, the cost of maintaining 1800 numbers has reduced significantly since the introduction of new wholesale charges last year. In general, there is no per call cost to an organisation for receiving an 0818 call.
Organisations who currently use 1850, 1890, or 076 NGNs are urged to contact their telecoms operator now and switch to a new number to suit their needs. 1800 and 0818 numbers, as well as geographic (landline) numbers are available. Organisations are also encouraged to start promoting their new number(s) immediately.
For more information see: comreg.ie/ngn