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NGN Numbers: The Ultimate Guide


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What are NGN Numbers?

NGN stands for non-geographic number. NGN numbers are not assigned according to a location. They are virtual numbers available with no area code. Some examples are:

  • 080 NGNs
  • 030 NGNs
  • 084 NGNs
  • 087 NGNs
  • 09 NGNs
  • 03 NGNs

Thousands of UK businesses use non-geographic numbers for several reasons, including flexible routing of incoming calls and effective marketing analysis. In this ultimate guide to non-geographic numbers, we’ll explain how you can use these numbers and how they’re beneficial to businesses utilising them.

How You Can Use An NGN/Non Geographic Number

Non-geographic numbers are virtual numbers that can be pointed at any fixed number. They can enhance the way that your business manages incoming calls, as they provide several benefits that aren’t available with standard fixed numbers.

Businesses across the UK use NGNs for a multitude of reasons. You can track non-geographic numbers effectively, making them perfect for assigning to specific marketing campaigns where tracking is crucial.

This type of number can also play a big part in the disaster recovery plans of a business. In the event of a fault, standard fixed numbers can become inaccessible – even if you’re using a VoIP telephone system. NGNs can be redirected to alternative devices and locations in such circumstances. For example, to mobile devices.

Virtual numbers are available for as little as £5 per month and can play an essential role for your business. Whether you use them as part of your marketing campaigns or disaster recovery plan, you can purchase them without breaking the bank.

How Do Non Geographic Numbers Work?

Non-geographic numbers are virtual; they have no fixed address and they are stored in the cloud.

You manage non-geographic numbers through a cloud portal. There are several functions available in this portal. The main function available is the ability to point the number to any other fixed number. Virtual numbers can be pointed at any landline or mobile number, perfect for when you’re on the go or out of the office.

There are numerous functions available in addition to pointing the number to a fixed one. It is also possible to create schedules and add voicemails, amongst other useful features.

Non-geographic numbers are an important element of any disaster recovery plan. If you don’t use virtual numbers now, what would you do if your telephone system suddenly stopped working?

For most businesses, a telephone system is a business essential that needs to be functioning constantly. If you don’t use virtual numbers, there’s nothing you can do when your telephone system stops working.

If you do use NGNs, you can log into your number management portal and point your numbers at your business mobiles or any other fixed number that’s still working. Alternatively, you can contact your supplier who can quickly and efficiently redirect your calls for you.

If your telephone system went down, would your business be able to continue working efficiently? If the answer’s no, a cost-effective virtual number offers vital protection for your business in such a circumstance.

What Is A Non Geographic Call?

A non-geographic call is a call made to any of the following numbers:

  • 03
  • 05
  • 070
  • 076
  • 080
  • 0845
  • 0870
  • 083
  • 084
  • 0871
  • 09
  • 116
  • 118

Thousands of businesses use these numbers in the UK, so it’s highly likely that you’ll have made a non-geographic call in the past.

Non-geographic calls make no difference to call quality or experience. Calls to a virtual number divert immediately to the number they’re pointing at. There’s no delay or noticeable sign of a divert being in place. You can continue to provide a high-quality experience to your customers while using virtual numbers.

Benefits of Non-Geographic Numbers

Using NGNs for your business is advantageous for numerous reasons, such as easy call routing and enhanced call management features. Here we’re explaining the key benefits in more detail.

Enhanced Call Routing Ability

Virtual numbers are incredibly flexible. You can direct all non-geographic calls to any fixed number in the world. Does your business use call centres? You can direct all calls to your virtual number to a call centre of your choice.

You can create advanced schedules for call routing, enhancing your call management capabilities. If you have callers 24 hours a day, you can create a schedule that diverts calls to different fixed numbers according to the time of the day.

Furthermore, you can divert calls according to several criteria. For example, you can divert calls to different locations for conditions such as the time someone is calling and their location.

Greater Customer Experience

Does your business have offices in multiple locations? If so, do you get customers phoning the wrong office?

With one virtual number, you can have a singular number that everyone phones. With a capable telephone system, you can then divert the calls to the appropriate office if required.

There are advantages of having one national phone number. Firstly, you don’t have to promote different phone numbers for different areas. Additionally, you make it much easier for your customers to contact you without difficulty. Moreover, you have lower costs since you only need one virtual telephone number.

If providing a high-quality customer experience is paramount to your business, a virtual number can help you to fulfil your goal of offering great customer service.

Location Neutrality

Do you currently use a geographic number? This potentially limits the number of calls you receive.

Geographic numbers are linked to specific locations. If you want to establish a national presence, you might be losing out on customers because of the number you’re using. Do potential customers think a business is small because of its geographic phone number? While there’s no research proving this is the case, it’s logical to assume that it is. For example, imagine a scenario where a Leeds based business is looking for IT services. If your business uses a number that suggests you’re Manchester-based, you may be overlooked in favour of a business that clearly has a national presence.

Perception is important for all businesses. If you want people looking for the services you offer to presume you have a national presence, a non-geographic number would be better than a geographic number.

Improved Resilience

If receiving telephone calls is essential for your business, you must ensure you have a disaster recovery plan in the event of your telephone system malfunctioning.

In the event of fault or damage to the telephone network, non-geographic numbers can be rerouted to other locations. Faults aren’t an unlikely occurrence with traditional telephone systems, particularly as hardware ages and becomes unreliable. However, VoIP telephone systems can have their issues too. If you don’t have a fail-safe in place, your internet connection dropping could take your entire phone system offline.

You can improve the resilience of your business with virtual numbers. If the internet goes down or your telephone system is malfunctioning, you can simply redirect your numbers to other locations.

Ensure that phone issues don’t spell disaster for your business by using virtual numbers!

Types of Non-Geographic Telephone Number

Several types of non-geographic number are in use. Uses and functionality do differ slightly, although the main difference is how much the caller pays. Here are the types of NGN available and a brief description of each.

0800/0808 – Freephone: 0800 and 0808 numbers are free-to-caller. This means the company receiving the call pays the call cost, rather than the caller. Callers can phone a number in this range free from a landline, mobile or payphone.

03: Calls to 03 numbers cost the same as calls to regular local and national landlines. The caller pays the cost of calls to these numbers. The prefixes available are: 0300, 0301, 0302, 0303, 0306, 0330, 0331, 0332, 0333, 0343, 0344, 0345, 0370, 0371, and 0372. The 030 range is reserved for public sector bodies and not-for-profit bodies, whereas the 034 and 037 ranges are reserved for migration from 084 and 087 numbers.

084, 087, 118, and 09 – Service Numbers: Calls to these numbers consist of two charges. Firstly, a per-minute charge by the caller’s phone service provider and secondly, a premium paid to the organisation being called and their provider. The access charge (the charge by the caller’s provider) varies depending on the operator and the tariff chosen. Charges typically range from 7 pence to 55 pence per minute. You can check the rate you’ll pay here.

The service charge is the same, regardless of the operator the caller uses to make the call. It will fall into the following bands:

  • Calls to 084: Up to 7 pence per call AND/OR 7 pence per minute.
  • Calls to 087: Up to 13 pence per call AND/OR 13 pence per minute.
  • Calls to 09: Up to £6 per call AND/OR £3.60 per minute.

The rate that the caller will have to pay must be explained wherever the number is publicised, such as on a social media post, a website, or a brochure.

070 – Personal Numbers: 070 numbers are personal numbers. These virtual telephone numbers provide individuals with non-geographic number functionality. 070 numbers are controversial as they can incur a charge to callers believing them to be standard mobile numbers.

Fortunately, these numbers are now either included in caller tariff bundles or charged at the same rate as calls to a mobile phone.

Want A Cost-Effective Non-Geographic Number for Your Business?

If you would like a cost-effective NGN for your business, simply get in touch with us. We offer all NGN numbers for as little as £5 per month, and we include access to the management portal. With the portal, you’ll have access to incredible functionality that enables the benefits we detailed earlier in this blog post.

If you’d like to discuss the numbers you want, please contact us by clicking here. We’ll happily help you decide on the numbers that would work best for your business.

Book Your Free Personalised Demo Now

We cannot overstate the benefits of VoIP. If you are still using an old telephone system that isn’t meeting your needs, it’s time to move over to a voice over IP system.

We offer a free personalised VoIP demo, where we’ll show how a VoIP telephone system would enhance your business. We’ll let you explore this feature-rich telephone system at no cost to your business.