NGNs: The End of the Confusion About the 1890 and 1850 numbers
Non-Geographic Numbers (NGNs) are phone numbers that begin with 1800,1850, 1890, 0818, and 076 in Ireland. People use NGNs whenever they call a business, Government agency, public service, make payments, or vote on a TV show. So why is there so much confusion about them? Do they cost money to call? Are they free? We’ve created a short summary for you to answer all of your questions.
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Non-Geographic Numbers (NGNs) In Ireland:
What is the confusion about Non-Geographic Numbers (NGNs)?
The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) decided the NGN platform needed improvements after discovering there was confusion among customers about the different NGN ranges and call costs. ComReg is responsible for regulating the postal sectors and electronic communications in Ireland. In summary, ComReg’s research showed:
• A majority of customers struggled to estimate the call costs to NGNs.
• Most customers believe that calling NGNs is expensive.
• A quarter of customers believe they will be charged for calling 1800 NGNs, which are actually free to call.
• Many customers completely avoid calling NGNs, on both landlines and from mobiles.
How will you be affected by the new NGN platform improvements?
In December 2018, ComReg issued a Decision on ways to improve the NGN platform. The two main improvements were lowering the costs of calls to NGNs and simplifying the platform for better user experience. So how does this affect you?
• Lower cost: From 1 December 2019, making a call to the NGNs (1850, 1890, 0818, or 076) will cost the same as calling a landline number. Meaning, if landline calls are included in your bundle of call minutes then NGN calls are included as well. So you will not pay separate charges for calling any NGN unless you have used up your call minutes. Calls to 1800 NGNs will remain free.
• Simple NGN Platform: From 1 January 2022, there will only be two NGN ranges: 1800 (Freephone) and 0818 (Standard Rate). The 1850, 1890, and 076 ranges will be withdrawn.
How will your Service Providers be affected by the changes to the NGN platform?
During this three-year transition period, Service Providers using the withdrawn ranges will need to switch to a new contact number (1800 or 0818) and speak with their customers about these changes. This measure by ComReg will greatly reduce confusion for both mobile operators and callers.
ComReg suggests for Service Providers to switch to a new contact number (1800 or 0818) and inform their customers as soon as possible. For existing users of 1800 or 0818 NGNs, there is no need to switch to a new number. According to ComReg, “These numbers will remain in service beyond 1 January 2022.”
What will happen if you call these NGNs after the withdrawal date?
The 1850, 1890 and 076 NGNs will no longer be available after 1 January 2022. By 2022, the last non-geographic numbers in Ireland will be 1800 or 0818.
Does your business currently use the NGNs 1850, 1890 or 076? Switch to 1800 or 0818 and get your customers familiar with your new contact number asap!
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