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Ofcom has ruled that Freephone numbers must be free on mobile phones. 0800, 0808 and 116 numbers are currently free on landlines, but mobile users are required to pay.

The plans are part of a new, overarching strategy from Ofcom, which will see premium rate charges from mobiles explained more clearly. Currently, charges for calling 08 and 09 numbers vary massively between networks.

ofcom logo large

Under new rules, users will be able to see a breakdown of costs on their monthly bill. An access charge, set by the networks, will sit alongside a service charge, set by the business being called. The idea is to increase competition and give consumers a better deal.

The move to make Freephone numbers free on mobile, along with tweaks to premium rate lines, will not be rolled out until June 2015.

“This is a welcome sign that Ofcom is taking consumer protection seriously. If a number is 'free' then it should be free wherever you call from - these measures should finally make this a reality,” said Marie-Louise Abretti, USwitch.com’s telecoms expert.

"The only thing that tempers this great news and slightly detracts from the strides Ofcom has made is the fact that these already long overdue changes won't come in to effect until June 2015. This means consumers face another 18 months of finding a landline for free calls and being in the dark about calling non-geographic numbers."



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