Call costs to 056 VoIP numbers

March 17th, 2009 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

I’m just relooking at the various Voice Over IP (VoIP) services on offer and I’ve found quite a number offering 056 numbers. Telephone numbers starting 056 are officially classed by Ofcom as “Location Independent Electronic Communications Service” (in the Ofcom National Telephone Numbering Plan) and have been allocated by Ofcom since September 2004 (so they aren’t exactly new!) and are mainly used for VoIP. However, trying to find out how much it costs to actually call these numbers is quite difficult – here’s a list of the call charges I’ve found for UK 056 VoIP numbers: and they vary quite a bit (and sometimes, it’s very difficult to find out how much they actually cost to call from the different telephone networks):

Where the tariff/plan may alter the call costs, I’ve included details:

BT: Call band “g21” (the same band as 03 numbers). 4.784p per minute daytime/1.955p per minute evening/1.150p per minute weekend
o2 iPhone 35 Pay Month: 20p per minute at all times (found via telephone customer services: they had to call back!)
Orange: Pricing unavailable (live chat)
Virgin Media Land Lines: Call band PG21. 7.82p connection fee and 4.79p per minute daytime/1.96p evening Price guide
T-Mobile (Combi plan): 40p per minute t all times (according to telephone customer services)
Tesco Land Line: 6p setup charge, 5p per minute daytime, 2p per minute evening, 1p per minute weekend
Gradwell: 1.36p per minute peak, 0.85p per minute offpeak and weekends
Vonage: 1p per minute at all times

Congratulations to Virgin, Tesco, Gradwell and Vonage for having the most easiest to find price guide (bonus points to Gradwell for having a simple “Telephone number lookup” section), BT next (slightly more difficult) and thumbs down to Orange being unable to find any pricing!

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This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".


  1. Richy C. says:

    Well, I emailed Ofcom regarding these massive differences and they replied:

    Thank you for your email about the varying costs of calls to 056 numbers.

    In August 2006, Ofcom decided that, in view of competition, all phone providers should be free to set their own retail charges (although we also ensured that important safeguards remained in place for vulnerable groups).

    So it will be for each communications provider, as opposed to Ofcom, to justify its charges to its customers. All communications providers are required to publish a full price list for all types of calls. Therefore consumers are able to make an informed choice relating to their needs, when choosing a provider.

    • Ray says:

      If all communications providers are required to publish a FULL price list for ALL types of calls how is it possible for Orange not to publish prices to “056” numbers ?

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