UK Telecom Tariff Cost Comparisons
Tariffs Version 229
Site Last Updated:
Business Members Site
Residential Members Site
Numbering Members Site
Database Members Site
What's New This Month
June 2017 Changes
Comparisons of 92 residential and 44 business land line telephone tariff call costs, and 349 residential and 162 business call plans charged by 88 different telecommunications operators and resellers in the United Kingdom, compiled by Magenta Systems Ltd, including direct and indirect access, CPS, VoIP and call through (two stage dialling) schemes. The comparison lists the cheapest telephone calls for both business and residential users using land lines, including bundled broadband packages.
Please note that Magenta Systems Ltd does not sell or recommend any of these tariffs, you need to contact each company specifically. Magenta Systems simply publishes this price information for comparison purposes. Nor do we take any money from these companies to list their information, it is totally impartial. Sorry, but we can not provide advice about the best tariffs for any individual or company, you must compare the prices and make your own choices.
Multiple tariff costs are shown for some operators, for others discounted tariff costs are calculated. The spreadsheet version allows the discount costs to be changed for differing spend levels. The level of detail varies between operators, some supply everything, others just the more common tariff costs. The comparison is updated at least 11 times a year, with operator tariffs being checked every three to six months, the better operators inform us of changes monthly, as they happen. Residential prices all include VAT at 20%, unless otherwise stated.
Non-Members may view the residential tariffs as web pages, but to download them in spreadsheet format or access the various code tables you need to become a paid member. The business pages look identical to the residential pages, they simply contain different companies and figures.
Access to the Business Members Site and Residential Members Site requires a logon name and password, which is emailed once the Membership Form on the secure server has been completed and payment received. Details of information available to Members and the prices is available in the Site Overview. Business members may view and print the tariffs, numbering and operator information from an Acrobat (PDF) file.
State of the Industry attempts to give an overview of recent changes, which operators are being taken over, which have ceased offering services and those in financial difficulty.
New Non-Geographic Service Charges
Non-geographic Call Services (NGCS) charging changes from 1st July 2015 to make it easier to understand for consumers. Calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 calls will comprise a published Service Charge that is the same from all operators, and an extra Access Charge that is determined by the operator that sends your phone bill, which is often similar to the cost of a national call.
The Service Charge is chosen from 100 different charge bands varying from 1p/min to £7.99/min, fixed fee from 5p to £6 per call, and a combination of fixed fee and per minute, up to a maximum of £15.98 for the first minute and then £7.99/min (some of the more expensive bands are for future expansion and hopefully will never be used). All these prices include VAT. Each service provider has selected new Service Charges for it's existing number ranges and is responsible for advertising this cost to it's customers. Sometimes the new Service Charges are similar to the current charges, often rounded up since many old charge bands had fractional costs (due to VAT changes), but they may vary significantly. Service Charges should be calculated
For instance, all 0845 call used to cost the same irrespective of extra digits, but the new Service Charge varies from 1p to 7p/min depending on the next three code digits, and 0870 varies between 1p and 13p/min, both with the additional Access Charge.
Our CodeLook tool may be used to see the new charges for any NGCS number for which a Service Charge has been allocated and shows the price of calls of various lengths combined with the Access Charge for each operator.
Note this tariff comparison includes a large number of callthrough (two stage dialling) schemes, where international calls are placed by dialling non-geographic numbers. The cost of using the schemes changed dramatically on 1st July 2015, mostly higher cost calls. We have added a notional 10p/min to all callthrough costs to reflect the average Access Charge and allow a fair comparison with other call costs that do not include an Access Charge. There will no longer be a call setup charge for call through numbers, so short calls may be cheaper.
New Operator Access Charges
The Access Charge is always charged for each minute, even for Service Charge fixed fee calls, and for fixed line calls is often the same as national telephone calls (01/02/03) which averages about 10p/min. These calls will normally be charged for a minimum of one minute, but will not have a call setup cost (unless part of the Service Charge) so some short calls may even be cheaper (set-up is 16p) There is no change to 07 mobile and personal call costs. This new charging regime only applies to residential calling, business calling may continue to use the old charge bands, new Service Charges sometimes with extra set-up added, or choose their own prices, as TalkTalk Business has done.
Companies that have not yet published an Access Charge include: 18185, 1899, 4tel, ACN, Call 18866, ICUK, JT (Jersey), Kesher, Numbergroup, Skype, Telecoms World, Voipfone, Wizards, Xinix.
Residential Tariffs - including VAT
In the past, many operators have added 10 or 20% surcharge to non-geographic calls which could add up to £1/min, so these new Access Charges reduce the difference in call costs between operators significantly. But the high access charges means the cost of most 08x calls that used to be 0.5p to 10p/min are now much higher. Ofcom originally expected some operators to include the Access Charge in free call bundles, but only EE is doing this for 0845/0870 calls only, so far. Some operators still include inclusive 0845 and/or 0870 calls without Access or Service Charge if 01/02/03 is inclusive, including BT, PlusNet, Post Office, Sky and Virgin Media.
Unrelated to these changes is that 0800 calls became free from mobile telephones from 1st July 2015.
Business Tariffs - excluding VAT
Note business tariffs don't have to follow the same Ofcom rules as residential tariffs and may continue to use the old NGSC charge bands instead of Access and Service Charges, although BT appears to be replacing all the old charge bands with Service Charge bands so there may be an issue of what old band should be used by new number ranges. Business tariffs may also be rather more creative with tariff structures, TalkTalk Business is charging Service Charge calls with a mark-up of about 38% instead of adding a fixed Access Charge, plus 6p set-up (ex VAT), so a £1/min call would cost £1.38/min, 1p/min would cost 1.38p/min. BT Business is also varying the Access Charge by time of day and adding a set-up cost, which Ofcom prevents for residential operators. Those with BT Business Standard tariff, often used for credit card machines and alarm circuits that make lots of short 084x calls, are going to get a major shock on their new bills - a 30 second call that used to cost 5p has jumped to 42p to 50p depending on the Service Charge.
Numbering and Database Products
A number of UK telephone Numbering and Database Products are available, including:
ComCap - Magenta Serial Port and Network Capture Utility
ComCap is a Windows application designed to capture data received on PC RS232 serial communications ports or using network TCP/IP and UDP streams and save it. Captured data is shown in scrolling windows and is written to text files, and may also be printed, written to SQL database tables or echoed to other PCs using network protocols or serial ports. Captured data can have text added such as date and time, a serial number and remote IP address. Data from up to 999 serial ports and network streams can be captured simultaneously, in separate files, with various file rotation schemes to start new files periodically. ComCap will capture to files on two separate disk drives for redundancy and will send email and SMS alerts if problems occur. ComCap is both a system tray and background service application that can be set to start automatically when windows starts, and remain unobtrusive. When using the background service, captured data may be still be viewed as it arrives. .
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