UK Telecom Tariff Cost Comparisons

now also at https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/


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Tariffs Version 206
6th August 2015

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26th August 2015

Site Last Updated:
11th August 2015

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See below for New Non-Geographic Service Charges

Comparisons of 102 residential and 52 business land line telephone tariff call costs, and 323 residential and 157 business call plans charged by 95 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.      

0844 Calls
18185.co.uk
1899.com
4tel Communications
ACN
Adept Telecom
Andrews & Arnold
AOL
Auracall
Axis Telecom
British Telecom
Budgetcom
Call 18866
Call2Abroad
Call2Call
Call Happy
Calls Discount
Care Telecom
Cheap Calls
Cheap International Calls
Cheaper International Calls
Cheapest Calls
Cheapest Chat
CherryCall
CytaUK
Daisy Communications
Dial 123
Dial Around
DialWise
Direct Save Telecom
Discount Dial
DiscountVoIP
DoubleDial
DrayTEL
Everything Everywhere
Eclipse
First Number
FreeCall
Fuel Broadband
Gradwell
Hive Telecom
ICUK
IDNet
John Lewis Broadband
JT (Jersey)
Joy Telecom
Just Dial Instant
Kent Tec
Kesher Communications
Kingston Comms
Localphone
Lycatel
Matrix Dial
Mootel
My Mondo
Numbergroup
OneBill Telecom
Phone Cheap
The Phone Co-Op
PlusNet
Post Office
Qdial
Qudo
QX Telecom
RateBuster
Rebtel
Redbox
Simply-Fone
Sipgate
Skype
Sky Talk
SSE Energy Supply
Story Telecom
TalkTalk
Telappliant
Telecoms World
Telediscount
Telesavers
Telestunt
TeleTop
TopUpDial
TopUpNow
True Telecom
Virgin Media
Vodafone
VoIPCheap
Voipfone
Vonage
Voxhub
Vyke Mobile
WebCall Direct
Wizards
Wowtel
Xinix World
XLN Telecom
Zen Internet

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 currently chosen from 80 different charge bands varying from 1p/min to 3.60/min, fixed fee from 5p to 6 per call, and a combination of fixed fee and per minute, up to a maximum of 6.98 for the first minute and then 3.49/min.  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, an 0845 call currently costs 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 compare the old and 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, some are a little less. 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 or choose their own prices, as TalkTalk Business has done.

Residential Tariffs - including VAT

BT Together 9.58p>10.24p/min BT Basic 0p/min TalkTalk 5p/min
Sky 9.5p/min Kingston Comms 7p/min PlusNet 9.58p/min
Phone Co-Op 7.2p/min Post Office 9.5p/min SSE Energy Supply 6.9p/min
Zen 8p/min John Lewis Broadband 9.58p/min Hyperoptic 10p/min
EE Home 11p/min or 0p/min Virgin Media 10.25p/min Andrews & Arnold 2p/min
Direct Save 9p/min Vodafone 9.5p/min DrayTel 4.8p/min
Fuel Broadband 7p/min        
EE Mobile 44p/min O2 Mobile 25p/min  Vodafone Mobile 45p/min
Asda Mobile 8p/min GiffGaff Mobile 15p/min 3 Mobile 25p/min
Phone Co-Op Mobile 21p/min Tesco Mobile 25p/min Talk Mobile 15p/min
Lycamobile 23p/min Virgin Media Mobile 36p/min TalkTalk Mobile 20p/min

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 will reduce the difference in call costs between operators significantly. 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 become free from mobile telephones from 1st July 2015.

As of 5th August 2015, companies that have not published an Access Charge include: 18185, 1899, 4tel, ACN, Adept, Auracall, Call 18866, Eclipse, Hive, ICUK, Kesher, Numbergroup, OneBill, Skype, Telecoms World, True Telecom, Voipfone, Wizards, Xinix, XLN.

Business Tariffs - excluding VAT

BT Business Standard 17p/15p/13p min +19p setup BT Business Essentials 2p/min + 2p setup BT Business Plan and Lite 8p/min + 8p setup
BT Business One Plan 7p/min + 2p setup BT Business One Plan Traditional 5p/min + 2p setup BT Business Flex 2.2p/min
BT Business Choices 15p/min BT Wholesale 2.876p/min IDNet 5p/min
PlusNet 7.98p/min Daisy 7p/min Andrews & Arnold 1.66p/min
BT Business Mobile 35p/min DrayTel 4p/min Fuel Broadband 6p/min
Gradwell 6.25p/min Kingston Comms 5p/min    

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.  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 seven fold to 37p or 39p.  


Numbering and Database Products

A number of UK telephone Numbering and Database Products are available, including:

  • CodeLook, lookup partial numbers, call prices, tariff bands, localities, post codes and broadband availability on a web page
  • Magenta UK Numbering Database is designed for those that need to fully integrate telephone numbering, tariff band and locality information into their own systems. This membership offers comma separated variable text files of the numbering database information.  Sample extracts can be provided on request. The numbering database is a snapshot of current numbers and tariff bands, usually updated weekly.
  • Magenta SQL Telecom Database offers a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2/2012 database with both numbering and tariff information, containing stored procedures to access the content, exactly the same database that drives this web site.  For use with other SQL databases, CSV files are also be available. The SQL database is historic, containing old and current numbering and tariff information allowing telephone calls to be costed as at a specified date. It also includes a UK post code database with fibre and ADSL broadband availability.

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.  .


Please email any comments or corrections about the UK Telecom Tariff Comparisons


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