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UK CALLING GUIDE |

Calling From UK

Calling to United Kingdom

Making Calls while in United Kingdom

Making Calls while in United Kingdom

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General Tips for Making Phone Calls within the UK

The UK has made multiple changes to its phone system during the last few decades.  In order to accommodate a growing number of phone lines, the Office of Communications has introduced new area and cellular codes. 

Mobile phone calls within the UK

Individual mobile phone companies use the 077xx, 078xx and 079xx codes.  Due to mobile number portability (the ability of a user to retain their cell phone number even when changing service provider), cell phone prefixes are no longer exclusive to any particular operators.  
The current prefixes are:

  • 076xx – Pagers
  • 077xx – Mobile phones (mostly Vodafone and O2)
  • 078xx – Mobile phones (mostly Vodafone and O2)
  • 079xx – Mobile phones (mostly Orange and T-Mobile)

Receiving calls from abroad

Remember to drop the 0 that begins all area codes when calling internationally, even when using a cell phone.  For example,

  • +011-44-77xx-xxx-xxx for a call to a Vodafone cellular phone

When calling from abroad to a land line in the UK, you must know the area code for the city you are calling.  For example,

  • +011-44-20-xxxx-xxxx for a call to London

Other calls and numbers

Toll-free numbers in the UK begin with:

  • 0800-xxx-xxxx
  • 0800-xxx-xxx
  • 0808-xxx-xxxx

Keep in mind that these toll-free numbers may not always be free when calling from a cell phone.
Other toll-free numbers are reserved for public service purposes and are free even from cell phones.

Emergencies:

  • 999 traditional UK number
  • 112 European Union Standard number
  • 101 charge-able number for non-urgent emergencies (this number is being introduced in stages)

Services:

  • 100 Operator
  • 118xxx Directory Inquiries (formerly 192; similar to 411 in the U.S.; last 3 digits depend upon operator)
  • 155 International Operator Assistance

Tips for Calling Internationally from the UK

When calling internationally from the UK, dial 00, followed by the code of the country you are trying to reach, area code, and local number.

Payphones are widely available in the UK, particularly in public places such as train stations and airports. Payphones often accept cash but do not give change.  However, you can sometimes choose to continue your money on to the next call. Newer payphones may accept credit and debit cards.  Phonecards can be purchased at newsstands throughout the country.

The costs for calls can vary tremendously.  Calls from hotel rooms are often extremely expensive; consider using payphones in your hotel’s lobby or elsewhere as alternatives.

It’s quite easy to find Internet access, particularly in urban areas. Internet cafes are common in cities and large towns. Public libraries throughout the kingdom provide access at little or no charge, though there may be time limits. You may also find some WiFi hotspots in major urban areas, like central London.

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