Number Supermarket – Your NGN Number Provider

NGN (Non-Geographic) Numbers Explained

Choosing the right telephone number for your business is a major decision and with so many available it can be tricky selecting the perfect one for you. Do you pick a national phone number such as an 03 or 08, or something closer to home featuring a local prefix?
You may have heard about NGN (national) numbers and you perhaps want more information. So, before you make your choice we wanted to outline what NGN (non-geographic) numbers actually are. We will also explore how they compare to geographic phone numbers and what the benefits of a nationwide option would be.
Rest assured that non-geographic numbers are available for businesses of all sizes and all industries too. They are a popular choice for many, from one-man bands right up to blue-chip organisations and those in between. With that in mind, they’re certainly worth a closer look for your business too.

What are Non-Geographic Numbers?

The term NGN number quite simply stands for ‘non-geographic number’. That means these are numbers that are not tied to a specific location within the UK. Unlike a geographic number such as 0161 (Manchester), 01632 (Newcastle), or 0207/0208 (London) a non-geographic number gives your company a nationwide presence. Great news if you want to appeal to a wider audience and ultimately invite more calls from further afield.

NGN telephone numbers are as follows:

As a Tier 1 phone company, we stock a varied range of non-geographic numbers, ready to activate in minutes. All of our virtual numbers can be easily routed to your landline, mobile number(s), or SIP, and our quick-click call features give optimum functionality at your fingertips. What’s more, we have a variety of attractive number options often chosen for their memorability factor – featuring double and repeating digits. You will find that these memorable numbers are graded into Bronze, Silver, and Gold categories due to their level of memorability. Despite having numbers of a higher grade we also find that our regular 03s and 08s are snapped up too.

Why Choose a Non-Geographic Number?

Easy Routing

You may have heard that non-geographic numbers are also referred to as virtual numbers. All virtual numbers (non-geo and geographic) are popular as they can be easily routed to fixed numbers including your mobile(s), landline, or SIP trunks. Stored in the cloud these smart numbers give you greater flexibility, especially during configuration and when service amendments are required. Incoming calls can be pointed to multiple destination numbers and conveniently forwarded as part of weekly call rotas.

In today’s world of hybrid working so many of us now split office and home-based working. With that in mind, the versatility which comes with a non-geographic number is essential for the modern office workplace and indeed home workspace. You can make changes to your telecom set up literally wherever you are, on the road, onsite, or even on the school run – it really is that simple!

Number & Data Tracking

Non-geographic numbers can be tracked in real-time via our industry-leading portal, providing essential call data such as: amount of calls taken, how many calls are answered or missed, call duration, and the busiest call periods. As you can imagine many managers find such information an invaluable way to monitor call handling and plan forthcoming rotas/staff allocation.

Call Features

With a variety of call features in place, NGNs are the ideal way to assist call handlers, especially during heavy call times. Calls to these numbers allow your customers to be dealt with and informed even before their call is even answered. All of this adds to an overall high-quality customer call experience.

Let’s take a look at the top 6 call features available:

  1. Voice2Email – allows voicemails to be delivered (in real-time) into a designated email box(es) as an audio file ready for call handlers to listen to at their convenience.
  2. Call/Time/Day Plans are on hand for call routing schedules to be arranged up to a week in advance. This is a firm favourite for managers of both smaller office remote teams and call centres too.
  3. Call Forwarding can be easily actioned using mobiles or existing desk phones – no need for expensive extra equipment.
  4. Welcome Messaging means that callers can be greeted with a bespoke message even before speaking to a call handler.
  5. Call Queue places callers in a cloud-based queue where they can be notified of their position and listen to music as they wait. It is also a great opportunity to play bespoke messages for example, telling callers about current offers or opening times.
  6. IVR (Caller Menus) allows callers to be directed to designated departments, services, or people, for example, Press 1 for Accounts, Press 2 for After Sales, Press 3 for Customer Services etc.
    There is a whole library of features available. We are always more than happy to talk you through the many options.

Disaster Recover

As we all know, accidents happen, and when they do they can result in telecom downtime – costing businesses massively. If your company’s telecoms went down (for example due to adverse weather) just think of the losses. Thankfully that’s where ‘disaster recovery’ steps in. With, ‘disaster recovery’ firmly in place a contingency telecom plan can be ready and waiting in the background. So, should disaster strike, a secondary telecom solution can be activated in minutes. With one quick click, your non-geographic number can be redirected to alternative devices including your mobile phone(s), landlines, or SIP trunks. With that in mind can you really afford to be without a non-geo number?


We think that you will agree, that giving your business a phone number with a national presence and professional look for a rental of under £13 per month is great value. Couple that with our host of call features available without having to invest in an expensive call system and it’s safe to say that 03 & 08s are an affordable option.

Lit-up phone number pad on a dark background

Is an 03 or 08 Best?

Whether you choose an 03 or an 08 virtual phone number for your business is entirely up to you. To make the choice easier why not consider the following aspects before making your mind up?

Do you need to establish customer service lines?

If you do then a 0800 or 0808 may be the way to go. As freephone number calls to 08o0’s or 0808s won’t cost your callers anything.

Are you looking to provide an economic number for callers and your pocket too?

03 (0333/0330s) non-geographic numbers have minimal inbound call costs for you as a business. What’s more, your customers will typically have 03s included in their bundles making them free to call. If on the rare occasion they don’t have 03s included then calls are never any more than the local rate.

Are you a charity or government sector organisation?

Yes? Well, why not consider an 0300 number? Unlike 0333 or 0330s an 0300 requires a charity registration number or government sector certification – proving to callers that you are the genuine article.

What’s Your Look & Feel?

Your brand is unique, so getting a number that looks and feels the part matters. Whether that’s an 03 featuring double-digits or an 08 with repeating numbers choosing an option that fits seamlessly with your brand is essential. Thankfully Number Supermarket has lots to choose from.

Fancy some extra cash?

If you didn’t already know, 0870, 084, and 09 numbers actually generate a rebate on inbound calls. It is important to be aware that calls to these numbers are significantly higher than local rate calls. Ofcom states that call costs must be shown wherever these higher rate numbers are advertised. Social media posts, websites, corporate literature, or even vehicles, call charges must be clearly visible. There also has to be an audio notification for callers.

Calls to these numbers consist of two charges including a per-minute charge by the caller’s phone service provider and a premium paid to the organisation being called and their provider. The access charge (the charge by the caller’s provider) tends to vary depending on the operator and the tariff chosen. Typical charges range from 7 pence to 55 pence per minute.

Interestingly the service charge is the same, whichever operator the caller uses to make the call. The service charge usually falls into the following bands (please note rates are subject to variation):

  • Calls cost to 084: Up to 7 pence per call and/or 7 pence per minute.
  • Calls cost to 087: Up to 13 pence per call and/or 13 pence per minute.
  • Calls cost to 09: Up to £6 per call and/or £3.60 per minute.

Pile of british coins

What is a Non-Geographic Call?

Non-geographic calls are of the same quality as making a call to a local number or mobile for example. This is especially the case if provided by a Tier 1 telecom company who will typically be working directly with main networks and therefore have the means to ensure calls are of an optimum standard. What’s more virtual numbers such as NGNs point directly to their destination number (i.e. the number they are routing to) and so their calls are seamless – no delays or odd dialling tones.

Old-fashioned telephone in black and white

A Quick Look at Geographic Numbers

Geographic numbers do indeed have their place. Depending on your type of industry and the audience you wish to reach out to geo numbers can create a reassuringly local feel. This is ideal when appealing to nearby clientele.

As geographic numbers are also virtual numbers they provide an easy way to create a virtual presence wherever you are based – for example, you may work in London and want to create a virtual office/presence in Manchester. This can be done in an instant simply by advertising a local 0161 Manchester number.

Alternatively, should your business lend itself to a more nationwide demographic, using a geographic number (such as 0208 London or 0113 Leeds) can restrict the amount of calls you receive. In which case, non-geographic numbers are more for you.

Already have an NGN or geographic number but are not happy with your current phone company?

Both geo and non-geographic numbers can be transferred from provider to provider. This is a process known as ‘porting’. On average porting takes around 2 weeks and there is typically no downtime to your service. It is worth assessing what you pay for your NGN on a regular basis. If you’re not sure how your provider measures up simply ask us to take a look at your latest bill for a no-obligation price comparison.

Would you like a non-geographic national phone number?

Rest assured that with a wide variety of non-geographic numbers in stock and as a Tier 1 phone company we can supply and activate your number in minutes. Feel free to call 0330 332 0400 without obligation or email [email protected]

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