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As a freephone call results in no charge to the caller, the organisation receiving the call pays the call cost.
The original range of telephone numbers starting '03' was progressively cleared between 19: former geographic area codes starting 03 were renumbered to start 013 during the national Ph ONEday renumbering, while premium rate, local rate and mobile phone prefixes such as 0331, 03 were transferred to a simplified structure of 09, 08 and 07 numbers.
By the 1990s, the prefixes 0321, 05 were all in use and allocated to Vodafone, Mercury Communications and BT respectively.
Typically, the relevant prefix was followed by a six-digit number, giving a total number length of ten digits including the initial '0'.
In the simplest case, calls are simply forwarded to a regular geographic number and routed by the telephone exchange in the normal way.Also during the 1990s, deregulation allowed companies other than BT to acquire 0800 numbers and issue them to their customers, as well as allowing customers with existing freephone numbers to retain them when changing telecoms supplier.With the 08 ranges established as the primary freephone ranges, the 0321 number range was withdrawn during 2001.Non-geographic numbers are used for various reasons, from providing flexible routing of incoming phone calls to generating revenue for paid-for services.Non-geographic numbers were introduced to offer services that were historically unavailable on standard landline phone numbers, particularly in terms of call routing and special charging arrangements.