Almost all phone numbers in the United Kingdom, including the dialing code, are 11 digits long. There are around 40 area codes with ten digits. After the starting "0," UK mobile phone numbers always include ten significant digits. Although most people can be reached on their mobile number, it is important to know that some services may have different contact details for business and personal use.
UK mobile phones have area codes just like landlines. These area codes are used to direct calls to the correct network. For example, if you call an overseas number from Britain, you need to tell the system which network should receive the call. There are four major mobile phone networks operating in the UK: Vodafone, O2, EE, and Carphone Warehouse. They each have separate coverage areas, so no matter where you go in Britain, you will usually be able to use one of these networks.
Each company has several hundred base stations spread across Britain, providing radio coverage for a large part of the country. A base station uses radio waves to communicate with mobile phones, but they cannot reach very far away from them. If you want fast mobile phone service everywhere in Britain, it is best to sign up with a supplier who has many base stations near where you live or work.
Numbering according to location In the United Kingdom, geographic phone numbers always contain nine or 10 digits following the 0 trunk code or +44 international dialing prefix. The first digit of a British telephone number is not used to indicate a particular region or zone as it is in North America; instead it identifies which national network the call is connected through. Thus 011-44-1111 is London while 011-44-1112 is Manchester. Geographic numbers can be either direct dialled or routed through an exchange.
Phone numbers within the same geographical area may have different ending digits to prevent multiple calls being made when someone uses a payphone or a phone box. For example, this would prevent two people in London from ringing each other on 1112 1234 because they both use the same phone number.
Phone numbers that aren't geographically restricted can also be identified by their numbering plan. There are two main types of number: sequential and split-sequential. A sequential number is assigned to a piece of property like a house or apartment, while a split-sequential number is used for businesses. These cannot be reused once they have been allocated so every number has the potential to be needed.
The initial element of a UK telephone number that is distinctive to a geographic location is known as the "dialing code" or "area code." The code consists of three to six numbers and always begins with '01' or '02'. For example, 020 denotes London, 0118 denotes Reading, 01332 denotes Derby, and 017687 denotes Keswick.
There are four British area codes: 020, 111, 122, and 123. These area codes were originally assigned by your local exchange carrier (LEC), which was then regulated by Ofcom. However, on 1 April 2016, Oftel announced that from 14 August 2017, the four original UK area codes will be released for use by other parties. This means that any company can apply to use these area codes provided they meet certain criteria.
For example, a company could not start using their own area code unless it wasn't being used by at least one other company. Or they could not assign phone numbers in a way that would cause numbers to repeat themselves across the country.
In addition, since each area code has a limit of 999 lines available, only four companies could possibly use all four codes. Therefore, some combination of existing companies and new entrants will have to share these codes.
Area codes are vital to enable long distance calls to be made efficiently. Without them, every call would need to go through the same place - which would cause huge problems for the system.
Notes on Area Codes: In the United Kingdom, London, fixed phone numbers consist of a single country code (+44), a two-digit area code, and a 70-80 digit line code. Calling using the incorrect country, area, or region code might be expensive.
Dial 44, the country code for the United Kingdom. This informs your carrier that you intend to call the United Kingdom. When dialing a UK mobile phone, add 7 to the area code.
44. This should be 9 digits for a mobile. Here's an example of how to dial a mobile phone in the United Kingdom: 011 (exit code), 44 (country code), 7 (mobile phone code), and 555 123 456 are the dialing codes. Note that when you enter these numbers into your phone, you need to include the initial 0 before the international code. Also note that some phone companies require you to enter a full number when calling from abroad, even if you're calling within the same country.