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0800 virtual number

Are 0800 numbers free to call?

0800 numbers are freephone numbers that don’t belong to a specific geographic location and are ‘free to call’ from any UK-based mobile or landline.

When the rules changed around 0800 numbers

Prior to July 2015, it was only free to call 0800 numbers from landline phones while mobile users were charged by their provider.

It prompted questions about whether that was fair because 0800 numbers were confusingly labelled ‘freephone’ despite not truly being so.

Ofcom agreed, leading to the ‘UK Calling Initiative’ which brought greater transparency to the market for both companies and callers.

Since then, calls to 0800 numbers from mobile phones have been free. The decision was part of an overhaul planned by Ofcom after research had demonstrated a demand for landline calls had dramatically dropped while the use of mobiles increased each year.

Mobile owners can now dial those numbers safe in the knowledge they will not be charged in addition to their existing payment plan.

What was the impact of the 2015 change on 0800 numbers?

The change initially affected more than 175 million phone numbers, a figure that has since increased and means that neither landline nor mobile phone users are charged for freephone services.

Are 0800 numbers free to call across the UK?

Yes, 0800 numbers are free to call across the whole of the UK, excluding the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man which have their own policy in place for these calls.

Do I need to change my phone package?

No, your network provider will have automatically implemented Ofcom’s changes and will advise you of any access charges prior to calling these numbers.

Are 0800 Numbers free to call from a business phone?

While the 2015 initiative applies to calls from all residential and consumer mobile phones, phone providers still have the ability to charge what they wish for these calls from managed business phones.

Can I get an 0800 number for my business?

Yes! With most customers now solely using their mobiles to contact companies, it makes sense to integrate a mobile-friendly 0800 freephone number into your business.

At Smart Numbers, we offer a wide range of 0800 freephone numbers that can be diverted directly to your business phone number at your home, office, mobile or overseas.

Our 0800 numbers differ from other providers in that we only use the UK’s biggest Tier 1 networks which mean you are guaranteed reliability and call quality, unlike some of the less reliable internet telephony providers in the market.

With a massive range of call management features included with your 0800 number, we recommend talking to us before you buy one.

If you would like to know more about 0800 numbers and what Smart Numbers can provide your business don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0345 0178 179 or

Low mobile phone coverage in rural areas

Improving Mobile Phone Signals across the UK including rural areas

A third of addresses in the UK have patchy or non-existent mobile phone coverage.

However, that is set to change.

In October, a plan worth £1bn was finalised between the UK’s four largest mobile phone companies and the Government to begin eliminating those signal dead zones.

A commitment from EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three is to ensure that 95 per cent of the UK has 4G coverage by 2025.

The issue of poor rural coverage became more prominent under David Cameron’s government after the Prime Minister became infuriated when he couldn’t make calls during a holiday in Cornwall.

As a result, the Government threatened to force the mobile firms to allow customers to roam onto each other’s networks in areas with no signal, a move the companies said would deter new investment.

They have instead agreed to spend money on new and existing phone masts that they would share under the new agreement.

Together they plan to contribute a total of £530m for a ‘Shared Rural Network’ and, once the agreement is finalised, the government could add a further £500m.

If the deal goes ahead, it is estimated that throughout the UK an additional 280,000 homes and businesses will have mobile coverage as well as an extra 16,000km of roads.

A lack of mobile phone coverage has been a huge inconvenience to hundreds of thousands of people across the country, especially the rural areas.

Indeed, network providers like O2 have been unable to contact their own customers because reception is so poor.

It has prompted some customers to consider upgrading their mobile phones so they can take calls using their Wi-Fi at home.

Although rural residents may still have to wait years before they can truly benefit from the improved connections, it is undeniable that this change is a step in the right direction.

It is however clear that this new network provider and government-backed investment into mobile telephony will help to ensure mobile landline numbers and virtual landline number products will benefit from a more reliable, robust and clearer connection.

0800 number

How much do 0800 numbers cost?

Since 2015, 0800 numbers have been free to call from mobile phones, making it a game changing number option for businesses nationwide. The demand for landline calls has drastically dropped since 2012 from 103 billion minutes to 54 billion in 2017, while mobile call minutes increased from 132.1 billion to 148.6 billion. With the majority of customers now solely using their mobiles to contact companies, it only makes sense to integrate a mobile friendly 0800 freephone number.

How can you buy an 0800 number?

Looking to purchase an 0800 number for your business? Simply get in touch with Smart Numbers and one of our dedicated team will be happy to assist you in setting up your 0800 freephone number today- its that easy! Any questions you may have can all be answered to put your mind at ease and help you understand the simplicity and sophistication of the call management features available with an 0800 number.

How much do 0800 numbers cost?

The cost of an 0800 number can vary depending on your chosen provider but at Smart Numbers, we are dedicated to ensuring we keep costs to a minimum. We will only charge a small initial set up fee and have no contracts associated with buying an 0800 number. With a simple and straightforward rolling monthly agreement, the use of your chosen number will be billed via a range of our discounted call plans. These plans provide you with complete control and flexibility from month to month allowing you to explore the many benefits of an 0800 number. We ensure that our customers are never blindsided by any unexpected costs or increases, you will always know exactly what you are paying and when.

Can 0800 be used with Mobiles?

Since the 1st July 2015 calls to 0800 numbers and numbers starting with 0808 were made free on mobiles. The move was part of an overhaul of phone numbers and charges Ofcom had planned for many months prior. At Smart Numbers, we can build your 0800 number so that you are able to receive calls to your mobile. There is also now the functionality available to make calls from your chosen 0800 freephone number from your mobile.

Range of 0800 numbers available

There are a wide range of 0800 numbers to choose from to suit your business whether you want a standard number or something more memorable. Some great examples of successful marketing using a memorable 0800 number can be seen in Hastings Direct’s ‘0800 00 10 66’ a number both relevant to their brand and very catchy! Equally, although no longer available to call, prior to the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters, Sony’s marketing team took advantage of ‘Who you gonna call?’ by using the 0800 number ‘0800 2229 911’ which if you called, you would speak to Chris Hemsworth!

Whichever number you are looking to add to your business, there is no difference in the monthly 0800 number cost. The only extra cost you will have to pay for a memorable 0800 number is the one-off set up fee and that’s it! Contact Smart Numbers today on 0345 0178 179 to buy an 0800 number today.

Hosted VoIP System

Benefits of hosted VoIP systems for businesses

Switch from a traditional telephone system to a hosted VoIP system and your business will enjoy cheap, high quality calls and a feature-rich system.

Businesses are increasingly turning their backs on traditional phone lines and instead opting to use hosted VoIP phone systems to make and receive their business calls.

Changing from a traditional phone line to a VoIP system could help your business to work more efficiently, offer greater flexibility, and reduce the cost of business calls.

Ready to find out more about the benefits of hosted VoIP systems for business?

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, a relatively new technology that allows you to make calls over the internet rather than a telephone line. VoIP services are used by many people on a day-to-day basis when they call friends, relatives or colleagues using apps on their smartphones like Whatsapp, Skype and Facebook Messenger.

Why should businesses choose VoIP?

Many forward-thinking businesses are now choosing professional VoIP communication systems over traditional telephone lines.

VoIP offers businesses a convenient, effective, flexible and affordable alternative to the traditional phone line.

Advantages of using a VoIP system rather than a traditional phoneline include:

  • Low cost – choose from a selection of affordable packages.
  • Feature-rich – useful features like call recording, IVR, and out of hours calls can help your business to work more efficiently and become more productive.
  • Accessible from any location – allowing you to answer business calls from any location for more flexible working.
  • Scalable – making it easy to expand your VoIP system as your business grows.
  • Call anywhere in the world – make international calls at no extra cost.
  • High quality calls – calls with clarity, there is no need to worry about phone signal or interference when using a VoIP system.
  • Reporting – review important statistics about the calls that your business is making and receiving.

What is a hosted VoIP system?

Businesses that wish to use VoIP for their communications will need to choose a VoIP provider.

Professional VoIP systems for business are hosted at an off-site location by a VoIP provider. Your VoIP provider will ensure that your system is configured according to your business’ specific requirements and that any existing telephony equipment that your business owns is set up to make and receive VoIP calls.

When you use a hosted VoIP service, your VoIP provider will carry out all configuration and maintenance of your VoIP system and provide you with ongoing support to help you get the most out your system.

Why choose Smart VoIP?

Here at Smart VoIP we are an experienced independent supplier of advanced, high quality VoIP systems to suit businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Over the years our team have helped thousands of customers get setup with highly efficient VoIP systems. We will help you to choose the best handset, network and call solutions for your business and location.

For more information about our Business VoIP systems or to receive a free quote, give us a call on 03450 178 179.

virtual landline number for businesses

Tips for Buying a Virtual Landline

Use the tips and advice in this article to make sure you know what to look for and consider when buying a virtual landline for your business.

Virtual landlines offer businesses a convenient and smart way of retaining a professional image whilst ensuring they never miss a call whilst they’re out and about.

When you use a virtual landline, you can make and receive business calls on a landline number using your mobile phone at any time and from any location.

Benefits of a virtual landline

Businesses can choose a virtual landline number for any geographical location in the UK, allowing them to appear as though they are operating from that location without having to invest in physical premises there.

Here are five key benefits of opting to invest in a virtual, mobile landline number.

  • Gain customer trust with a professional, geographic landline number.
  • Allow you to answer calls when working remotely.
  • Stop missing calls and losing business.
  • Professional geographic number without having to invest in premises in the location.
  • Many useful call features available.

As well as being a convenient, professional, and cost-effective solution, a virtual landline number can provide a whole host of useful features including call screening and call answering services.

What to consider before buying a virtual landline

Virtual landlines are usually geographic telephone numbers that start with either 01 or 02.  02 numbers are London numbers, whilst the dialling codes for other towns and cities in the UK usually start with 01.

When deciding which type of virtual landline number you require you should consider:

  • Whether your products and services are localised.
  • Which type of number will make you appear more professional.

A small business can give the appearance of a larger and more established business by opting for a London number. And a business that provides localised products or services will find it easier to gain trust with a localised number, even if they are operating from a different location.

Where possible you should also choose a number that is memorable so that it stands out on marketing material and is easy for customers to remember.

Where to get a virtual landline

Buy your virtual landline from an experienced communications company to ensure that you get the best service and deal possible.

At Smart Numbers, we provide reliable virtual landline numbers with professional, multi-level menu systems and useful additional features including call screening and live call answering.

All our virtual numbers are priced cost-effectively with no hidden extras and no contracts.

If your requirements change, then we can also help you to convert your virtual number into a fixed landline in the future.

To find out more about our virtual landline numbers and how using one could benefit your business, give us a call here at Smart Numbers on 08450 178 179 or 03450 178 179 (0345 numbers are included free in your contract).

6 Criteria For Choosing a Hosted VoIP System

Discover six criteria to help you choose a cost-effective hosted VoIP provider and plan that will meet your requirements both now and in the future.

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol communications, offer businesses a convenient, cost-effective and flexible communications solution.

With so many different hosted VoIP systems and providers to choose from, selecting the right one can be challenging. We’ve put together a list of six key criteria to look at when choosing a suitable hosted VoIP system.

Quality of connection

If sound quality or connectivity is poor, then even the most feature-rich VoIP service becomes useless. An excellent connection is fundamental to a professional and efficient VoIP service and should be the first criteria that you check out.

At Smart Numbers we only use trusted, award-winning networks, allowing us to provide reliable and fully tested and supported Tier 1 grade VoIP telephony solutions.

Call management features

Think about the call features that would help your business to become more efficient and productive. From basic call management features to call queuing, conference calling and 24/7 call answering, there are a wide variety of call features available to make your business’ communications more professional and efficient.

Here at Smart Numbers, we provide plenty of different call features to suit the requirements of businesses of all shapes and sizes.


Be sure to choose a VoIP system and plan that includes all the call features that your business requires without over-servicing to get the best value for money. Always shop around and compare prices before signing up.

At Smart Numbers, our VoIP hosted plans range from an affordable £16.99 a month for the basic plan to a more feature-rich executive plan at £14.99 a month, allowing you to choose a suitable and affordable plan for your business.

Customer support

Downtime and technical problems with your telephone system can be inconvenient, stressful and costly to your business. Always find out what customer support is available before signing up for a VoIP service to ensure that help will be at hand when you need it the most.

Reliable and ongoing customer support and maintenance is available with all our hosted VoIP systems.

Convenience and ease of installation

Always check whether the service is compatible with your broadband provider, what the installation process involves, and what equipment is required to get set up to avoid hassle and frustration later down the line.

We make it as simple, convenient and fuss-free as possible to get set-up with one of our hosted VoIP systems. Installation is fast, simple and painless, our VoIP systems are compatible with any broadband provider, and we can help you to transfer your existing phone number if required.


VoIP systems that can grow with your business offer the best convenience and value for money. Check whether features can be expanded to suit your business’ requirements in the future.

Our flexible hosted VoIP systems make it easy to add or remove users, extensions and features to suit your business’ ever-changing requirements.

Find out more about Smart Numbers’ hosted VoIP systems and plans by calling our team on 0345 0178 179.

Difference between 5G and 4G

What is the difference between 4G and 5G?

Every few years, a new generation of mobile network enters the market and in 2019 we are seeing the transition from 4G to 5G, but what’s the difference? For many, the transfer from 3G to 4G was seeming of little importance and was hardly noticeable aside from increasing data bandwidth speeds.

As such, to better understand 5G, we will be exploring what it means for networks, the benefits and implications of this new generation as well as helping you to determine what differentiates 5G from its 4G predecessor.

What is 5G?

In order to begin to understand the difference between 5G and previous generations, we must first define 5G. As with any generational update, 5G is faster, smarter and more efficient than ever before. By offering speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second, 5G networks are set to operate 100 times faster than the current operating speeds of 4G. Naturally, there will be general performance improvements but most notably, it will allow for superfast mobile broadband.

What differentiates 4G and 5G?

The key difference between 4G and 5G is undoubtedly the drastic reduction in data transfer time meaning communication between devices will be much faster. Currently, many users regularly experience bandwidth issues with both 3G and 4G due to the number of devices and people connected to these networks. 5G aims to solve these issues and have the capability to successfully sustain a high level of traffic. This will mean users can expect to make clearer calls using 5G to other 5G areas, significantly faster download speeds for HD and 4K videos and what is predicted to be almost ‘instant connections’

When can I switch from 4G to 5G?

A number of network providers such as EE, Vodafone and 3 have already launched 5G in a range of cities such as London, Manchester and Edinburgh and will continue to launch in more later this year. Providers such as O2 are also set to launch in October 2019 starting with 6 major cities and following suit by expanding in the latter end of the year.

Will I need a new handset?

In short, yes. There are currently a number of 5G compatible handsets on the market such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Oppo Reno 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, LG V50 ThinQ and the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, to name a few. It is, however, worth consulting with your current provider to determine whether your current mobile is 5G compatible. For this reason, many have predicted that 5G isn’t likely to take off until 2022 when the market price for 5G handsets has decreased. However, towards the end of 2019 and the start of 2020, it is predicted that we will see a lot more 5G handsets released- so keep an eye out!

Since the inception of first-generation networks in the 1980s, mobile networks have rapidly evolved to the 4G services we use today. The previous evolutions from 2G to 3G and 3G to 4G have primarily focused on faster data to fuel the rise of mobile broadband. Ultimately, what we are now experiencing with the shift from 4G to 5G is so much more than increased speeds but the creation of a new platform and opportunities for global markets within mobile applications.

For more information on our telephony packages for small businesses, contact Smart Numbers today.

5 Business Benefits Of Investing in Virtual Landline Numbers

In the past, businesses have been confined to operating solely in their local area but with the introduction of the virtual landline, these restrictions have become a thing of the past. Virtual landline numbers use call forwarding and IP telephony to ensure you can receive calls to your mobile wherever you are. Businesses are now able to use any area code number of their choice to put customers at ease and successfully operate in the region.

Businesses of all sizes can without a doubt benefit from investing in virtual landline numbers which is why here we will be discussing our top 5 benefits to help you understand how this service can help you grow!

Work vs Personal Life

Separating your work and personal life is a struggle for any business owner, particularly when it feels like you never switch off. The benefit of a virtual landline number is you can quite a literal turn off without turning off your phone and not only blocking out work but your friends and family. A virtual number ( )allows you to keep your personal number whilst being able to receive calls from your virtual numbers without customers having access to your personal phone. Plus, the system associated with your virtual number will allow you to control between which hours you can be contacted as well as setting up a business voicemail.

Say Goodbye to Installations

Hardware installations are a thing of the past with a virtual landline as this innovative system offers you and your business complete flexibility! No longer are you tied down to the office waiting for your new landline to be set up, as the system can be set up instantly to integrate both your mobile as well as your employees.

Operate Nationwide

Often businesses operate across the country but are not based locally to each region which is why a virtual landline number is so important. Wherever you are in the world, a local geo number can advertise you locally and put customers at ease- a perfect solution to businesses looking to expand their reach.

Enhance Your Phone System

Unlike traditional landline systems, a virtual number provides you with the opportunity to upgrade your businesses telephone system. Features such as call forwarding, email/SMS notifications, advanced customisation and conferencing are all easily integrated.


We all remember ‘118 247’ from the old Yell ad as well as Hastings Direct’s ‘0800 00 1066’ and it all comes down to having a memorable number. Whether it be a recognisable sequence of numbers or a number that holds relevance to your business name i.e. Hastings and the battle of Hastings in 1066, a memorable number can be an amazing advertising tool.

Without a doubt, businesses of all sizes can individually benefit from this innovative and effective upgrade that costs no more to set up that any local landline! Whether you are simply looking for a way to keep work and home separate or find a new means of expanding your business, the benefits of a virtual landline number are endless.

Hosted VoIP Telephony Vs. Landlines: How do they Compare?

Choosing a telecoms solution for your business can be a real challenge. When you are running a business, every penny counts. Keeping costs low whilst ensuring you have the infrastructure in place to make sure everything runs smoothly is a top priority. The choice you make on what type of phone system to use can have a huge impact on your operations and your bottom line, so it’s important to know the facts.

When it comes to business telephony there are two main choices. Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) or the more traditional landline. Here we will take a look at both options as well of some of the key differences between the hosted VoIP telephony and traditional landline so that you can make the best choice for your business.

What is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)?

VoIP is a telecoms technology that makes it possible to make and receive calls over the internet. The phones are connected to the internet using a broadband connection plugged into a computer or router. Phones powered by VoIP convert calls into digital signals without relying on the physical infrastructure of years gone by.

What are Landlines?

Landlines can be thought of as the traditional phone solution. Based on analogue technology developed at the end of the 1800s, they rely on signals sent through exchanges, or switch-boxes, that connect calls between phones.

Both Voice over Internet Protocol and landlines have their benefits and downsides. In order to work out the best fit solution for your business, it is useful to examine the two options side by side. Here are the top three areas to think about;


One of the key things to consider with any business decision is cost. Voice over Internet Protocol solutions offers significant savings in this area. Not only does a VoIP system eliminate the significant initial outlay of a landline solution with multiple phones and expensive hardware requirements; but it also reduces the service and maintenance costs that come with it.


Landlines do offer a bit more reliability than VoIP phones, however, this gap is rapidly closing. In order to minimise the difference, it’s important to have an understanding of both the VoIP provider’s internet speed requirements as well as the offering of your internet service provider.


VoIP phones offer a wide range of features as compared to landlines, which are generally limited to the basics. From the ability to facilitate remote working over a number of locations to automatic call forwarding and even virtual receptionists; the ever expanding capabilities of VoIP make it the clear winner in this respect.

For more information about the features, costs and reliability of Cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems or to get your business started, contact Smart Numbers on 03450 178 179.

How a landline number for mobile could improve your wellbeing at work

If you feel chained to your desk for fear of missing an important business call, a mobile landline number could make your job more flexible and satisfying.

Customers often perceive small businesses that use a landline number for mobile as being less trustworthy and professional. Whilst a fixed landline number looks more professional, it also ties you to your office, which can be demotivating and an inefficient way of working.

A mobile landline number offers the best of both worlds. A professional number that can be answered whilst on the move, from any location, using your mobile phone.

As well as making good business sense, a landline number for mobile could help to make your job more varied and interesting, improving your happiness and overall wellbeing at work.

How does flexible and remote working improve wellbeing?

The internet and modern technology make it easier than ever for people to work away from the office. As flexible and remote working opportunities become more readily available, many people are now discovering the benefits that flexible working can have on their wellbeing.

Here are some of the key ways that the flexibility offered by a mobile landline number could improve your wellbeing at work.

Peace of mind

Having a landline number for your mobile can reduce stress by offering you peace of mind that you’re not missing any important business calls, no matter where you are.

Time working away from the office

Spending too much time within your office’s four walls can be draining and demotivating. Having the option to work from a different location when you need a break can help you to feel more refreshed, inspired and motivated.

Makes meeting other commitments easier

Juggling a business and family life can be difficult. A virtual landline means that you won’t miss any important calls just because other commitments mean you can’t get into the office until later. Need to drop the kids at school, or take them for an appointment? No problem. A virtual landline makes it easier to work around family life, reducing stress and making your household an overall happier place.


Being able to answer calls whilst out and about also gives you more scope to make your job more varied and interesting. Client visits, industry conferences, and field research can all be seamlessly integrated into your working week without worrying about whether the phone will get answered back at the office. Adding more variation to your job can keep you feeling happy, fulfilled and motivated at work, as well as inspiring you to try new ideas and ways of working.

Getting set up with a virtual landline is easy too. You don’t need any special hardware or a physical phone line installed, because the service is built inside our network. That makes getting started completely hassle-free!

For more information about our phone numbers and call solutions, give our team of experts a call on 08450 178 179 and we’ll be happy to help.