has produced these guidelines to provide range holders with further
clarification on what it considers to be acceptable use of 070 numbers.
They do not fetter the Director General's discretion in dealing with
future cases involving the use of the 070 range.
these guidelines are welcome and, if appropriate, may be reflected
in any future revision.
1. This guidance
provides further clarification on what Oftel considers to be acceptable
use of 070 numbers. It does not replace the National Telephone Numbering
Plan, nor Condition 17 of the General Conditions, but provides additional
guidance for range holders and their sub-allocatees in response
to recent cases and enquiries about whether a particular service
2. This guidance
Telephone Numbering Plan
3. The National
Telephone Numbering Plan ('the Plan') states that there are three
essential requirements re use of 070 Telephone Numbers:
- A Personal Number is defined in the 'Definitions and Interpretation'
Section of the Plan and Part A1 states that 070 is set aside for
- Part B3.2 states that the numbers from the 070 range must not
be used for Premium Rate Services (defined in the 'Definitions and
Interpretation' Section of the Plan); and
- Part B3.2 further states that those adopting Personal numbers
must not share with End-Users any revenue obtained from providing
a Personal Numbering Service (End-User is defined in Part 1 of the
General Conditions - see paragraph 8 below).
use of 070 numbers
4. The 070 range
shall only be used for Personal Numbering Services. A Personal Number
is defined in the Plan as a Telephone Number "assigned by a
Personal Numbering Service Provider, which allows a Subscriber to
receive calls or other communications at almost any Telephone Number,
including a Mobile Number"
the Numbering Conventions had stated that 070 numbers were "suitable
for users who habitually move location", but this was not a
requirement or prohibition so this phrase does not appear in the
Plan. Additionally, the length of time for which an 070 number is
active is not a relevant consideration in deciding whether or not
it is a legitimate Personal Numbering Service.
for assessing appropriate use
6. Recent examples
of services that do not fit the traditional model but that Oftel
considers to be legitimate Personal Numbering Services include:
· 070 numbers allocated to users of Internet chatrooms who
want to talk to new acquaintances without divulging their real phone
· 070 numbers allocated to hospital patients so that they
can have their own number for the duration of their stay.
7. Oftel has
identified the following criteria which it considers are shared
by all Personal Numbering Services. In addition to the rules set
out in the Plan, Oftel will use these criteria to judge whether
a service being offered on an 070 number is a Personal Numbering
Service for the purposes of the Plan.
Numbering service benefits the person being called
is a term defined in the General Conditions, but for the purposes
of Personal Number it is the person being called, and not the caller,
that is relevant. Personal Numbers can be used to offer a variety
of services. What these different uses have in common is that they
offer a service to the person being called.
which allocate 070 numbers with the intention that the calling party
sets the number to be called, rather than the receiving party, are
not therefore Personal Numbering Services. If the end user is not
aware that he or she has been allocated an 070 number, benefit does
not accrue to the person being called but to the caller and this
is not an acceptable use of the 070 range as defined in the Plan.
The end user
must be in charge of the destination number
Personal Numbers were originally designed for people who habitually
move location this is not an essential characteristic.
what all Personal Numbering Services have in common is that it must
be the called party who decides which destination the 070 number
is routed to. Additionally, if the service that is being offered
is the facility to be reached at any chosen destination then the
end user must be in charge of changing as well as allocating the
material must reflect the key characteristics of a Personal Numbering
Service as set out above.
13. For example,
it is not acceptable to promote 070 numbers as a way of making (as
opposed to receiving) international calls.
material or instructions for use may determine whether a particular
service constitutes a Personal Numbering Service. In other words,
the difference between appropriate and inappropriate use may hinge
on the way it is advertised.
15. If the service
has the functionality to be used as a Personal Numbering Service,
but users are not aware of this functionality, then they will not
be able to use it as such. It cannot therefore be considered a Personal
Numbering Service. If the service is designed for people who move
location, for example, service providers must ensure that instructions
for changing the destination number are clear and that every customer
of Personal Numbers
16. The use
of 070 numbers for administration of individuals' Personal Numbers
does not constitute a Personal Numbering Service in itself.
17. It is not
acceptable for service providers to use a single, generic 070 number
(ie where everyone dials the same 070 number to access the service)
for allocation or management (ie changing the destination number)
of other 070 numbers. For generic access to a Personal Numbering
Service, an 070 number must not be used. Other ranges (08, or 09,
depending on price point) or geographic numbers should be used.
the two principles set out above, the benefit (ie being able to
receive a Personal Number or change a destination number) accrues
to the calling party and not the end user. While it may be argued
that the end user has control over the destination number - the
other of the key criteria - Oftel does not consider that the range
holder or sub allocatee can also be the end user of an 070 number.
service providers may enable each customer to manage his 070 number
(ie changing the destination number) by calling the same 070 number,
ie his individual number. In this case, the calling party and the
end user are actually the same person. Therefore the benefit of
this service does accrue to the end user of the number, and the
end user is in control of the number. As it meets both of the criteria
above, Oftel considers that this use constitutes an element of a
legitimate Personal Numbering Service.
for sub-allocated numbers
17.8 of the General Condition states that:
Provider shall take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that
its Customers, in using Telephone Numbers, comply with the provisions
of this Condition, where applicable, and the provisions of the National
Telephone Numbering Plan."
if sub-allocatees or resellers are not complying with rules it is
the range holder's responsibility to ensure that this is remedied.
It is therefore in range holders' interests to ensure that resellers
are aware of these obligations or to demonstrate why it is not reasonable
for them to so do. This should be clear from the Numbering Plan
that range holders are required to have by Condition 17.4.