The 0500 Number Range: Decision to withdraw 0500 telephone numbers

Statement published 03|06|14

This document sets out Ofcom’s decision on the future of the 0500 telephone number range.

0500 is a Freephone number range. Like the better-known and more widely-used 080 Freephone numbers, 0500 numbers are used mainly to provide private- and public-sector voice services such as sales, enquiries and consumer helplines. However, in contrast to the 080 range, no new 0500 numbers have been released since 1997/98, and the use of existing 0500 numbers by organisations has been in decline for several years.

This document explains Ofcom’s decision to withdraw the 0500 number range from use in three years’ time - in particular, why we consider this will best serve the interests of consumers and organisations that use non-geographic numbers, while providing a ‘migration path’ for current users from 0500 to an alternative Freephone sub-range, 080 85.