Short numbers

There are two types of short numbers: those used for services based on the telephone service and those used for SMS/MMS content services offerings.

Short numbers 1xx

In principle, short numbers consist of three digits (which can be appended with one or two extra digits), the first of which is a 1 (format=1xx). These numbers are assigned to emergency call, rescue and breakdown services, safety information services and special services.

The directory enquiry services (format 18xy)

Since 1 January 2007, national and international directory enquiry services can only be reached through 18xy numbers.

European harmonised services numbers (116xyz format)

OFCOM is making available the short numbers in the 116xyz format. These numbers are reserved, as in the rest of Europe, for free telephone services providing support and assistance to the population.

Carrier Selection Code (free choice of provider)

Use of a carrier selection code (CSC) allows subscribers to freely choose their provider for national or international calls. CSCs are composed of 5 digits and are allocated by OFCOM to telecommunication services providers.

Short numbers for SMS and MMS services

Short numbers (3-5 digits) allow users to access content services (generally fee-paying) via SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging System) services. These numbers are assigned by the telecommunication services providers directly to the content providers. Although SMS and MMS services are traditionally offered on mobile telephony networks, they are increasingly being offered on fixed telephony networks.

Specialist staff
Last modification 19.08.2022

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