What are NGN Numbers and Why Use Them?

NGN numbers, or non-geographic numbers, are phone numbers that may be used nationwide as they are not associated with any specific location. The numbers are often used for businesses or Government agencies.

What are NGN Numbers?

1800, 1850, 1890 & 0818 numbers are collectively known as non-geographic numbers.  The reason for this is because they are not associated with any part of the country.

Businesses who wish to enhance their national presence like to use these numbers in order to attract clients from all over the country.  Unlike geographic numbers such as 021 or 061, which ties a business to that location (such as Cork or Limerick), non-geographic numbers signal a willingness to handle inquiries from any location countrywide.

How do these numbers work?

Non-geographic numbers are virtual numbers.  This means that there is no need for a physical line to be installed by Eir.  When a company decides to host a non-geographic number, they nominate another number on which they are going to take the calls.  This can be either a landline or a mobile and is referred to as the termination number.  This means that a virtual line can be set up within a matter of hours.  However, it is worth mentioning that it is more costly to terminate calls on a mobile than on a landline.  Clients usually get online access to the telecoms platform and this allows them to change the termination number at an instant, hence they are very flexible and user friendly.

What is the difference between each of these numbers?

1800 Numbers – 1800 numbers are the most popular and well known of all four.  It is also known as a Freephone Number.  Freephone numbers are totally free to the person calling the number which means that the company hosting the 1800 number picks up the tab.  The reason why companies host such numbers is because they recognise the benefit of facilitating their clients to make contact with them and in turn hopefully generate sales.  Companies who deliver excellent customer service and whose target market are the general public will tend to pick a 1800 number.  A 1800 number can only be called from the Republic of Ireland.

1850 Numbers – 1850 numbers can also be referred to as Callsave Numbers.  A 1850 number is less expensive to host than a 1800 number because some of the cost of the call is paid by the person calling the number.   1850 numbers are still well recognised by the general public.  A callsave number can only be called from within the Republic of Ireland.

1890 Numbers –  1890 numbers are also referred to as Lo-Call Numbers.  Businesses whose target market are other businesses tend to favour using a 1890 number.  This is referred to as Business to Business or B2B.   The cost to the caller of making a call to a 1890 number is the same as a local call rate.  A Lo-Call number can only be dialled from within the Republic of Ireland.

0818 Number – The least known of all of these numbers is what is referred to as a Universal Number.  The reason it is called ‘universal’ is because it can be called from anywhere in the world.  This is the cheapest option for companies to host a non-geographic number but it is not widely recognised.  If a company is looking to do business outside of Ireland, it may consider hosting a 0818 number.

What are Vanity Numbers?

Vanity numbers are numbers which are easily remembered and distinctive.  They can be a powerful marketing tool.  Examples of companies who regularly use these numbers are taxi firms and takeaway restaurants but they may be used by any business sector.  The number may be memorable because it repeats a certain sequence of numbers (1800 848 848) or because it reflects the name of the company (Eight Twenty Cabs 01 820 2020).  A radio station may have their frequency incorporated in their telephone number (1850 102 102).  The cost of hosting a vanity number is usually more expensive than other numbers as there is likely to be more demand for these numbers.

What Are The Main Benefits of Hosting a Non-Geographic number?

  1. Illusion of Size – Businesses may use non-geographic numbers to enhance their national presence.
  2. Ease of Memory – A vanity number may result in a greater number of sales inquiries as it is easily remembered.
  3. Tracking Sales Inquiries – If a dedicated number is used as part of a marketing campaign, it is easy to monitor the success of the campaign.
  4. Flexibility – Because companies can change the termination number in an instant, calls can be redirected to where the resources are located.
  5. Cost Effective – By picking the correct non-geographic number for your business and the termination number, you can control the costs of hosting a virtual line.