Last updated: 13 July 2015
Non-geographical codes are used in Brazil to identify telephone numbers that are reachable across all of Brazil, with specific regulations and uses for each category. In this article we will present an overview and the procedures to get non-geographical codes in Brazil.
According to ANATEL, the Brazilian Telecommunications Agency, a non-geographical code identifies a network terminal used to provide a landline connection under specific conditions of service. The numbers are accessible for callers across Brazil without the need for the additional area code. They are composed of a ten digit number, in which the first three identify the kind of service it provides.
The prefixes are used in the numbers in order to provide multiple services, such as consumer service or donation intentions, that are charged specifically according to each one. Most of them were introduced by directives from ANATEL, with the exception of the 0800 prefix that came before the foundation of the agency. The 4000 prefix was introduced by company Embratel in the early 2000s in order to substitute the 0800 in some locations, since calls with this prefix can be blocked by mobile phone users.
The 4000 prefix is also considered to be non-geographical, although 4003 is only available for callers in state capitals and metropolitan regions. The 4004 and 3003 prefixes have the same purposes and are available nationwide. The former is not available anymore due to the shortage of possible number combinations, which led to the introduction of the 3003 prefix. For all numbers with the 4000 and 3000 prefixes, the charges are the same as a local call.
A table with the prefixes and their purposes can be found in this article.
Billing on non-geographical codes
Since each code provides different services, the non-geographical prefix categories are charged accordingly. Calls for these numbers are usually charged after 60 seconds, but not before it completes 30 seconds of the call. In case of the 0800 prefix they are charged 3 seconds after the automatic recording.
- According to the provider, calls to the 0300 prefix have a single national fee per minute of BRL 0.051 for landlines and between BRL 0.60 and BRL 0.67 for mobiles, independent of time, local or destination. The owner of the code doesn’t get any part of the charges paid by the caller, which go directly to the service provider
- Calls to the 0500 prefix costs BRL 0.39 per minute when the call is made from a landline and BRL 0.71 from a mobile phone. The cost must be paid by the caller no matter of the donation amount or intention registered
- Fees to 0800 calls are set according to the distance and area codes, following the same charging rules for collect calls, being payed by the receiver
- For 0900 prefixes, the callers are charged for the landline service, whether for local or long distance calls, and additionally for the telecommunication service, such as chat rooms, advertisements and sales. These types of calls, if callers fail to pay for the telephone bill, their line is not cancelled, but the added value service provider is allowed to take the necessary legal measures to assure the service’s payment
- For all numbers with 4000 and 3000 prefixes, charges are the same as a local call
Providers of non-geographical codes
Telephone service providers such as GVT and Embratel offer concessions for numbers with non-geographical prefixes, and provide them under specific terms and conditions according to each case. Usually, numbers with the prefix 4000 are given to larger companies, since the price is higher and only compensates when it has a large number of clients. It is attributed to ANATEL the regulation over the destination of these numbers.
The companies who own the numbers and receive calls usually pay a minimum monthly fee between BRL 200 and BRL 800 depending on the prefixes, but can be higher according to the consumption. There is also a secondary market for numbers that have already been purchased, which is considered legal. There numbers are usually sold with a calling plan by determined companies, where the prices tend to be lower than regular telephone providers.