Re: 08.. numbers
FFS go and do a little research before touting off this FUD.
"They basically appeared as mobile phones became ubiquitous,."
Utter bollocks, it's like saying the price of food has increased as more mobiles have appeared, they are not related in anyway. many actually cost the company money!.
The reason for the uptake is peoples demand for always on 24/7/365 services. Take a (basic call flow for us)
Dial a local number, ah it busy, try a different number as they may have a line issue (repeat 2 more times). hold on, it's a Sunday, different number, dial again....oh hold on it's a Sunday night not day, dial a different batch of numbers.
" they don't come under mobile contractual 'free minutes' (which includes the landline free 0800 but mobile still charges".
That's got fuck all to do with the owner of the 08 number, revenue / cost is in no way based on what device calls them, that's between the mobile Carrier and the Non-Geo operator, take it up with your mobile operator.
Now as SIP trunking is getting more widespread, there will be less need for Non-Geos as you can have Geo numbers in geo-separate locations, and for those who don't use this, there are 0345's. But do you know how hard it is to get people to change habits? We still have people dialing numbers we ceased 5 years ago!
If you are happy, I can give you 100% uptime with a non-geo (unless the provider fucks up) of maybe 99% uptime and you dialing up to 10 different numbers with a (Non-SIP) geo.