BT is facing competition on its directory enquiries service from German firm Telegate, which will open a call centre in Scotland creating 400 jobs to run a rival operation.
Oftel confirmed on Wednesday that BT would lose its monopoly for providing directory enquiry services in order to promote greater innovation, lower prices and an improved quality of service.
A report from the telecoms watchdog showed that competition in countries abroad resulted in wider-ranging services, leaving the UK's offering looking "antiquated" by comparison.
Following the changes, 192 will be replaced with a new five digit number beginning with 118.
Telegate said that it will be ready to launch the rival service next Spring and hopes to quickly win a fifth of the market. It will initially open a call centre in Dumfries, Scotland, and claims to have already been trialling its service.
Chief executive Dr Klaus Harisch said: "Telegate is dedicated to shaking up the UK directory enquiries market. In a monopoly environment, standards of service are inevitably low.
"Telegate's track record speaks for itself. In Germany, we took on the incumbent directory provider and built up considerable market share in double quick time."
Planned services from Telegate include delivering numbers via phone, fax, email and SMS, as well as a call back service and routing callers directly to the number requested.
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