In 1876 a Scottish inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, made the first successful communication over the phone with his assistant in a next door room. Just a few years later, in 1881 in the UK the National Telephone Company was established to oversee localised telephone landline services across the country. Telecommunication industry grew rapidly after The World War I, which led to the development of infrastructure and popularisation of landline services. Back then, a price of a single telephone unit was pretty high, therefore phone centres have been created in major UK cities in order to streamline the calling process. The National Telephone Company maintained monopoly until the 1980s. Since then, the competition on the market started to grow, which resulted in multiple changes in the telecommunication industry. In 2003 The Office of Communication (Ofcom) was created to monitor compliance with telecommunication laws and act as a governing body for broadcasting, telecommunication and postal industries. Currently, millions of people around the world use regular telephones and smartphones on a daily basis. According to Ofcom, as of 2016 94% of UK adult residents owned and used mobile phones and 76% of them used smartphones. There are over 33 million active landlines and 92 million mobile subscriptions. Due to a growing number of residential and business real estate developments 2016 saw 1.3% increase in the number of newly-created landlines which have arbitrarily assigned area codes. Historically, an area code used to reflect the geography from where the call is originating or where it is going to. Currently, area codes are assigned basing on a set of complex rules established and maintained by UK's Office of Communication.
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