General FAQs

Can I use my Android or Surface tablet with NGT?

If your tablet is running the Android 4.1 or later, or it can run Java 1.7 or later NGT Lite should work. Click here for more information about using tablets with NGT.

Does the NGT convert spoken words to text?

No, if you want to read the other person's words they have to use a relay assistant who will type what they say.

What does NGT Lite mean for organisations employing deaf people?

The NGT Lite is designed for individual phone users to use with standard phones. Organisations that use business switches need to talk to their switch provider about supporting the needs of their employees. Click here for more information for business users.

What's 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi?

3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi are different ways a computer, smartphone, or tablet can connect to the Internet. 3G and 4G are the mobile networks, they can be used when you're out and about, they're used by smartphones to connect to the Internet and make phone calls. Wi-Fi is a connection to the Internet that your computer, tablet, or smartphone can use when you're indoors e.g. at home, at work, or in a coffee shop.

What's a smartphone and an app?

A smartphone is a mobile phone that can run small programmes called apps. Smartphones are made by different manufactures such as Apple, HTC, Google. There are four main types of smartphone Android, iPhone, Windows, and Blackberry. The NGT Lite works with the latest version of Android and an iPhone app will be available in June. We are looking at how other types of smartphone can work with NGT.

Will NGT work with my Braille reader?

If you can use your Braille reader with Text Relay you will be able to use it with NGT. We are looking to work with the manufactures of devices like Braille reader so that they can improve the way their devices make and receive phone calls.

Will a Blackberry or Windows Phone work with NGT?

NGT Lite isn't currently supported on Blackberry and Windows Phones and we're not planning to release these versions of the app at the moment. We do however regularly review app availability with different smartphones and so this may change in the future.

Will my Android phone or tablet work with NGT?

Your Android phone or tablet must be running Android 4.1 which is also called "Jelly Bean" or later. To find which version of Android your phone is running open Settings, About, Software information

While the relay assistant typing speed will be unchanged if you use NGT Lite to speak direct to the other person the call will be quicker and flow more freely because you don't need to wait for them to finish what they're saying. Also if the other person has not understood what you're saying they can tell you while you're saying it rather than having to wait for you to finish.

Why don't I connect to text relay when calling some 0845 numbers?

Some government departments have changed their phone numbers from 0845 to 0345. If you dial the 0845 number NGT Relay Assistant may not be connected because a message is being played that we can't detect. If this is the case you'll see NGT ring NGT number unobtainable. If this happens try redialling the number using the 0345 dial code instead.

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Phone calls

Can I make a call from another person's phone e.g. a phone in a family member's house?

Yes, as long as it's a standard telephone line it will be covered by the UK regulations. You can use any phone line that can dial the 18001 prefix. This could be your home, an office, or a mobile phone.

Can I use the NGT with Skype?

No. Skype isn't covered by the UK regulations so it is unlikely they will allow their customers to make calls using the NGT. However you can call a Skype user through NGT if they have a Skype Number.

Do I have to get my phone service from BT?

No, you can get your phone service from any UK fixed or mobile provider. All telephone service providers must provide access to NGT as currently it's the only Ofcom approved text relay service.

When my phone rings can I tell if it's a call through NGT?

Yes. When you open NGT Lite it shows any calls you can join. If there's no call listed then the caller has dialled your phone number direct and not through NGT.

Which Comms Providers provide access to text relay?

All UK Comms Providers are required under Ofcom's General Conditions of Entitlement to provide access to a text relay service for their customers.

Why do I still need a phone line, I thought Next Generation Text Relay would allow me to use it directly from the Internet?

The NGT uses your phone to make and receive calls. NGT is part of your phone service which means that you don't need to sign an additional contract with a separate relay provider. By using standard phone services your telephone service provider can offer you the same calls packages as other phone users e.g. free weekend calls, free anytime, and bundled offerings like broadband with calls and Wi-Fi when you're out.

Also by using a phone line in parallel with an Internet connection we guarantee the voice quality for text users with some hearing and when someone calls you any alerting device on your phone will be triggered e.g. house lights flash, phone vibrates, pager vibrates, etc.

Will VoIP providers have to provide access to the NGT?

VoIP lets you use an Internet connected computer or tablet to make calls without having a telephone line. There are basically two types of VoIP service:

- the first only lets you talk to people who are using the same VoIP system, and doesn't let you make or receive phone calls,
- with the second type you are given a phone number that other phone users can dial and you can make phone calls to any phone number.

The NGT is compatible with the second type of VoIP service however the providers of these services might not be covered by the UK regulations that apply to telephone services so there is no guarantee that they will allow access to NGT.

Will this make it easier for me to speak to friends who also have a textphone?

We have improved the way that text-to-text conversations work so that you can make a 18001 call and if another text-user answers you'll be able to have completely private text-to-text conversations without the need for a relay assistant in the call. This will work if you're both using textphones, both using NGT Lite, or you're using a textphone and they're using NGT Lite.

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Help and complaints

I have a problem with my phone bill, who do I call?

You need to contact your telephone service provider. There will be a phone number on your phone bill.

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Updated: 14 July 2016