Update: February 4th, 2010. This directory is no longer available
UK mobile phone numbers are now available in an online directory at http://www.118800.co.uk/, which claims to have 15m numbers in its database. 118 800 obtains the numbers from market research companies who contact individuals and ask if they would be prepared to allow their numbers to be used for commercial purposes, from online businesses who ask customers to opt in their numbers during the course of online transactions, and from brokers who buy and sell lists of phone numbers. To search for a number you just type the name and location of the person into the 118800 website. You may be asked to supply further address details to confirm the identity of the person you wish to contact. 118800 then texts the person you wish to contact asking them if they are prepared to accept the call. The service costs £1.
There have been serious concerns raised about this service and its potential use by spammers, and also about the accuracy of the data. See the BBC web site at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/working_lunch/8091621.stm and also 118 800: First UK mobile phone directory doesn’t connect with us – Crave at CNET UK
If you wish to be ex-directory, go to http://www.118800.co.uk/ then click on ‘Ex Directory’ at top right hand side of the page. You will be asked for your mobile number and to type in letters from a CAPTCHA (those horrible distorted letters and numbers that take at least three attempts before you get it right). You should then receive a text message from 118 800 with a number that you have to type into the 118 800 web site to complete your opt-out. The FAQ says that it can take up to 4 weeks to make you ex-directory (why so long?)
Thanks to Bert Washington, membership secretary of CLSIG (Commercial Legal and Scientific Information Group), for circulating a reminder about the directory.