The mid 1980’s saw the introduction of domestic Premium Rate Services (PRS) in the UK telecommunications market. PRS are charged at a higher rate than standard calls and appear on a customer’s telephone bill, just as any other call would. They provided callers with services and information such as entertainment chat lines, competition hotlines and advice lines.

In 1997 Oftel set out a new numbering scheme as a result of rapid growth in demand for numbers, thereby presenting an opportunity to make it easier to identify different types of service and their tariffs. This change saw all PRS numbers adopting the 090 prefix, and those with sexual content using 0909. A subsequent review in 2005 provided a new, unique prefix, 098, to further clearly define and separate sexual entertainment services from other 090 content.