Next Generation Text Service
What is NGT?
Next Generation Text Relay, or NGT, is the service provided by BT which replaced the old text relay service in 2014. NGT means that text relay is available from mobiles and other mainstream devices, although textphones can still be used if you prefer. NGT enables relay operator assisted calls as well as text to text calls.
How NGT works
You can choose to manage a phone call in a number of ways:
- Type and read
- Speak and read
- Type and hear
- Speak and hear
The relay assistant is there to facilitate your call. They take no part in the conversation and your conversation is completely confidential. If you are using text to text, you will not need the services of the relay assistant.
The new service uses devices such as internet connected smartphones, tablets, computers and laptops for the text part of a relay call, which allows communication when people are out and about and so is not restricted to land line use only.
To use NGT on a computer, tablet or smartphone you will need to download an app (a small piece of software) called NGT Lite. This is free and works with your phone (landline or mobile), tablet or computer to provide the text connection in parallel with the phone call you make through NGT.
To use NGT on a computer, tablet or smartphone you will need to download an app (a small piece of software) called NGT Lite. This is free and works with your phone (landline or mobile), tablet or computer to provide the text connection in parallel with the phone call you make through NGT. From the 26th April 2016, a new version of NGT Lite will be available to download from the Google Play store (for Android users), the Apple App Store and the NGT website. It is important that if you have an older version of the app installed on your internet enabled smartphone, tablet or computer that you update your app as older versions of the NGT Lite app will cease to work at this time. For Android Users who are running version 4.0 (also known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’) you will need to update to the latest version of Android before the new NGT Lite app will be supported. Some devices will update the app automatically but to check that you have the latest version, select ‘Options’ then ‘Help’ in the NGT Lite app.
The latest releases are:
- Android version 1.52
- iOS version 1.51
- Windows version 1.50
The new version of NGT Lite includes important security and stability updates as well as enhancing compatibility with Android 6.0 (also known as ‘Marshmallow’). If you need more help or are having problems installing the NGT Lite app, please visit the NGT website or you can contact the NGT Helpdesk on 0800 7311 888 from a mobile or landline telephone, or call 0800 500 888 from a textphone or if using your NGT Lite app.
What numbers do I have to dial to include NGT in a phone call?
If you are a regular user of NGT and want people calling you to be able to use the service, you can now link any phone number you have to a text number – this looks like a standard phone number and starts with either 03 for landlines or 07 for mobiles.
You can give your TextNumber to anyone, such as your friends, family, bank, gas or electricity supplier. Then, when they use your TextNumber to call you, it will connect via NGT, and you can answer the call on either a textphone or internet-connected device.
Using the prefix 18002 will still work if you don’t yet have a text number.
As a text user, if you want to make a call using NGT you will need to dial the 18001 prefix to the phone number you are calling.
For more information about how to download the app and make and receive calls via NGT , see the NGT website.
Devices that support NGT
There are various devices that support NGT. Some mobiles and tablets enable you to make the phone call and follow the text using the same device. For other computers, smartphones and tablets the NGT Lite app will deliver the text part of the phone call, while a separate phone line (landline or mobile) makes the voice connection.
NGT Lite is available on a number of platforms - you can find out more on the NGT website.
It is important to check if your existing device supports NGT or if you are buying a new device for this purpose. The NGT website has some information, you can ask BT’s NGT helpdesk, or ask the mobile seller.
Can I use NGT with a braille device?
If you currently have a set up that enables you to use a braille device to make and receive phone calls, this will still work.
Sense is aware that a number of people have found it difficult to use the NGT Lite app with a braille device, and we don’t believe the app is currently accessible to braille users. We are working with BT and Ofcom to find a solution to this.
How much does NGT cost?
NGT is free, however you will still need to pay for the phone call. Your phone company is obliged to apply a special tariff to recognise that text calls may take longer. Each phone company meets this obligation in different ways – more information can be found on the UK Council on Deafness (UKCoD) website or from your phone provider.
You can view the Next Generation Text user guide on the NGT website.
First published: Wednesday 23 May 2012
Updated: Wednesday 4 May 2016