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CLI Caller Display - Information and Advice

This page contains information on CLI, caller line identity.


What is CLI?

CLI is a service supplied by most phone providers, whereby your phone number is transmitted when you make a phone call. With a CLI-equipped phone (most mobiles have CLI), you can see who's calling before you answer.

This page also supplies details of how to get the convenience of CLI in your home, and not just on your mobile.

If you're looking to use Caller Display on your home phone line, you'll need to have your phone supplier enable this for you. If you're with BT, you can order this service online from, or call the customer services number on your bill. The cost is £1.75 per month, and this is reduced if you have another Select Service, such as call waiting, call sign, or call diversion.

Note: As of September 2005. Many domestic users can now get CLI for free - see


Some examples of CLI products

CLI and SMS phones

BT Relate SMS

A range of phones now support SMS text messaging as well as caller display. This allows you to send and receive text messages to and from your home landline - giving you the ability to use SMS text messaging without a mobile phone. There are a range of home phones that can now do SMS text, including some digital cordless handsets.

The BT Relate SMS handset (pictured) has a 3 line text display, new message indicator, stores 100 numbers, and is available for under £30 from

Cordless phones

BT Studio Cordless

A cordless phone adds a whole load of convenience, they're fairly cheap, and best of all, the newer range of digital cordless DECT phones don't suffer from the interference that old analogue cordless phones did. Many of the phones starting from the £40 mark come with Caller ID display, and the more expensive ones include answerphone, or the ability to store a name with the number, so you see a name when a call comes in.

Pictured is a BT Studio Digital Cordless, priced £55 from Argos, with a 10 number log, 14 hours talk time and a 50 metre indoor range

Recommended for a wide choice of cordless phones supporting CLI is It's also worth looking at

BT Caller Display 1000

BT Caller Display 1000

This small unit from BT shows if you've received new calls, stores the numbers of up to 40 calls received, shows the number of new calls received since you last viewed your calls list, displays the time, lets you dial selected stored numbers at the touch of a button without picking up the handset, and tells you when the batteries need replacing

This and other models are available from the Accessories section at

TrueCall - Filter nuisance calls

Truecall zaps nuisance calls

Sick and tired of nuisance calls disturbing your evening? This gadget, featured on the BBC Dragon's Den show, filters out unwanted calls, while letting your friends and family through. You can also use it to record phone calls and screen "number withheld" callers.

Available from - You can find out more on our TrueCall page

Picture Display on mobile phones

Series 60 caller display

See a picture of who's calling on your mobile with a Series 60 phone such as the Nokia N96, Nokia 5800 or Nokia N97. You can add a thumbnail picture of your friends (these phones can import JPG photos, or you can take a picture with the built-in digital camera). When a call comes in, the phone identifies the number, looks for the contact in the address book, then displays the name and photo. Nifty!

If you have a Symbian OS mobile phone, take a look at Full Screen Caller, which adds extra caller display features and the ability to view a full screen shot of the incoming caller. Runs on Nokia 7650, 3650, 6600 and N-Gage, plus Siemens SX1 and Sendo X. See our page on Symbian Smartphones

Talking Caller ID boxes

AML 182

AML 151Forget having to rush to your Caller Display phone to see who's calling, these two AML boxes read out the caller's details, and store date and time for those missed calls.

  • The AML 182 costs £35, has a 30 name and number directory, 20 number voice announcement directory, 99 call log and an LCD display
  • The AML 151 costs £20, stores the 10 most recent calls for audible review, has adjustable volume control and runs off mains or 3 x AAA batteries. It also synchronises its clock each time caller ID information is received.

Try Prezzybox and some of the other Gadget Shops for these boxes

TV Messenger

See who's calling...

TV MessengerNext time the phone rings when you're watching TV, there's no need to get up and miss your favourite show only to find it's someone trying to sell you double-glazing.
The TV Messenger connects your video and telephone and, if you have a caller display phone, it will display the caller's name and number on your TV. The caller directory can store up to 40 names and numbers, the Caller Log will store up to 99 calls, and it's even compatible with call waiting. See who's calling on your TV screen - you'll need CLI enabled (a small charge by BT)
Around £35 from Prezzybox

CLI codes

  • 1471 - Check the number of the last person to ring you. Add a "3" to call the last number
  • 141 - Dial before a phone number to withhold your number
  • 1470 - Dial before a number to allow your number to be sent even if your network normally withholds your number

Useful links

  • Pathway - Suppliers of a range of home and business CLI logging equipment. Log calls to your PC
  • BT Codes - Useful list of special BT short codes
  • BT Text - Information on getting text messages on your landline phone

Frequently asked questions

  • Q. How do I check who last called me?
    Dial 1471. A voice will read the phone number of the person that last tried to call you. This works unless a caller has chosen to withhold their number. This is a free service supplied by BT. If you choose to return a call by pressing '3', you'll be charged 7.5p
  • Q. What else does 1471 offer?
    A. Pressing "3" allows you to return a call. This will cost you 7.5p
  • Q. How do I change whether I withhold or transmit my phone number?
    A. You can choose to send or withhold sending your phone number on a per-call basis using the codes on this page.
    There's also the option to withhold sending your number on a permanent basis for all calls, by contacting your phone provider.
  • Q. How do I know if my CLI is turned on or off?
    A. The easiest way to check, is to place a test call, and then use 1471 from the phone that you dialled, to see if your number was withheld or not. You could try a test call to your home, work or mobile number, or call a friend and ask them to try a 1471 when you hang up.
  • Q. I'm worried about giving out my number to people. Can I stop junk calls?
    A. If you want to give out your number to people, but want control of how they use the number, consider getting a SkypeIn number from for a small one-off fee, to protect your main home number, and to screen unwanted calls - Calls get diverted to your PC or to voicemail.
  • Q. My mobile only displays the number of a caller, not the caller's name.
    A. This happens if the phone address book or SIM memory has the same phone number in twice - the phone can't make the decision, so defaults to showing just the number. The fix is to ensure that only one number is visible - perhaps you have someone's number in for their partner too, or perhaps you've set your handset to view address details from the phone's memory as well as from the SIM Card (which may also contain the number). Taken from our Mobile Phone FAQ
  • Q. How do I withhold my number on an Ericsson T68i?
    In Phone Book, highlight the number you want to call, Press the Option button (the smaller one between "1" and "YES"), select option 3. "Hide my number". Alternatively, dial 141 before the number.

Got a question? Please ask about Caller Display in our Telecoms forum

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