Sunday, October 27, 2013

Landline telephones to have 10 digit numbers

The fixed and limited mobility phone numbers – like the mobile numbers – will soon have 10 digits from the next fiscal year.
As the telecom regulator is going to review the existing telephone numbering system under the new National Numbering Plan (NNP), all the telephone lines – popularly known as landlines or fixed lines – in the country will have 10 digits.
Currently, fixed line and limited mobility services like the ones provided by United Telecom Ltd (UTL) have nine-digit phone numbers including the area code.
"It will not only standardise the numbering system but also support growth and development of the telecommunications sector, according to the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA).
"The 10-digit landlines number will start from 20, whereas limited mobility phones will start from 24, telephone numbers of Rural Telecommunication Services will start from 29, fixed wireless phones will start from 22 and IP Telephony will start from 21," the authority said, adding that the mobile phone numbers, however, will remain unchanged as they are already having 10 digits. "But, they will have two-digit operator code."
Nepal Telecom has been using 4, 5 and 6 as operator code at present.
Similarly, Ncell has 0 and 1, whereas Smart Telecom recently received 9 as its operator code.
The telecom authority has only four operator codes remaining at its existing system. "It will be difficult for the authority to assign codes to new operators,” the NTA said, adding that the change – two-digit operator code – will give enough space for the new operators. "Otherwise, the existing single-digit operator code allows operators to distribute 10 million lines from each code."
Earlier, a team led by telecom expert on national numbering Gyanendra Man Baidhya had recommended to the NTA to implement a new numbering system with 10-digit numbers.
The six telecom service providers – Ncell, NT, Smart Telecom, UTL, Nepal Satellite Telecom and CG Communications – in the country have the potential to serve more than 50 million subscribers under the existing numbering system. "But the capacity will increase to over 200 million giving enough room for another three decades of expansion.
The telecom regulator will give the operators six months to switch to the new numbering plan that has plans to charge the operators for the numbers allocated to operators by separating them into commercial lines and non-commercial lines. It will help best utilise scarce numbering and discourage operators from hoarding numbers. Bangladesh and Pakistan have been charging per subscriber fees from their operators annually.

No comments: