18 July 2012
New numbers on the horizon
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has made three changes to the Telecommunications Numbering Plan 1997 (the Plan).
- supplement the supply of digital mobile numbers with a new prefix starting with ‘05’
- supplement the supply of geographic numbers in regional areas where the existing supply is expected to be exhausted within 20 years
- remove the geographic sectors around five capital cities.
The ‘05’ prefix provides long term certainty for the supply of mobile numbers. Once numbers starting with ‘04’ are exhausted–as early as 2017 based on current demand–allocation and use of the ‘05’ prefix can begin.
‘Demand for mobile numbers is being driven by new technologies like internet capable smart phones, tablets and machine to machine communications, ‘said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. ‘The ACMA estimates an additional 100 million numbers will be needed to provide an adequate supply for more than 20 years.’
Supplementing the supply of geographic numbers in a number of regional areas will complete the ACMA’s plan to guarantee there is an adequate supply of numbers in every geographic area in Australia for the next 20 years. The ACMA’s plan is based on number run-out analysis it conducted last year.
The removal of geographic sector boundaries from around five capital cities will allow providers greater flexibility to use geographic numbers across wider geographic areas. This change reflects current trends in the use of numbers and assists in conserving the existing supply of geographic numbers. This change has no implications for untimed local calling.
To avoid customer confusion, the ACMA is proposing the removal of a small largely redundant ‘0550’ Location Independent Communications Services (LICS) number range which is located in the middle of the ‘05’ number block. The ACMA will consult with the small number of providers and consumers that may be affected over the next five years.
The variation Telecommunications Numbering Plan Variation 2012 (No. 1) follows public consultation on the paper Numbering variation 2012—understanding its effect on numbering, which was released on 20 December 2011.
The decision to make these changes outlined completes the implementation of five matters that the ACMA announced on 11 October 2011. These matters had been explored through the course of the numbering work program and consultation with the Numbering Advisory Committee (NAC) which was established under section 58 of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.