The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has announced its plan to increase the length of the current mobile numbers from 10 to 11 digits by adding a fixed digit to every mobile Operator. Digit (2) will be added after (01) code for all the current numbers of Mobinil, digit (0) after (01) for all the current numbers of Vodafone, and digit (1) will be added after (01) code for all the current numbers of Etisalat Misr. The original mobile number will remain as it is. For instance, (010) code will be changed into (0100), (012) code into (0122) and (011) code will be changed into (0111).
Dr. Amr Badawy, the NTRA's Executive President, has said that the change in the length of the mobile number will not take place before next year after all Mobile Operators complete all their technical installations that ensure the safety and easiness of this change. Moreover, these installations will guarantee that no confusion will occur among the subscribers and that no calls will be missed. He referred to the fact that the increase in the mobile number will not take place overnight, rather it will take a period that exceeds one year. All the Mobile Operators shall launch the advertising campaigns needed to raise the subscribers' awareness, Dr. Amr Badawy has stated.
Dr. Amr Badawy has pointed out that the decision to increase the length of the mobile number is an obligatory decision the NTRA took and all Mobile Operators approved of. The reason for this has been the near depletion of the numbering allocated to the mobile numbers. In order to face the persistent increase in the number of mobile subscribers (that exceeds 1 million subscribers monthly) these measures have been taken. Furthermore, the usage of this means to increase the numbering will distinguish each Mobile Operator with a distinguished code. For example, (012) will be the distinguishing code of Mobinil, (010) code will be the distinguishing code of Vodafone and (011) code will be the distinguishing code of Etisalat Misr. In addition, (01) code will remain the distinguishing code of the mobile service and tariff in Egypt. This change will provide a numbering for the mobile numbers that encompass 1 billion numbers for the mobile subscribers for a period of time that exceeds 30 years.
Dr. Amr Badawy has stated that the implementation of this decision will take place pursuant to the internationally-acknowledged standards that maintain the stability of the telecom market and guarantee the access of all subscribers to calls. The change will not lead to the subscribers' loss of their numbers. Although the new system will require the increase in the length of the current number, this increase will take place by adding a fixed digit to the code of every Operator, while the remaining part of the current number will remain as it is. This will guarantee that the subscribers will maintain their current numbers. He has pointed out that the NTRA has obligated all mobile Operators to apply a transitional period ranging from three to four months after making the change. In that interval, calls will be terminated to the subscriber whether he makes the call through the current system (10 digits) or the new system (11 digits). In other words, the line will work during that transitional period with the two numbers operating together so that calls will be terminated to him through either of the two systems. It is worth mentioning that there will be a voice message that warns the subscriber in case there is an error in the connection during that transitional period.
Dr. Amr Badawy has stated that during the next two years (and until the Operator complete the implementation of the change) the NTRA will allocate numbers with the following codes for the new mobile subscribers: (0150) code for Mobinil, (0151) code for Vodafone and (0152) code for Etisalat Misr. Seven digits will be added to these prefixes, so that the whole number will be 11 digits. It is worth noting in this respect that allocation of (015) code does not contradict with the code of the subscribers of 10th Ramadan City. This is because they are occupying a different band within the code. Moreover, the NTRA will not allocate any mobile numbers with (013) code of Banha City.