The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has announced that Friday March 23, 2012 will be the date of the operation cessation of the old Numbering scheme (10 digits). In case the call is made as per the old numbering scheme, the caller will not be able to make and terminate his call. Instead he will get a voice alert that alerts and warns him of an error in the call connection and the necessity of correcting it by adding another digit and try again to make the call.
It is worth mentioning that the NTRA, within the framework of a scheme to increase the mobile numbering capacity, added a fixed digit to the numbers of every mobile operator.
This scheme was implemented successfully on October 6, 2011. Hence, the NTRA obligated all mobile Operators to have an adequate transitional period of not less than four months. In this interval, calls will be terminated to the subscriber whether the call is made through the old scheme (10 digits) or the new one (11 digits). This will ensure that the subscribers will be aware and informed of the new scheme, enabling them to change their contact directory list, guaranteeing the call termination and preservation of the telecom market stability during the transitional period.
Dr. Amr Badawi, NTRA’s Executive President, has stated that setting a date for ending the transitional period (that is, Friday March 23, 2012) took place after reaching an agreement with all telecom operators and after carrying out all procedures of technical control of the mobile subscribers’ outgoing traffic from subscribers as per the old scheme (10 digits) and the new one (11 digits) the percentage of calls along the (11). In addition, this will be implemented after it has been ensured that more than 80% of the outgoing traffic took place as per the new scheme (11 digits), and after fixating the percentage during last month. Dr. Badawi has highlighted the fact that the cessation of the transitional period is a necessity urgently needed by mobile operators. The mobile lines operate during the transitional phase with two numbers and mobile operators are obligated to connect and terminate calls to the two numbers during the that period, and provide the caller with a voice alert or message. All this has augmented the technical burdens incurred by the mobile networks during the previous period.
Dr. Amr Bandai has also called upon the subscribers who have not yet changed the numbers of their contact lists to change them immediately before the set deadline. He has stressed the commitment of the three mobile operators to continue their advertising campaigns needed to raise the subscribers’ awareness of the necessity of changing their numbers as well as assist them with all technical means to change them easily, providing them with any software they need. In addition, the operators should ensure that the caller gets voice alert or message that alerts and warns him in case he makes the call as per the old scheme.
It is worth mentioning in this respect that the decision to increase the length of the mobile numbers is mandatory and has been implemented successfully. The reason for this has been the necessity to face the persistent increase in the number of mobile subscribers. This has led to the provision of a distinguished prefix. Furthermore, the usage of this scheme will increase the mobile numbering capacity by 1 billion numbers and meet the mobile service requirements for a period of time that exceeds 30 years.