The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has announced that the mobile operators managed successfully to implement and activate the new plan to increase the length of the current mobile numbers from 10 to 11 digits Thursday 6/10/2011.
Dr Amr Badawi, the NTRA’s Executive President, that the mobile services were slightly affected last Thursday due to technical modifications implemented by the mobile operators for the new scheme activation. He stated that the this impact took place for just 2 hours, after which the mobile services were back to normal despite the huge technical difficulties that encountered the operators to execute the new scheme successfully over all the telecom network throughout Egypt at the same time and without causing the services to be badly affected.
Dr. Amr Badawi emphasized the fact that the three mobile operators provided their customers with approved, free and user-friendly software. The subscribers could, through this software, modify all their contact lists currently saved on their mobile sets. Mobinil provided its subscribers with “Felsaree3” application, Vodafone provided their customers with “Engezly” application and Etisalat provided their customers with “a Numbering Application (Ta3deel El-Arqam)” for that purpose.
Dr. Badawi said that the mobile operators will provide their iPhone customers with software and applications within the next few days to help them modify their contact lists saved on their sets.
He also highlighted the commitment of the 3 mobile operators to continue their advertising campaigns needed to raise the awareness of their subscribers of the necessity of changing their numbers as well as the commitment of all call centers and services of mobile operators to assist them in changing their contact lists. In addition, the customers could change their currently-saved contact lists manually.
Dr. Amr Badawi pointed out that the decision to increase the length of the mobile numbers was taken by the NTRA at the beginning of 2010. All the mobile Operators abided by this decision and its implementation within the framework of a scheme to increase the mobile numbering capacity. The reason for this was the near depletion of the numbering allocated to the mobile numbers, and the necessity of facing the persistent increase in the number of mobile subscribers (that exceeded 1 million subscribers monthly). 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 20 years. Eventually, this will enable the mobile operators to launch future mobile services during that period, hence contribute to the development of telecom sector in Egypt.
Dr. Badawi stated that 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 current scheme (10 digits) or the new scheme (11 digits). As the operators will guarantee that the calls will be terminated to the subscribers, this will ensure the stability of the telecom market and give them adequate time to change their contact lists.