The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has enacted a new national numbering plan, replacing the previous one with a view to ensuring effective management of numbers and electronic addresses.
The new plan, Bangladesh National Numbering Plan 2017, came into effect on July 31.
The telecom regulator will follow the plan in allocating mobile, PSTN and short code numbers, and in electronic addressing of network and application services for any entity including government and private.
The plan, however, mentioned that the national numbering plan would not be implemented effectively and fully unless it would be followed by state-owned Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited.
It said under the Bangladesh National Numbering Plan 2005, the incumbent and oldest PSTN operator, BTCL, had been allocated prefix 2 followed by its trunk/zone code.
The operator, however, is yet to implement the number scheme due to its conventional network infrastructure and absence of research and development for upgrading the existing equipment, it said.
BTRC officials said that the aim of the national numbering plan was to ensure efficient management and utilisation of number and electronic addresses and facilitation of new market entrants and technological development.
The aim of the plan is also to ensure that a reasonable capacity of numbers and electronic addresses are kept in reserve for potential new services and to ensure the future expansion of numbering requirements, they said.
The plan could be revised or updated in every five years as per the plan.
Earlier, the telecom regulator in 2005 formulated the previous Bangladesh National Numbering Plan for a period of 25 years.
Bottlenecks in the numbering plan were among other reasons for the formulation of a fresh numbering plan before completion of 25 year, the officials said.
As the number plan was not followed properly by the telecom regulator due to government organisations’ requirements for allocating specific short-codes/numbers which were out of the national numbering plan.
The telecom regulator formed a high-powered committee this year with a view to streamlining and updating the national numbering plan in light with the present context where number has become a critical factor.
The number crisis was first raised by Grameenphone when it applied to the BTRC seeking new number series in 2016.
It has been requesting the regulator to allocate a new number series as it has been struggling to sell new number due to shortage of number.
Among the mobile operators, Grameenphone is using 017 series, Citycell 011 series, Teletalk 015, Airtel 016, Robi 018 and Banglalink 019.
The Bangladesh National Numbering Plan has ten prefixes for mobile operators. Of which, 010, 012, 013 and 014 are yet to be issued to any operator.
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