Arcep announces plans to open up the 07 block of numbers progressively, for use by mobile services

Paris, 27 January 2009

In his speech on 22 January, Arcep Chairman, Mr. Jean-Claude Mallet, announced "the launch of a change in the mobile numbering plan as we will be adding numbers starting with 07. Why? Because we are running out of numbers starting with 06, which is further proof of the ongoing popularity of cellular telephony".

This decision in principle comes on the heels of the public consultation that the Authority launched last November on future mobile numbering requirements, and the need to introduce 07 numbers for use by mobile services.

The objective of the consulation was twofold:

- first, to take an inventory of the consumption and use of allocated 06 numbers, and to obtain the operators' views on their future mobile number requirements;
- and, second, to assess the need to open up added numbering resources.

  • Only 10 million 06 numbers still available

The inventory of mobile number consumption revealed that there are currently only 10 million numbers starting with 06 still available, of a total 100 million.

The feedback provided by mobile operators in their responses to this public consultation confirmed the need to open up an added block of numbers for mobile services in the very near future. These numbering requirements are the result of three phenomena in particular:

- the rising number of mobile subscribers;
- the fact that some own more than one handset;
- the development of machine-to-machine communications for which the addressing solutions planned for these machines using numbers other than mobile numbers will not be available for several years yet.

  • In the coming weeks, ARCEP will consult with the competent committees

To be able to satisfy all of these needs, the Authority will propose the progressive introduction of the block of 10-digit numbers starting with 07 for the supply of mobile services, starting in the first half of 2010. This block of 07 numbers will be subject to the same terms of use as those that apply to 06 numbers: operators will be able to use 06 and 07 numbers indifferently, with no effect on consumers.

Before issuing a decision that will alter the national numbering plan, Arcep will consult with the Electronic Communications Networks and Services Consultative Committee (Commission Consultative des Réseaux et Services de Communications Electroniques) and the Radiocommunications Consultative Committee (Commission Consultative des Radiocommunications), which are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks.

  • Three million 06 numbers could be set aside for a 4th mobile operator

Arcep intends to be economical in its management of the remaining 10 million numbers starting with 06. It will take account of all of mobile operators' future needs, including MVNOs, and notably those of a possible new mobile network operator for which 10 million numbers starting with 06 could be set aside.
In its responses to future requests for 06 numbers, Arcep will pay particular attention to the efficient use of resources that have already been allocated.