Telephone numbers to be 10 digits
by Harischandra Gunaratne
The TRC undertook to formulate a new plan, taking the relevant issues into consideration and decided on this 10 digit system which will be implemented on a staggered basis, commencing in June and completed by November this year, he told a news conference.
The numbers of both wireless and wire line operators will be changed and all fixed service operators will have geographic numbers, enabling fair competition among the service providers in the future," he added.
He said the new plan with "salient features will provide uniform 10 digit numbers consisting of 3 digit area codes and 7 digit subscriber numbers for the current fixed operators, Sri Lanka Telecom, Suntel and Lanka Bell, while making provision for more fixed line operators in the future."
"Sri Lankas existing numbering plan was drawn up way back in 1970 when the total number of phones were far below 100,000 with no competition from the private service providers", Hurulle explained.
The length of the subscriber number (SN) depended on the number of customers in each area and when the resource exhausted, one more digit was added to provide more numbers. When the Colombo numbers were 5 digits it allowed 80,000 telephone numbers, but with the increase to digits, the number resource leapt 10 fold to 800,000 and at all other areas too the number length was increased whenever the demand arose," he said.
"For mobile services, the codes will remain the same but one more digit will be added to make it 7 digits, he added.
This project will cost Rs. 100 million, a TRC official said.
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