Lebanon Businessnews News

‘07’ for mobile usage under study
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The landline telephony code ‘07’ that is used in the South might be transferred to mobile use. South residents will then alter to code ‘02’.

The Ministry of Telecom has been studying the possibilities of enlarging the capacity of the local mobile telephony network. Many options are being reviewed, including increasing the current national numbering from eight to ten digits.

Market experts said that adding two more digits to the national numbering platform might not be feasible. Wassim Mansour, General Manager of mobile operator Touch, said the country is not big enough to require such as large network. “We are only operators and the final decision is within the hands of the Ministry and the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority.”

According to Marwan Hayek, Alfa’s Chairman, code ‘07’ is the least used, with only around 120,000 users. “By shifting this code into mobile usage we will add around one million new mobile lines to our networks, which would be sufficient for growth in the next 15 years.” He said that ‘07’ is also close to the number ‘7’ currently used in mobile telephony with ‘70’, ‘71’, ‘76’, ‘78’, and ‘79’. “Adding a new code will increase our network capacity to five million lines.”

Hayek said that technical deficiency is holding back the ability to fully use the mobile numbers with codes ‘76’, ‘78’, and ‘79’ due to their confusion with Ogero’s landline numbering in the South. “There might be a future plan to dedicate all the code ‘7’ numbers to mobile telephony, to raise the capacity of the network to 10 million lines.” In this case, ‘03’ then will become ‘73’.

Sources from the Ministry of Telecom said that no decision has been taken yet and technicians are still studying possibilities and options. “Engineers will submit reports to Minister Boutros Harb, who will choose the least costly alternative to enlarge the mobile telephony network.”
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Jan 15, 2015
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