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New telephone numbers for Bahrain

Manama, June 23, 2008

New telephone numbers are to be introduced in Bahrain to allow customers to move seamlessly between fixed, wireless and mobile networks, it was announced.

Customers' current numbers will not change, but new number ranges are being allocated to telecom operators ready for new technology, said the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Sunday.

Short codes are also to be introduced to enable users to identify the type of call charge they will incur, such as free phone, national call costs or premium call charge.

All of these changes are part of a revised national numbering plan that was issued by the TRA.

The move follows a series of consultations and workshops with the industry over the last year and a half.

The TRA is inviting interested parties to submit their comments on the revised national numbering plan no later than 4pm on July 17.

'The technological changes that are taking place in telecommunications and evolution of new telecommunications services, have initiated the need to review the way numbers are used and allocated to operators,' said TRA general director Alan Horne.

'New number ranges will be opened up for use by operators offering services over fixed or wireless networks.

'This will enable a progressive introduction of converged services where, for example, a mobile customer could move into an office or home location whilst making a call and be seamlessly transferred to the fixed line at lower tariffs,' Horne said.

He said, with the introduction of Voice Over the Internet, making or receiving voice calls can be possible from anywhere in the world without differentiating the physical location of the subscriber.

This capability demands the introduction of a new range of numbers for services which could be delivered by fixed, wireless or mobile technologies.

'The basic requirement of any national numbering plan is to ensure that consumers of one operator can access customers connected to other telecommunications networks,' Horne noted.

'Further, it is important to maintain an indication of the type of call charge incurred, for example free phone, national call costs or premium call charge for information type services.'

The revised plan introduces a series of short codes for free phone, special services and premium charge serves such as for taxi, restaurants and information services.

Short Codes, for example for emergency services, are also extended to incorporate new government initiatives to enable direct emergency calls to specialist agencies such as the Bahrain Coastguard.

In addition to the revised national numbering plan, the TRA (www.tra.org.bh) has published a report explaining the additions and changes covered in the new plan. All related documents can be found on TRA website, he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | TRA | new | telephone numbers | call costs |

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