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New eight digit mobile numbers in Oman to begin with 'seven'

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The total number of mobile subscribers stood at 6,639,377 at the end of January 2016 whereas the population of Oman stood at 4,385,039, according to NCSI.

If you dial a mobile number starting with ‘7’, don’t mistake it for a typo.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Oman has allowed service providers to allot 8-digit numbers starting with ‘7’.

Reason: A swelling subscriber pool and an increasing number of service providers.

According to National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), Oman is going totally mobile and it now has 2,254,338 more mobile subscriptions than the number of people in the Sultanate.

The total number of mobile subscribers stood at 6,639,377 at the end of January 2016 whereas the population of Oman stood at 4,385,039, according to NCSI.

Pre-empting a crunch, the TRA has allowed telecom operators to allot numbers beginning with ‘7’.

Confirming this, Hamdan Moosa Al Harasi, acting vice-president (Corporate Strategy) at Omantel, said that this would be the second major change in the numbering plan after the full overhaul that occurred in 2004/2005 when mobile numbers where changed from 7 digits to 8 digits and fixed numbers from 6 digits to 8 digits.

Thanking TRA for this initiative which will ensure operators ability to meet the rapid growth in mobile subscribers, Al Harasi said that this change will not have an impact on the existing numbers, nor the services offered to customers. “We will communicate the introduction of the new range soon and we are already working closely with TRA to ensure smooth transition to the new range,” he said.

Chief Commercial Officer at Ooredoo, Johan Buse, said that the management of new numbers is controlled by the TRA under their national numbering plan initiative. “Since the start of that plan, all mobile numbers issued began with ‘9’. However, the majority of these numbers have now been used up and so the TRA has implemented a new numbering series beginning with ‘7’.

“These new numbers will be allocated to operators by the TRA and of course, we will be communicating to the public on the availability of these numbers in due course. We will also plan some exciting offers around this new allocation, which we will communicate via our media channels in the coming few weeks” added Johan Buse.

TRA officials were, however, were not available for comments.

Source: TimesOfOman

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