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ACM continues to monitor mobile phone and premium-rate numbers closely

03-07-2018

The large number of mobile phone numbers (06 series) issued to telecom providers will not cause a shortage in the short term, but does call for constant and close monitoring by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). This was revealed by the Number Issuance Monitor that ACM published today.

Almost 91% of available mobile phone numbers have been issued to telecom providers. Over the past few years, ACM has launched targeted measures to prevent number shortages. Henk Don, acting Chairman of the Board of ACM, adds: "Thanks to our enforcement actions, we realized in 2017 the much needed reassignment of the 06 series of phone numbers to the 097 series. “In the Netherlands, mobile phones are assigned numbers starting with 06. However, the 06 series was also used for devices that required an internet connection, but with which you cannot make any phone calls. The majority of such devices now uses a 097 series number. Furthermore, ACM in 2017 withdrew 100,000 mobile phone numbers, because telecom providers had failed to issue these numbers to customers within a year. The percentage of issued mobile phone numbers remains high, and that is why ACM continues to monitor the proper use of these numbers closely.

Stricter oversight of the use of premium-rate numbers 

The number of premium-rate numbers that are requested has been declining for several years now. Additionally, more and more premium-rate numbers are returned to ACM. ACM keeps a close watch on the use of premium-rate numbers. In addition, ACM has clarified the regulations in a policy rule, which was prompted by indications that services were offered using premium-rate numbers, with which number users were able to mislead consumers and get rich using questionable methods. In the policy rule, ACM clarified that, among other things, directory assistance services and payment services using a rate per minute do not fit with the intended purpose specified in the number plan for the 0900 and 0909 series.