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ACM: Freeing up mobile phone numbers in 2020 has eased shortage

The issuance rate of 06-numbers in the Netherlands is high (in the Netherlands, mobile phones have 06-numbers). The issuance rate is the percentage of numbers that have been issued. In 2019, ACM already withdrew 06-numbers that were not in use within a year after assignment. These numbers will become available again for reissuance after a ‘cooling-down period’. This period prevents a new number user from being called by people who are trying to reach the previous number user. By freeing up 1,460,000 numbers coming out of this ‘cooling-down period’ in 2020, the looming shortage of mobile phone numbers has been eased. The issuance rate of mobile phone numbers remains high, but, in 2020, the percentage dropped below 90% for the first time since 2012. These are some of the conclusions in the Number Issuance Monitor for 2020 that ACM has published today.

Strict oversight over directory assistance services and subscriber information services

ACM follows a strict selection process when assigning such numbers, and conducts strict oversight over the use of these numbers. These services have been decreasing for years. In its policy rule ‘Assignment and withdrawal of premium-rate numbers’ (in Dutch: Toekenning en intrekking informatienummers), ACM has clarified what services are and are not allowed using 090x-numbers and 18yx-numbers. ACM has additionally published its Guidelines on the prevention of misleading practices with regard to directory assistance services (in Dutch: Leidraad ‘Voorkomen van misleiding bij doorschakeldiensten’). These guidelines explain what requirements search results (including advertisements) and websites must meet in order not to be considered misleading.

Objective of the Number Issuance Monitor

ACM issues numbers based on the number plans, and it conducts oversight over the use of these numbers. The different number plans of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) stipulate what number series should be used for what categories. For each category, a limited number of numbers is available. This can lead to shortages. The Number Issuance Monitor is an annual monitor in which ACM reports on the availability of the numbers, allowing the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to respond to potential shortages in a timely manner, and to make any changes to the number plans, if necessary.

See also

14-06-2021 Number Issuance Monitor 2020 (in Dutch)