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ACM withdraws unused mobile-phone numbers

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has withdrawn over 100,000 unused mobile numbers that had been assigned to telecom provider Globetouch Netherlands. The unused numbers concerned all start with the prefix 06-350. ACM is now able to re-assign these numbers to other mobile providers. Globetouch had not even issued a single number in that series.

Issue numbers within a year

Telecom providers can apply for 06-numbers with ACM (in the Netherlands, mobile phones are assigned 06-numbers). They will then have to issue those numbers to customers within a year. ACM has the authority to withdraw assigned numbers if the telecom provider in question has numbers collecting dust for too long. ACM assigned said numbers to Globetouch back in December 2012.

Pressure on 06-numbers

Through focused oversight activities, ACM seeks to prevent a shortage of mobile-phone codes from occurring anytime soon. Earlier this year, ACM conducted a study into the actual supply of numbers among all holders of 06-numbers. Almost 91% of all available numbers for mobile phones had already been assigned to telecom providers, but it turned out that they still had approximately 35% of those numbers in stock. In order to prevent scarcity, ACM has now started assigning 06-numbers in smaller series of 10,000. With this move, ACM will ensure that telecom providers will not have more numbers in stock than necessary, and that enough 06-numbers remain available for new providers.