Discussion Papers

Brigitte Bauer, Werner Neu

Numerierung im Telefonnetz - Stand, Entwicklungstendenzen, Regulierungsbedarf, Regulierungsansätze
Nr. 111 / Juni 1993
(no longer available)


Over the last few years the numbering of telecommunications services has become an issue of central importance to regulators and telecommunications carriers. There is considerable activity in the development of telecommunications numbering plans and policy - both at the national and the European level. This has been stimulated by a rapid growth in demand for numbers especially for non-geographical services - such as mobile, paging, freephone and premium rate services - which are all developing rapidly and have revealed a lack of space in the numbering schemes of many countries.

In Germany so far, telecommunications numbering has been a neglected topic in the telecommunications policy debate. Against this background, the paper deals with two main questions: First, whether Germany is running out of numbers and, second, whether there is a need to re-examine the way in which the national numbering plan is administered. The focus of the report is on the numbering scheme used for telephony services.

It is shown that - particularly given the technological and regulatory changes in telecommunications over recent years - there is a risk that the German numbering plan will suffer a significant shortage of numbers at least in a medium and long term perspective. Accordingly, different options for the development of the current scheme are examined.

To ensure that all operators have fair and equal access to the numbering scheme, the national numbering plan should be considered as a finite public resource which is owned by the state and which is licensed in large blocks, on a long term basis, and under certain conditions of use, to the operators which use it. Until now, numbering plan administration functions in Germany are performed by DBP Telekom. It is therefore proposed, that the Federal Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications should take control of administration and management functions. In considering appropriate number allocation mechanisms it is distinguished between primary and secondary allocation: Primary allocation involves the allocation of blocks of numbers from the national numbering scheme to suitably qualified applicants such as TOs. Secondary allocation involves the allocation an reallocation of numbers from operators and service providers to users.

Only German language version available.

Discussion Paper is no longer available.

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