Operators and banks looking at busy times with changing phone numbers

June 01, 2018 | 15:52
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The shift from 11 to 10-digit numbers will force millions of users to re-register their personal information in several places.
operators and banks looking at busy times with changing phone numbers
The changes applied for the prefixes of five carriers in Vietnam

According to a report of MIC, 60 million mobile subscribers and 700 VSAT (very small aperture terminal) users will be forced to transfer their telephone numbers from 11 to 10 digits. Along with this transfer, all products and services attached to the telephone, such as business cards, advertisement banners, and packages will be affected.

The most important change to look out for is for those who registered their telephone numbers for SMS Banking and OTP codes. The leader of OCB said that the bank cannot arbitrarily edit customer information, so they cannot change phone numbers without express requests from clients.

OCB is setting out solutions to update 11-digit numbers. This is expected to be a time-consuming process, taxing both bank staff and clients. Other banks like ACB, Vietcombank, and Sacombank are also looking for the most reasonable solutions.

Pham Hong Hai, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, also confirmed that this change will affect numerous customers.

“In the process of formulating and completing the plan, MIC has complied with regulations by collecting comments from enterprises, people, and relevant agencies before issuing the master plan on phone number database and the plan on changing telephone numbers,” emphasised Hai.

According to MIC’s plan on shortening 11-digit mobile phone numbers to 10 digits by replacing three-digit carrier prefixes with new two-digit prefixes, mobile phone numbers beginning with 166, 122, 199, 188 will be replaced by 80, 30, 50, 40 or 70, depending on the carrier. Mobile numbers currently prefixed by two-digit carrier codes will remain unchanged.

Tran Manh Tuan, deputy general director of the Authority of Telecommunications, confirmed that this move is necessary and will benefit socioeconomic development, despite the short-term impact on mobile operators and customers.

“As science and technology is striding forward, with the emergence of new telecommunications services such as 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G, we need to adjust phone number database to match the long-term development needs of the telecommunications market and Industry 4.0. It is realistic and matches international technology trends,” said Tuan.

Vinaphone and MobiFone confirmed to help clients transfer their numbers to minimise discomfort.

The representative of Viettel said that the carrier is developing software to automatise the change. Vietnamobile and Gmobile also confirmed strengthening communications and supporting clients to reduce the impacts of the change.

The move, scheduled for September, is part of a wider effort to clean up the disorder in telephone numbering, which got underway last year with the rollout of standardised local dialling codes for landline numbers.

MIC requested that mobile operators finalise the details of their plans by June 1. Subscribers must be notified of any such change 60 days in advance and they can use both the old and new prefixes for a transitional period of 60 days from the date the new code takes effect.

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