Kenya Launches New Mobile Numbering Prefixes with M2M capabilities

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On Tuesday, the Communications Authority of Kenya released a new mobile numbering prefix 01xxx in addition to the currently existing 07xxx.

According to CA Director General Francis Wangusi, the new prefix – which is expected to take effect immediately – was necessitated by increased demand for SIM cards, mobile data and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications.

According to the National Numbering Plan developed in 2002 by the authority, each prefix provides for a capacity of 100 million numbers, at the moment the prefix 07xx is exhausted.

Mr. Wangusi, in a statement to newsrooms, said leading telecommunication giants Safaricom and Airtel had already been issued with 2 million (0110, 0111) and 3 million (0100, 0101, 0102) numbers respectively under the new prefix.

“In view of the emergence of new technologies and numbering requirements resources, it has become necessary to introduce the new 01 prefix also with a capacity of 100 million. The numbers are local and everyone should be aware and not panic whenever they receive calls under the new prefix,” said Wangusi.

He added that the regulator seeks to link the Huduma Namba to subscribers’ details as it will be a cheaper alternative to register subscribers other than carrying out fresh biometric registration.

Introduction of the new mobile number prefix has no cost implications on the consumer.