We’re on the cusp of a 5G era that will usher in high-speed mobile internet, and Japan is gearing up to welcome the fifth generation of the superfast mobile communication system.
The Japanese communication ministry is planning to introduce around 10 billion new 14 digit phone numbers for 5G services.
According to an estimate, the currently used 11-digit numbers will run out by 2021, and then the new numbers will be needed. In a meeting headed by a panel of experts, it has been decided that the new numbers will be introduced by the end of 2021.
At the meeting, three major carrier companies of the country – NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp., and SoftBank Corp have accepted the proposal about the new 14-digit mobile numbers.
These numbers will start with code ‘020’ as opposed to the currently used 11-digit numbers that begin with ‘090,’ 080,’ and ‘070’ for mobile phones.
Japan did introduce 11-digit numbers starting with ‘020’ for ‘internet of things’ devices in January 2017. As per the communications ministry, out of 80 million numbers starting with ‘020,’ 32.6 million numbers have already been allotted to the major carriers of the country. The new 14-digit numbers will be rolled out by 2022.
The Japanese government will consider public inputs, and a report will be prepared on the basis of the inputs by June. The report will be followed by a ministerial ordinance by the end of 2019.
If the carriers manage to update their system before the proposed date, new numbers could be issued earlier.