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Recycling mobile phones is common, but a number crisis looms

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 11:46:44

The UK is home to one of the world's biggest mobile phone markets proportional to the population. The saturation of active device and tariff ownership is so great that there are more than enough handsets for every single person in the country, irrespective of age.

This means that many people own two or more mobile phones and people upgrade at such a rate that recycling older models is vital, if you want to save money and do your bit for the environment.

But this week, IT Pro Portal reported on the fact that the UK not only needs to recycle the physical hardware, but also the mobile numbers which are tied to user accounts via SIM cards.

This is because there are now just 40 million possible number combinations remaining to be used by UK mobile subscribers. A study carried out by Unique Sims, found that two new prefixes are being introduced this year, to provide this extension to the current 700 million numbers which have been allocated, but prolonging the inevitable is not the way to go about things.

Experts argue that while the recycling of numbers may be an option, given that millions of them have long been out of use after people have upgraded or changed providers, there are other options available to the industry regulator.

Some believe that making mobile numbers 12 digits long, instead of 11, will help to expand the potential options, while others are mooting the concept of introducing 05 and 06 prefixes, rather than the standard 07 that has been harnessed for such a long time.

The rise of mobile VoIP services is being seen as a sign by many that SIM cards will be rendered obsolete, along with traditional numbers for calls. So there are ways out of this rut, of which recycling is just one.




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