Japan to create 10b 14-digit mobile numbers by 2021

17 May 2019

Japan's communications ministry plans to create around 10 billion 14-digit phone numbers in anticipation of the 5G era.

The 14-digit numbers starting with the code 020 will be introduced by 2021 at the latest, the Japan Times reported.

The current stock of 11 digit mobile numbers is expected to run out as early as the 2022 financial year.

In response, a panel of experts has proposed to introduce the new numbers once the necessary preparations are complete, and Japan's big three mobile operators NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank have agreed to the proposal.

Now the ministry has announced it will draft a report on the matter as early as June and aims to complete a ministerial ordinance by the end of the year.

New numbers will be allocated to the operators early if they complete the necessary upgrades ahead of schedule, the report states.

Japan currently uses 11 digit numbers starting with 090, 080 and 070 for mobile phones, and with 020 for IoT devices.

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