ABU DHABI, June 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) has revealed a well-structured plan for telephone numbers to be changed to eight digits instead of six or seven from July, the Times of Oman reported Saturday.
Official source in Omantel said that the new plan is a "simple-to-follow and easy-to-remember" theme.
The implementation of the new numbering plan for the fixed telephone service would start in July 2004, while for the GSM, including Hayyak, it is scheduled for September 2004.
This plan is in compliance with the directive from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority as part of the sector's liberalization strategy, which will see more telecom operators in Oman.
Omantel is committed to making the process as easy as possible to reduce or eliminate any negative implications.
An effective media plan covering TV, radio, web, SMS, and so on will be in place to communicate the changes well in advance to reduce the customer inconvenience.
Also, interactive voice response system will be implemented to guide the callers, notifying the changes during this period.
The implementation of the new numbering will span over a period of nine months in a phased manner until February 2005.
Omantel would also initiate direct interaction with government establishments and corporate companies to ensure that the new numbering plan is implemented smoothly without affecting their businesses.
The new numbering plan for the fixed telephone services will have two digits prefixing the existing number, which will differ from region to region.
For example, the Muscat Governorate will start with "24" followed with the existing number, whereas Dhofar Governorate will start with "23".
In most of the cases, the existing six digit numbers will remain unchanged.
As regards to the Omantel GSM service, including Hayyak, the prefix will be "7" which will be followed by the existing number. However, the existing GSM numbers starting with "72" will remain unchanged, according to Omantel. Enditem