Move over 050, 055 and 056. A new mobile phone prefix — 052 — will be implemented across the UAE in the new year, telecom du said yesterday.
Officials said the 052 prefix will be launched in the first quarter of 2012.
"We would like to thank the TRA for granting us the new prefix code number, which is an essential addition for us to face the increasing demand for du's mobile services," said Farid Faraidooni, du's chief commercial officer.
"With this addition, we can continue to expand our active customer base that reached over five million mobile subscriptions.
"This will add approximately one million new lines, which will support customers' demand for about six months based our observation of buying trends over the past months. This comes as a result of the high demand on our attractive mobile offers and services which consumed 80 per cent of the existing prefix 055."
Du said that "more digital hierarchies under the (052) access code will be opened in the future as need calls to continue to cater to the ever-increasing demand".
Hasan Sandila, telecoms analyst with IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa, said the new prefix is an indication that business is good for du.
"The addition of 052 prefix is definitely a good news for du," he told Gulf News yesterday. "This will not just enable them to open up new lines for new subscriptions but also depicts the strong growth that du has shown over the last couple of years by running out of the existing prefix."
Sandila said in other countries, new prefixes are created when existing number possibilities are exhausted.
"Yes, there have been instances before where telecom operators run out of numbers," he said. "This is mostly common for countries with larger populations such as India and China."
Fake phones tracked
Telecom du confirmed yesterday that it is working towards a January 1 deadline to block all counterfeit mobile devices within its service.
Phone owners with fake International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers will lose service in the new year.
"We are happy to report our satisfaction with the public's positive reaction to our SMS campaigns that continued over the past weeks. We started the campaign with 57,338 identified false Indies, (53,500 owned by individual consumers and 3,838 enterprise customers). Today we see a significant reduction to a total 17,797 identified devices with unauthorised IMEIs; (17,095 owned by individual customers and 702 by enterprise customers)," du said in a statement.