|International Telecommunication Union
For immediate release
|Telephone: +41 22 730 6039
Fax: +41 22 730 5939
First Mobile Phones, Now Mobile Numbers
ITU allocates code for Universal Personal Telecommunications Number
Geneva, 10 December 2001 — The International Telecommunication Union has allocated the country code +878 and associated
digits 10 to VISIONng Association. VisionNG will be the first organization to offer its
members a unique Universal Personal Telecommunications Number (UPTN). The UPTN will allow global
number portability regardless of geography or telecommunications carrier including those using
new IP-based technologies. VisionNG is an international non-profit association that includes
ITU-T sector member organizations. Its goal is to promote an open and harmonized architecture
for IP based applications.
"ITU's standards for UPT will greatly enable companies' ability to operate across
international markets, and will benefit consumers by allowing them reach anywhere in the world
on any communication device," says Roy Blane, Chairman, ITU-T Study Group 2.
The market potential for the new UPT service is significant. Companies will be able to place
and receive calls regardless of the technology used or geographic location. "They will no
doubt benefit from being able to advertise a single personal number to potential customers all
over the world," adds Blane. Calls to the new global number can also be routed to different
destinations, allowing incoming calls to be directed to the most appropriate location for
The UPT Service is available to place and receive calls on conventional telephone terminals
and mobile and IP based networks. UPT users will be able to participate in a user-defined set of
subscribed services and for the first time UPT will make it possible to allocate an E.164
telephony number to IP Terminals.
Until now Service Providers could only provide services that required a portable personal
number nationally. Those organizations wishing to communicate with personal numbers on an
international basis have had no choice but to register a separate number in each country. This
has proven to be unwieldy and often inefficient. "The agreement we’ve reached on UPT pays
tribute to the open discussion and development work of the ITU-T," says Blane.
In order to ensure quality of service between different domains, the VISIONng backbone is
used to connect all VISIONng operators worldwide under a given Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Blane states, "the next step is to deploy the UPT number so that it can be used as the
unique Key of the Universal Communication Identifier." UCI merges technologies like Email,
Messaging and Chatting into one single service profile per subscriber.
In developing the UPT numbering system, the ITU followed the principal objectives:
- Portability of the UPTN, allowing customers to retain
their global number if they change carriers.
- A flexible structure (a UPTN is composed of a three
digit country code for global service application, 878, and an 12-digit Global
Subscriber Number [GSN] starting with 10) that allows subscribers to choose the digits
they wish and embed existing E.164 numbers into the available number space1.
- A format which allows for efficient routing of calls
between service providers
- An impartial system of allocation and handling of
numbers, via an international registrar.
The provision of the international telephone service on international interconnected IP
networks is based primarily on ETSI TIPHON specifications (which are based on ITU-T as well
as on Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards). VISIONng has already begun to work
on the development of the new UPTN database and will allocate numbers on a first-come,
first-served basis on a commercial basis.
For further information, contact:
Mr Roy Blane
Chairman, ITU-T Study Group 2
Tel: +44 207 728 1276
Fax: +44 207 728 1778
Mr Richard Hill
Counsellor, ITU-T Study Group 2
International Telecommunication Union
Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB)
Tel: +41 22 730 5887
Fax: +41 22 730 5853
For more information on VISIONng, please click here
Mr. Herwart Wermescher
Chairman of VISIONng Association
Tel: +43 664 256 5180
Fax: +43 316 80 03 11 80
||A UPT service caller must dial an
international prefix prior to the UPTN. For example, a caller dialing from Austria
would dial: 00 (international prefix), 878 (international country code for UPT), and
then the twelve-digit Global Subscriber Number.