Telephone number misappropriation is an ongoing issue, and especially for Pacific Island countries, despite a number of efforts to counter the problem. The issue is often amplified for Pacific Island administrations as their telecommunication operators are not aware of misappropriation occurring until they are told by an international operator or user.
The response from many of the world’s mobile and fixed operators to the issue was to block the Country Code of Island operators. The impact on the Island operators and residents once their country code was blocked did have a number of negative consequences including:
• island residents travelling abroad being unable to call home;
• family and friends living outside the blocked island unable to call that location;
• travellers not coming to the Islands for holidays or conferences because they could not roam;
• a reluctance by some operators to negotiate roaming agreements with Island operators; and,
• a direct impact on the fragile Island economies who rely on tourism for employment and income.
In 2014, the World Telecommunications Development Conference 2014 passed Resolution 78 “Capacity building for countering misappropriation of Recommendation ITU-T E.164 telephone numbers” that required actions by the ITU/BDT to address the issue of number misappropriation.
In 2016, with assistance from the Australian Government, ITU initiated a project on “Capacity Building for Countering Misappropriation of Telephone Numbers in Pacific Island Countries”. The project is aimed to strengthen the capacity to understand and combat misuse of national telephone numbering resources in the Pacific Island Countries by enhancing telephone numbering management practices and sharing information.
Specific objectives are:
• to review and validate the previous ITU study i.e. ICB4PAC report and recommendations, to determine whether the issues are still relevant and to understand current barriers to implementation of the recommendations;
• to develop best practice and guidelines for Pacific Island Member States to counter Number Misappropriation; and
• to help prepare papers/reports to be submitted to or presented at relevant APT and ITU meetings, ITU study group(s), and Pacific forums.
The project is expected to deliver,
1. Report on number misappropriation assessment for the Pacific;
2. Best practice and guidelines for tackling the number misappropriation in the Pacific region;
3. Training workshop as part of capacity building.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP
In collaboration with the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) and with assistance from the Australian Government, the ITU is organizing “ITU/PITA Capacity Development Workshop on Number Misappropriation and Telecom Fraud” to be held in Fiji during 11-13 April 2018. The workshop will be preceded by PITA Mobile Roaming Workshop for Pacific on 9-10 April 2018.
Objectives of the ITU/PITA Workshop are to,
• Present findings and recommendations resulting from ITU study on:
o An update of the numbering management practices in the Pacific Islands Countries and its application to countering Numbering Misuse;
o Best practices to manage ITU-T Recommendation E.164 Telephone Numbers;
• Gather feedbacks from relevant stakeholders to finalize the two reports above;
• Strengthen capacity of national regulatory authorities and the industry to combat misuse of national telephone numbering resources in the Pacific Island Countries;
• Raise awareness about telecom frauds and ways to tackle the issues.
The workshop targets those organizations/individuals dealing with telephone numbering management and telecom frauds. Kindly note that the workshop will be preceded by
PITA Mobile Roaming Workshop for Pacific on 9-10 April 2018.
ITU will provide one full fellowship (including round-trip economy air ticket and daily subsistence allowance) for each of ITU Member States in the Pacific region. Priority for fellowships goes to national focal point of the ITU project. Completed fellowship request form must be submitted to ITU no later than 23 March 2018.
Registration must be completed online HERE . For more information, please contact Mr Wisit Atipayakoon (firstname.lastname@example.org).