The Government, through the Communications Authority (CA), has launched a new prefix for mobile phone numbers.
The communications regulator made an announcement on Tuesday evening that new mobile numbers were going to start with the prefix 01 followed by the client’s mobile number.
When making the announcement, CA director general Francis Wangusi revealed that the demand for new sim cards as well as mobile data bundles were the major reasons behind the release.
Machine to machine communication( commonly abbreviated as M2M which is the direct communication between two or more devices e.g. mobile phone to car tracking device ) and other emerging technologies were also mentioned among the reason for the launch.
After the announcement, Wangusi stated that the prefix takes effect immediately.
“Safaricom and Airtel have already been issued with two million and three million numbers respectively under this prefix,” added Wangusi.
CA revealed that the new number will have a capacity of registering over 100 million sim cards thus offering a cushion to the mobile service providers over the longevity of the prefix.
This comes after one of the local mobile companies tabled a request with the telco regulator for the new prefix as the 07** was being depleted.
When announcing their merger, Airtel Chief Executive Prasanta Sarma and Telkom’s Mugo Kibati revealed that they had sent a request with CA to review the prefix system as the 07** was almost depleted.
Reports by Nation indicated that mobile penetration in Kenya hit the 100 percent mark in 2018 thus the great demand for new sim card registrations.