On 19 Aug 2004, the German regulatory authority RegTP issued two decisions, by means of which, for the first time, it explicitly grants geographic number ranges to providers of VoIP services.
Indigo Networks GmbH (SipGate) and Econo Deutschland GmbH have obtained geographic number ranges, under the proviso that they may only be used to provide services within the local area to which the numbers belong.
There is an indication, that the regulatory authority has a mind not to allow the use of geographic numbers for so-called nomadic VoIP services. RegTP argues that geographic information would be lost to the end-users if numbers could be used outside their geogrpahic scope and that it would consume too many numbers in the numbering space. RegTP plans to issue 0700 numbers (personal numbers), which could be used for nomadic applications.
RegTP is also considering opening a new number range specifically for the provision of VoIP-enabled services ('032'). The public consultation held on this matter is still under evaluation by RegTP. A public hearing will be held on 18 Oct 2004.
For further details, please contact Alexa Veller, and see also a previous T-REGS news item on the RegTP VoIP consultation.
T-REGS Note: it is clear that -de facto- other operators and service providers in Germany were already using geographic numbers for VoIP-enabled services.