Today sees the launch of a public information campaign on the new National Numbering Plan, organized by the ICP in conjunction with telecommunications operators. All information on what the new plan signifies is available on a specially created page on the ICP's website, and can also be found at the Instituto's advisory centres in Lisbon, Porto, the Azores and Madeira. The campaign is launched following the government's publication of a bill on the new numbering plan.
Early in July, information leaflets are to be distributed, along with a poster and press campaign.
At the same time, all organizations with a relevant social or economic role - government offices, local authorities, business associations etc. - will be given detailed information on the changes, due to take effect on Sunday, 31 October. Operators too are responsible for putting the message across to their clients via subscriber information leaflets. They will also stress that the changes involve no price rises.
The new National Numbering Plan (PNN) aims to respond to developments in the telecommunications market, providing equal conditions for all operators and service providers. For the fixed telephone service, for example, all operators will be able to interface with their clients on the same footing, with no competitive advantage or disadvantages accruing from the number.
The numbering capacity of the new plan should be sufficient for 20 to 30 years service.
The deployment date of the new numbering plan - midnight on 30/31 October - was chosen with a view to minimizing disruption. The date was favoured by most operators consulted by the ICP. Implementation of the plan also includes a two month switchover period, giving consumers the chance to get used to the new system before deregulation of the Fixed Telephone Service.
As a precaution, for a period of roughly six months all calls made according to the old numbering plan will be intercepted by a recorded message.