Order no. 5872/99, of 23 of March

Ministério do Equipamento, do Planeamento e da Administração do Território (Ministry for the Equipment, Planning and Administration of the Territory), Gabinete do Ministro (Minister's Office)


With the gradual and progressive emergence of a liberalised telecommunications market, the appearance of new operators and service providers, and the launch of new services, the adoption of adequate numbering plans is of vital importance.

A numbering plan is an essential instrument and a safeguard of the development of effective competition in the sector.

In the context of the global marketplace, numbers provide the key whereby end-users can access the full range of telecommunications services available, which explains the extent of impact of this factor. Due to practical and technical reasons, numbers are also a limited resource that should be managed in a transparent, equitable and efficient manner.

The National Numbering Plan, and its underlying principles play a key role in ensuring equal conditions of access to numbers and equitable management of such resources. Considering the existing National Numbering Plan has limitations in terms of capacity and flexibility, establishing the need for its reformulation;

Considering the National Numbering Plan should permit the introduction of the function of operator number portability and enable geographic portability within the entire national territory;

Considering the results of the public consultation process conducted by the Instituto das Comunicações de Portugal (ICP), which aimed to divulge the range of aspects associated to numbering and present possible alternatives for modification of the National Numbering Plan;

Considering and reflecting upon the range of interests of the entities contacted, specifically, the interests of end users, operators and service providers, as well as of industry in general;

Considering the general powers of the ICP, as the telecommunications regulatory authority and the specific powers deriving from management of the National Numbering Plan;

In accordance with the terms of point 1 of article 28 of Decree-Law nr. 415/98, of December 31 it is hereby decided that:

1. The National Numbering Plan is governed by the following general principles and strategic orientations:

a. To offer sufficient numbering capacity and flexible management systems to ensure the development of public use telecommunications services;
b. To offer 9 digit numbers with a standardised format, with exceptions in justified cases, designated as a closed plan;
c. To guarantee operator number portability, so that end users may choose to maintain their number or numbers from the fixed telephone network of Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN), independently of the operator providing the service, within a specific zone in the case of geographically-restricted numbers and for the entire national territory for all other numbers;
d. To provide in an initial phase the capacity to cater for non-geographical numbers followed by potential evolution towards geographical portability at the national level;

2. The Instituto das Comunicações de Portugal (ICP) should promote and develop actions required to implement the new National Numbering Plan.

3. For the purposes of the previous point and the terms of article 30º of Decree-Law nr. 415/98, of December 31, ICP should publish before June 30, 1999, the principal elements of the National Numbering Plan.

4. The National Numbering Plan should be operational by January 1, 2000.a

Lisbon, February 25, 1999. - Minister of Equipment, Planning and Territorial Administration, João Cardona Gomes Cravinho.