European Communications Office

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Last update: 12-08-2019
ECC Report Sub-assignment and number hosting - Implementation models, rights of use and obligations for E.164 numbers across the electronic communications supply chain

In September 2017, the WG NaN Strategy Task Force suggested that PT FNI could look at studying the sub-assignment of numbers. PT FNI - based on a questionnaire -  came to the conclusion that in  most countries sub-assignment of E.164 (and in some cases E.212) is allowed or an accepted practice. In some countries there are  rules defined in the numbering regulations; in others sub-assignment is not explicitly addressed in the regulations; in a few countries  sub-assignment is explicitly forbidden.

Sub-assignment of numbering resources may be defined as the practice where all, or part, of unassigned E.164 number block is used by another provider on the basis of an agreement with the original assignee. Sub-assignment is different from number portability and the transfer between providers of an assigned number block which is authorised by the NRA. With the sub-assignment practice, the sub-assignee is allowed to provide to its clients the use of numbers received in sub-assignment.

The work-item has as first objective to create a common understanding of the concept of sub-assignment. Based on that the pro’s and cons of sub-assignment will be assessed. Also numbering regulations/good practices containing rights and obligations e.g. to address the identified problems will be developed with special focus on the finding that sub-assignment of numbering resources inevitably leads to a loss of control by the Number Plan Administrator.  Enforceability of the proposed regulations will also a special point of attention.

During a web meeting on 17 September 2018, PT FNI participants progressed work on a Draft ECC Report on the sub-assignment of E.164 numbering resources. During the web meeting the concept of number hosting was discussed in detail. It had previously been agreed that number hosting should be outside of the scope of the sub-assignment report. However, during the discussion it became clear that number hosting raises the same concerns for CEPT administrations regarding transparency in the assignment and use of E.164 numbers and it was agreed to broaden the scope of the report to also include hosting. It should be noted that in the case of hosting, the lack of transparency is not caused by sub-assignment but by the agreements primary assignees (or sub-assignees) enter into with other network operators to have their numbers hosted.
S: 22-11-2017
T: 29-05-2020
In Progress
* Target dates are seen as the intended date for the final approval of the related deliverable by the responsible entity. Internal deadlines for project teams and dates for the start of Public Consultations can be reflected in the remarks column. In general this implies that the draft deliverable should be completed by the project team one WG meeting earlier for publication.
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