All Brazilian mobile line numbers will have one more digit by December 2016. The digit “9 “will be added to the left of the current eight digit numbers of each mobile phone, according to the implementation roadmap released by the telecom agency Anatel yesterday.
The addition aims to standardize the mobile telephony numbering plan in Brazil and extend numbering resources in each area, raising the total numbers from 37 million to 90 million.
Currently, Brazil has 258.86 million mobile lines, of which 75.16% are GSM, 19.64% are WCDMA. Telefónica’s Vivo leads with a 29.67% market share, followed by TIM with 26.81%, Claro with 24.51% and Oi with 18.69%.
Anatel’s decision follows the digit addition in São Paulo area 11, which includes 64 municipalities, comprising the state capital of São Paulo metropolitan region. All mobile lines in the region had one more digit added in June.
Telecom operators are responsible for the implementation of the new digit, as well as for all expenses related to the new rule. In São Paulo, Anatel estimated that the investment to make the necessary adjustments totaled about U.S.$172.06 million.
By December 2013, all areas in the state of São Paulo should be working under the new rules. By January 31, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo states will also have to adopt the new digit. See the entire roadmap here.