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Will Telephone Numbers Still Be Useful?

18 января 2011

At a time when fixed line telephone use is declining, the Australian Communications and Media Authority is seeking comment on the role telephone numbers should play in the future, in a consultation paper released today.

While telephone numbers have provided a very successful way of conveying a range of information to allow call connections, provide price details, as well as identifying customer name and locations, this information is under pressure and becoming less useful as alternative communications devices and services will continue to become more widely adopted.

Some of these pressures include the dominance of mobile phones and the corresponding decline in landline phones, with the consequence that the location of a caller is more often dynamic than fixed. Also, the growth of IP-based voice services, which are not inherently constrained to be used at a fixed location, with a potentially similar consequence to that of the use of mobile phones; and the widespread use of alternative communications services that do not use numbers at all, including chat and social network services.

These pressures also impact on location data used by emergency services.

"Finding alternative models to enable communication services and networks to provide accurate and dynamic location information to emergency services in an all IP environment will be a key challenge for the future," said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

"While telephone number information is a primary tool used for emergency services, the current model for providing this information is mature," Mr Chapman said. "New technologies and services offer many opportunities, but equally are forcing us to look at what is possible in delivering real time information for emergency service agencies."

'This work program is not about immediate changes, but is interested in identifying transition paths in the medium term that will take advantage of opportunities to capture, and on-forward information created by new technology in the medium term,' Mr Chapman said.

Источник: Cellular news

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