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Thu 29 Jul 2010 06:38 AM

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Qatar mobile shake-up completed 'without disruption'

Regulator says transition to eight digits happened with no interruption to services.

Qatar mobile shake-up completed 'without disruption'
SUCCESSFUL CHANGE: Qatar telecom regulator ictQATAR said the countrys mobile number shake-up was completed without disruption to services. (Getty Images)

Qatar's telecoms sector has completed its transition of phone numbers to eight digits without any interruption to services, the country's regulator has said.

The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) confirmed the move from seven to eight digits in a statement.

The change took place on Wednesday to address the increasing demand for both fixed and mobile phone numbers in Qatar.

The National Numbering Committee, chaired by ictQATAR with representatives from Qatar Telecom (Qtel) and Vodafone Qatar, managed the change.

"As a result of the professional work by Qtel and Vodafone throughout the changeover period, the change to eight digits happened with no interruption to service or affect on the networks," Saleh Al-Kuwari, chief technical officer of ictQATAR said.

All fixed and mobile numbers starting with 3,4,5,6 and 7 have been changed to begin with 33, 44, 55, 66 and 77 respectively.

This includes numbers used for fax services but all emergency numbers within Qatar, including 999 and 112, have not been affected.

For the next three months, people who dial the old seven digit numbers will receive an automated recorded voice message, in Arabic and English, asking them to dial again with the correct new eight digit number.

After the three month period, customers dialing a seven digit number will hear "the number you are calling is not in service".

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