UK will need new telephone numbering scheme by year 2001

The UK telephone industry regulator, Oftel, has announced that the UK may run out of telephone numbers by the year 2001.

The UK telephone industry regulator Oftel (Office of Telecommunications) announced that the UK may run out of telephone numbers by the year 2001. The announcement comes just 16 months after the UK introduced 8 billion new telephone numbers at a cost to the business community of £1 billion for the printing of new stationery and business documents.

The UK is at the front of the information revolution because it has one of the world's most competitive and dynamic markets for telecommunication networks and services, says Don Cruickshank, Oftel director general. "If we are to maintain our leading position, and reap the rewards that flow from that, our numbering scheme must keep pace," he says.

Analysts believe that the introduction of mobile telephones, modem lines and free phone numbers have put pressure on the system. British cities such as London, Belfast, Cardiff, Portsmouth and Southampton are under the most pressure.

Oftel, based in London, England can be reached at http://www.coi.gov.uk/.

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