The M2M Consultation, issued in March 2013 and reported in our previous ezine, raised concerns that unless action was taken, Ireland's already scarce numbering resources would be depleted by the increasing proliferation of M2M services on existing voice numbers. ComReg was therefore proposing to introduce a dedicated new number range for M2M purposes. However, this has now been parked.
Reasons cited for ComReg's decision include: the significant divergence of views of industry players, cost implications and practical difficulties of adopting a new number range as well as 'critical new information' that has come to light. Instead, ComReg is proposing a series of 'number conservation' measures including:
setting effective utilisation targets reducing the sizes of blocks in allocations from 100,000 to 10,000 to encourage applicants to think more carefully about the quantity they actually need charging for numbers shortening the interval between assignments greater use of retrieving unused numbers. ComReg has said it will meet with the Number Advisory Panel (NAP) to discuss which number conservation techniques offer the greatest benefits and efficiency.
If, however, it looks as if these techniques are not working, ComReg will look again at introducing a new number range for M2M services. M2M providers and others keen on seeing a new numbering range introduced should monitor and document their views, once the conservation measures are in place.
A practical issue with M2M services is that many manufacturers of M2M devices would prefer to install M2M identification functionality at the point of manufacture. One solution discussed is to issue shared Mobile Country Codes (MCCs) eg, the 901 MCC already in issue.
Again, ComReg is going to wait it out for an ITU recommendation on shared MCCs, following which it would take into account "the outcome, its benefits, its impacts on industry and what steps ComReg may need to take to support the use by Irish SPs of shared MCC/MNCs". Interestingly, the statement refers to ComReg supporting the use of shared MCC/MNCs "by Irish SPs", which leaves some uncertainty as to how MCC/MNCs used by non-Irish SPs might be treated in Ireland.
Another interesting feature coming out of the response to Consultation is the recognition by...