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Methods to Address the High Assignment Rate of Telephone Numbers Used for IoT/M2M Applications

The Canadian Steering Committee on Numbering (CSCN) has concluded that demand for telephone numbers from the North American Numbering Pool (NANP) for Internet of Things/Machine-to-Machine (IoT/M2M) applications is growing at a rate that will quickly exhaust available numbering resources currently allocated for such applications.  Action is required to meet the demand for additional IoT/M2M telephone numbers without significantly reducing the telephone numbers available within the NANP for traditional fixed-line and wireless services.

In Canada, Area Codes 622, 633, 644, 655, 677 and 688 are used/reserved for IoT/M2M applications.  Telephone numbers assigned from these Area Codes are defined as non-geographic.  This means that these telephone numbers are (a) not assigned to geographic Exchange Areas or Rate Centers (which therefore makes the rating of long-distance charges difficult to determine), and (b) may not be dialable from all Canadian carriers’ networks, or simply not directly dialable at all.

CSCN has created a draft report (“TIF 112 Consensus Report CNRE138B Non-Geographic 6YY NPA Exhaust Mitigation”) which proposes some short-term solutions to meet the demand for IoT/M2M telephone numbers and proposes to study further relief involving a move to 12-digit or 14-digit telephone numbers for IoT/M2M applications.  This report should reach the Commission for consideration in April of this year.

In the draft report, CSCN is recommending that:

  1. Approximately 95% of Area Code 600 be allocated for non-geographic IoT/M2M applications.  Area Code 600 has historically been used for specialized telecommunications services such as mobile satellite services and legacy Telex services,

  2. The restriction on the assignment of NXXs 211, 311, 411, 511, 555, 611, 711 and 811 be eliminated in all non-geographic NPAs within 6 months of the CRTC’s directive, and

  3. The Commission approve the reservation of NPAs 677 and 688 for use with an extended digit format thus increasing the number of available telephone numbers in each of these Area Codes by as much as 10,000 times.


The CSCN will continue working to resolve the particulars of extending the number of digits for use with Area Codes 677 and 688.  Another report is expected by year-end, and it will likely include recommendations for the implementation of 1+12 digits or 1+14 digits.

The demand for telephone numbers required for IoT/M2M services cannot be allowed to consume the amount of telephone numbers available for use with basic telephone services.  Otherwise, there will be a North American-wide need to increase the number of digits you dial as part of your basic telephone service from 1+10 digits to 1+12 digits or 1+14 digits.



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