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European telephony numbering space

Ewan Sutherland (Research Fellow based at the Link Centre, Gauteng, South Africa)


ISSN: 1463-6697

Article publication date: 14 March 2008




This paper aims to describe the development by the European Commission of numbering policies for the internal market.


The paper provides an historical narrative of the development with an analysis of the responses of the various parties. The development of the operational regulatory and legal instruments for European telephony numbering space described. Recent work on a 116 pan‐European code is explained, and then finally conclusions are drawn.


The development of trans‐European operators has proved to be very limited. This is in stark contrast to the success of the North American equivalent of freephone services using 1‐800, 1‐888 and 1‐866. These have been highly successful in demand from corporations and also in their use by end customers.

Research limitations/implications

Further work is required on the development of pan‐European services on fixed and on mobile networks.

Practical implications

A proper framework is required to evaluate this type of initiative, including those based on VoIP.


Nothing has, to date, been published on the European telephony numbering space.



Sutherland, E. (2008), "European telephony numbering space", info, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 24-33.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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