Uruguayan state-owned incumbent telco Antel has asked telecoms regulator Unidad Regulador de Serviocios de Comunicaciones (URSEC) for more time to implement an eight-digit numbering system in the country, radio station El Espectador reports, quoted by BNamericas. The new system was due to be in place by June 2008. URSEC has reportedly acquiesced to Antel’s plea but has yet to set a new deadline. Neither URSEC nor Antel have commented on the report.
One of the changes would be the elimination of the 0 prefix for national long-distance calls. In June 2007 Antel abolished domestic long-distance rates, in effect making all domestic calls ‘local’ and rendering the 0 prefix obsolete. Also under the new scheme, fixed line customers in Montevideo will add a ‘2’ before existing numbers, while callers in the rest of the country will add a ‘4’. According to URSEC, the addition of a number will allow the country to accommodate to growth in subscribers and new telecoms services for the next 20 years.