Anatel adds ninth digit to Sao Paulo mobile numbers to boost capacity

30 Jul 2012

Brazil’s national telecoms regulator Anatel has added a ninth digit to mobile numbers in the state of Sao Paulo to protect future growth in the region. The move, which came into effects on 29 July, affects 64 municipalities in Brazil’s largest single market – including the state capital Sao Paulo. The regulator had been aware of the problem of exhausting number capacity on ‘area code 11’ since 2008 and says the move to nine numbers doubles the limit to over 80 million.

The watchdog has implemented a transition phase running until 7 August when numbers will be routed automatically even without the extra number. All new mobile phones will be assigned the number 9 at the front with immediate effect though, and other digits will be implemented in the future, BNAmericas notes.