The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) last week formally granted MTN and Airtel a new SIM prefix to issue to their new prepaid customers. The new development will in any situation not affect existing numbers as customers can continue using the telco’s services.
For this matter, MTN was granted 076 prefix, adding it to its already existing prefixes 077, 078, 031, and 039. However, MTN has now stopped issuing sim cards with the 077 and 078 prefixes as they are no longer available on the network which speaks to the telecom’s growing subscriber base. Thereby, with the new development, the telco has begun issuing new prepaid customers sim cards with the 076 prefix.
The number range for the new prefix start from 0760 000000 to 0760 999999.
In a press statement issued by the telco, MTN Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Somdev Sen, said, “We are now issuing new customers on the MTN network with mobile numbers having prefix range starting from 0760 000000 to 0760 999999. The new number range of 0760 is at the moment available to prepaid customers to connect to all our services just like we currently have on all our other number ranges.”
Somdev also noted that the new development will have no effect on already existing numbers. “The existing prefixes and number ranges are not being phased out in any way and customers can continue to use their numbers normally,” explained Somdev.
To acquire a new number with the new 0760 prefix, customers can visit any MTN service center with their national ID and buy a new SIM card at a price of UGX2,000.
Somdev says customers can still get sim cards with 077 and 078 prefixes subject to their availability due to recycling.
Phone number recycling is the reintroduction of a deactivated/disconnected number into the pool of available numbers eligible for assignment to a new customer. This happens when the previous owner of the numbers has not used their line for any activity for more than six months and has not formally notified MTN of their intention and interest to keep that number.