Somaliland: New Code for Mobile Phone 06x will Undermine Nation’s Sovereignty


By: Eng. Hassan Muhumed Aw Hassan

Somalilandsun: Recently 3 telecom operators in Somaliland announced that they will add 06x to their mobile number. These 3 operators are: Telesom, Telecom and nation link.

Telesom which is the biggest operator did not explain why they need this new number 063. Telesom did not tell the public, that this number 6, which is the mobile phone code that the operators in Somalia Hormoood (ex. Barakat) and Nationlink were using it as a Mobile code. This number makes Somaliland as a region of Somalia.

No debate about the addition of this number and the Somaliland Telecommunication ministry blindly accepted it.

According to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recommendation E.164, Mobile phone numbers should be maximum 15 numbers composed of country code(cc 1 to 3 numbers) + National Destination code(NDC 1 to 2 #) + subscribe number(SN). ITU assigns, and controls the country code and nothing we can do about it, because Somaliland is not member of ITU. As far as the national destination code and subscribe numbers are concerned you don’t need permission or approval from any Agency. It is the responsibility of individual nationals. Functions and format is nationally determined. They can set up the codes and the numbers according to their national needs and interest. It is the responsibility of Somaliland Telecommunication Ministry to plan, manage, license and distribute it equally and fairly among the operators working inside Somaliland.

This national destination code 06x (x=1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8), which Telesom, Telecom and Nation link are implementing is for network and trunk code . It identifies a geographic area in a country, and makes number area within a country. It also acts in the role of name and address. Let me try to explain these 3 national destination code numbers 06x(x=1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8) sent to Somaliland from Somalia and blindly Somaliland Telecommunication Ministry accepted it. When you dial 0, you’re calling outside your zone, when you dial 6; you are calling someone who has a mobile phone from Raskambooni to Loyoade. When you dial x(x=1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8), you are calling someone in a geographic area in a country. The way these telecom operators divide the zones are: Hormuud telecom #61 for the south and central Somalia. Golis telecom #62 for Puntland, Telesom # 63 for Somaliland. Telecom # 65 for Somaliland. Nation link took #7and #8 for operating in both sides.

If your field is Telecommunication and you see this NDC 06x(x=1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8), you will realize this NDC makes Somaliland part of Somalia. For Example Ethiopia mobile network code ‘is 91x.If you call mobile phone in Addis you dial 911, Diredawa 915 and Jigjiga 913. Three regions, one country. Get the picture.

Telesom in their press release  11 countries in Africa, Asia have increased their mobile numbers. Among these countries was Djibouti. If we look at Djibouti, they were using 6 numbers for their mobile phone. The first number was for mobile code, the remaining 5 numbers is enough to give them 100,000 subscribe numbers. The populations of Djibouti almost are 1 million. So, you can see there was a real shortage of numbers. The other 10 countries also were facing shortage of numbers. Telesom is using 7 numbers. When they use the first number for mobile code, the other 6 numbers will give them 1 million subscriber numbers, enough if they use these numbers efficiently.

This National Destination code 06x just makes the call routing and charging easier for International Gateway switch. Somaliland Telecommunications Ministry has to tell the parliament and the public who owns and operates the International gateway switch. It is very important to know who owns and operates this switch, not only is the countries national security in danger, but also it involves a high financial lost.