ICASA Number Migration Plan Project Update
ICASA published a Telecommunication Regulation on the Machine Related Services (MRS) in the Government Gazette Vol. 609; 24 March 2016 No.39861 publication. This regulation stipulated the migration of 10 digits “phone numbers” or MSISDNs (as they are technically referred to) used for Machine Related Services to 14 digits.
All machine related number changes must be migrated to the new number range on or before 28 September 2018”.
General ICASA Number Migration Plan Project Information
Each active Subscriber Identity Module (“SIM”) on the Vodacom network is assigned a “cell phone number” (an MSISDN number). MSISDN numbers are typically 10 digits in length e.g. 082 123 4567. Recently, a change has been made by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (“the Authority / ICASA”). This requires all Electronic Communications Networks Service (“ECNS”) and Electronic Communications Service Licensees (“ECS”) such as Vodacom, that provide SIM cards utilised by Machine Related Services (“MRS”) / M2M/ IoT devices, to change both the MSISDN prefix from the traditional “082” or “072” to a completely new numbering range beginning with “096”. Additionally, the MSISDN will also change from a 10 digit to a 14 digit number structure, e.g. 096 020 1234 5678. The dramatic increase in the amount of M2M/IoT devices being deployed in South Africa as well as the expected growth in the market has necessitated that this new number range be created to meet this current and future demand for numbers.
The Numbering Plan Regulation were promulgated by ICASA on 2 October 2012 in Government Gazette No. 35737 and require all ECNS / ECS licensees including Vodacom to migrate all 10 digit M2M/IoT MSISDN numbers to the new 14 digit 096 number range. We understand that this change may impact your systems and hence the services you deliver.
We urge you to investigate whether this change will affect your business systems or services and to make the necessary changes in order to support the new number range. Vodacom will communicate your specific migration date once agreed with you in due course.
Please contact your Account Manager to discuss any concerns or to find out more about this Number Migration Plan or for further enquiries please send an email to:
There are two main impacts that the Regulation has on numbers used in M2M/ IoTapplications:
The MSISDN length falls in line with E.164 number format
The dramatic increase in the amount of M2M /IoT devices being deployed in South Africa as well as the expected growth in the market has made it necessary to create a dedicated number range in order to free up numbers in the traditional voice and data number ranges.
Will my SIM card need to be replaced?
No, your SIM card will not need to be replaced.
Will there be a cost to me associated with this change?
Vodacom does not charge for the migration. However there may be a cost incurred to the customer should the customer’s system not be able to accommodate this 14 digit change.
Will there be any downtime when the numbers are migrated from the old MSISDN to the new MSISDN?
No, there will be no system downtime experienced as a result of the change.
How will Vodacom allocate the new numbers to existing active M2M / IoT subscriber lines?
New MSISDNs will be randomly allocated for the following number range: 096 020 0500 0000 to 096 020 0599 9999 or 096 020 0600 0000 to 096 020 0699 9999
Do the new numbers have the same functionality as the current ones?
There is no change to the functionality of SIM or the tariff.
If the SIM is used in an application which uses both voice and data – does the MSISDN need to be migrated?
Yes, if the Sim is used for M2M/IoT (Internet of Things) it will be migrated to 14 digits.
How will the number change requirements affect the Vodacom Global Data Services Platform (GDSP) solution?
As the Vodacom GDSP Global M2M /IoT platform solution does not use a traditional MSISDN there will be no change required for customers using the GDSP solution.
I have not had anyone contact me from Vodacom, what should I do?
A Vodacom representative will be in contact to make arrangements and to plan for the successful migration to the 14 digit number range. If you would like us to call you sooner, please send us an email with your contact details (name, surname, company name, contact numbers and Vodacom account number), and we will make contact with you as soon as possible on NumberPlan@vodacom.co.za
*For further details please refer to the ICASA website on the Number Plan Regulation*