Muscat: The first online auction for VIP (diamond and gold) numbers will be held on Monday and the money raised will go to charity, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) has said.
TRA will oversee the implementation of the number allocation process by two telecom operators, Omantel and Ooredoo.
“Specific procedures will be put in place to prevent potential manipulation, and payment will have to be made within three days,” Mohammed Al Kindi, Executive Manager of TRA’s Regulatory and Compliance Unit, said.
Eng. Babker Othman, Manager of the Technical Standards and Numbering Department at the Regulatory and Compliance Unit, said: “Allocating special numbers through auctioning ensures they reach the largest possible number of interested users. Telecom services users value the transparency in offering the special numbers by auction and donating the money generated to charity.”
The bidding will be conducted through websites of the two telecom operators and those interested in registering for the auction will get updates by these companies.
“Through this auction, TRA continues to spread and instill transparency in allocating special numbers to beneficiaries. The other objective is to limit the illegal trade in allocation of special numbers, noting that revenues from such bidding will go to charitable organisations in the Sultanate, in accordance with the Telecommunications Regulatory Act,” Eng. Mohammed Al Kindi added.
To respond to some social media inquiries regarding the bidding process, Eng. Babker said: “The diamond and gold numbers are the most popular among telecom services users. The silver numbers have not been included in the auction and have a fixed price of OMR 50.”
Al Kindi remarked that TRA had recently issued a regulation to organise the allocation of telecommunications numbers pursuant to Decision (No. 1/2018) that was published in the Gazette. As per this decision, allocation of diamond and gold numbers will be by auction in accordance with the procedures set forth in the decision. This would allow greater transparency in the allocation of telecommunications numbers to beneficiaries.
He added that the regulation further defined five types of diamond numbers: numbers containing the same digit repeated consecutively at least five times; numbers containing the same two-digit combination repeated four times; numbers containing the same digit consecutively four times at end between two same digits, numbers containing the same digit consecutively four times at end or next to end and a digit repeated consecutively two times; and numbers containing the same two-digit combination repeated consecutively three times.
Also, gold numbers are of seven types: numbers containing the same digit consecutively at least five times at the end or next to the end and a different digit separating the first and second or third and fourth repetition; numbers containing the same digit consecutively four times at end or next to end; numbers containing the same digit consecutively four times between two same digits after the first digit; numbers containing two digits each repeated three consecutive times and the repetition separated by another different digit; numbers containing same first four and last four digits; numbers containing same two-digit combination repeated three times at the end of a number or a combination of two digits repeated twice and the repetition separated by another combination; and numbers containing ascending order of at least six consecutive digits.