Sunday, 11 September 2016

Numbering plan

Some decades ago I managed to extract a 1,000 number block out of BT.

The way I did it was simple. Having "The BT Price List" I could see that "reserving a block of numbers" was free, so I applied for, and got an order confirmation for, a block of 10,000 numbers on my ISDN2 lines. I did it twice, in fact.

Obviously the order did not happen, so I complained to chairman's office, as one could, at the time, and settled for a 1,000 number block as resolution if it was a "nice" one. Initially only 30 were "live" and so paid for.

We have been plagued with wrong numbers ever since, but have some cool numbers. Later, 10 of the numbers were sold by BT to an estate agent, and so I grabbed all 990 remaining and ported out. We still get bogus calls for the estate agent on numbers they don't have!

You will have seen we have 01344 400 xxx, or a least 990 of them, on the A&A site. I personally have a block of 100 of those routed to me. Once upon a time they went to ISDN2 lines in my garage (now man cave), but now are all VoIP.

So, a long time ago I set up some direct numbers for myself and my wife at home, and my kids. Back then the kids actually had analogue phones in their bedrooms on an ISDN (Avaya/Alchemy) system. It was pretty recently that the old 5 pair analogue cabling was pulled out from the house. So, yes, from birth (mostly), my kids had direct personal phone numbers (and email addresses) assigned.

Some still use them to this day, assigned to a mobile SIM card or VoIP phone as well as ringing other mobile devices.

But today I realised I needed a 2nd level of numbering, and started assigning a number scheme within the 100 numbers I have for grand kids. Yes, I have a scheme to allow for up to 9 kids for each of my kids in the numbering plan. I am assuming that by the time I have great grand kids phone numbers will really be obsolete.

The crazy thing is that the 8 year old grandchild has a mobile phone, and a number (albeit locked down on who he can call or from which he can receive calls, or texts), and I expect my 3 year old grandchild will have the same very soon.

I must admit that such a numbering scheme is something I never imagined when I started in telecoms. But now, why not. Why not have numbering the family can understand.

Next step, email addressing schemes :-)


  1. Wait 'till he tries to dial on a phone like the one in this blog post...

  2. That reminds me, I need to update my exim configuration, my new daughter's address still returns <** 550 reserved for future use

  3. Considering the way that my 9 month old daughter like playing with phones and how angry and gets when taking it away I am wondering how to setup a phone with limited access to prevent random numbers such as 999 being called.

    1. That is almost impossible in a mobile phone. Easier on a sip/VoIP phone though.

    2. Almost impossible on current "smart" phones that are actually so "dumb" it hurts then.

      You could do that with fixed dialling on any old Nokia back in the day.

    3. Not convinced, there were rules, that you had to be able to call 112 and 999 even with the phone locked, so I would have thought even fixed dialling with have had that exception.

    4. > 9 month old daughter like playing with phones and how angry and gets when taking it away I am wondering how to setup a phone with limited access

      Give her an old iPod Touch or a cheap phone without a SIM?

    5. There is about to be released which has very limited numbers that can be called plus gps taking and that's it.

      Thinking about it a bit more, a cheap iPod touch or similar would be the ideal option for a toy that looks like a phone and is safe to use. Potentially with some Sugru around the edge to make it safer.

    6. I probably should have refreshed the page afore submitting the last comment so that I could see Neil's comment.

      It's annoying the way that mobile browsers spend ages looking like they are loading the page from scratch when they are only loading the cached version.

  4. Your eldest grandchild is 8 so it's perfectly plausible that you'll have great-grandkids in 15 years time.
    I'd be very surprised if phone numbers had disappeared within that time frame.

    You'll be needing a RevK PhoneDay!