Wednesday, 24 October 2012

United Nations OCHA Teams-up With Voxbone to Facilitate Disaster Relief Communications on the iNum +883/+888 Network

Voxbone SA of Belgium  is spreading the word that the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has been assigned the exclusive use of the E.164 geographic country code +888 by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and that OCHA and Voxbone have entered into an arrangement where Voxbone provides assistance to OCHA for the implementation and routing of the +888 numbering range allocated to OCHA.

Through their agreement, Voxbone has been tasked with taking "any actions needed to ensure that calling parties on multiple fixed and mobile access networks can call the +888 numbering range / country code under conditions specified by OCHA".

As well, "OCHA,  acting through its agent Voxbone SA in respect of the assignment of the country code +888,  requests the cooperation of telecommunication providers and national regulators regarding the immediate implementation of the country code +888 into their networks and country. The end-user tariff to reach these numbers should be lower or similar to the tariff of a national call."

The +888 numbering resources have been assigned solely for the use of UN emergency responders and not for other purposes. The commercial aspects of the use of the numbering resource will be negotiated between OCHA and the appropriate operators and service providers.

The +888 dialing plan consists of +888 followed by eleven digits, i.e. +888 xxx xxx xxxxx.

The +888 number range has been allocated to OCHA  for the purpose of facilitating the provision of an
international system of naming and addressing for terminals involved in disaster relief activities in an area
of a country that has been cut off from the national telecommunications system of that country until such
time as normal telecommunications can be restored. The use of these numbering resources will therefore
be relatively short-lived and the resource may be re-used at a later date for another location.

Voxbone is providing their services and resources to the United Nations for free as a way of illustrating their commitment to humanitarian responsibility during times of natural disasters.

Voxbone is encouraging all incumbent (ILEC) and competitive (CLEC) local exchange carriers to join them in their efforts to assist the United Nations humanitarian relief efforts during times of natural disasters by facilitating the routing of all 14-digit +888 country code calls for free, or at a very low nominal rate.

Who is Voxbone?
Voxbone is the market leader in providing worldwide geographical, toll-free and iNum® telephone numbers. The company delivers high-quality inbound communications (often referred to as direct inward dialing, or DID) from more than 50 countries and more than 4,000 cities. Voxbone enables Internet communications services providers, global carriers and national operators to extend the reach of their voice services internationally, rapidly and with limited costs.  Founded in 2005, Voxbone is privately held and has offices in Brussels, and Los Angeles.