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disconnected numbers recycled

Level 1: Joiner
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Disconnected numbers are gone forever, someone on this forum has claimed.

Well, if that is true, why is it they can be assigned to a new customer randomly, but they cannot be requested as a number change? It's clearly something that *could* be changed (since not all networks operate in this way). No amount of money could do this, really?


Anyway, letter to CEO just despatched.



Message 1 of 7

Not applicable
They are recycled but only after 6 months of disconnection..

Gone forever to the disconnectee.. with only a minute chance of coming across it again!
Message 2 of 7

Level 55: Good Authority
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Once a number is disconnected the original (previous) user has a few days to request it back.
After this time it indeed goes back into the pot waiting to be used.
It is from here that mobile operators (either "real" or virtual) draw from when assigning numbers to sim cards.
There are companies out there that sell mobile phone numbers for ones that might be more desirable.
You can also request one number change on a PAYG (pay as you go) or PAYM (pay monthly) sim.
Not sure if you can request a specific number or if it is a random one though...

Please note, this is not customer services and we cannot access your account. Do not publish personal details (email, phone number, bank account).

Link to our guide on how to contact them can be found here

Message 3 of 7

Level 94: Supreme
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Not applicable

Not applicable

@gmarkj wrote:
After this time it indeed goes back into the pot waiting to be used.


This got me thinking about exactly how mobile numbers are allocated - clearly geographic numbers are allocated (somewhat) by geography - chances are if you get a call from a number starting 01773 it's likely the caller lives in Ripley..


However cellular no's are non-geographic eleven digit numbers and are allocated  by the first six digits ONLY company by company, by ofcom.


Soo here's how i think it happens, take the number.





07 -  Digit one &  two designate the number as being a personal number, a pager, or a mobile number.


1 -    The third digit if it is 0 indicates a ten or eleven  digit 'personal number' **** and if its a 1 thru 9 then it's a mobile or pager number 


060 - Digits four, five and six are together with digit three are either allocated to a provider or reserved for future  use. O2 have 1060 thru to 1079  ie  071060 00000 thru to 071079 99999


XXXXX The last five digits are up to the company to allocate...  


So just in the number range listed alone the company has or at least had a million numbers to choose from - all in all Telefonica alone probably have or HAD number ranges in the 20-30 million individual numbers.


I say 'had' cos the bottom line is you can only have any one individual number in use uniquely. Once it's been allocated on a sim, or in use by a customer or has been ported out of the network it's no longer available. 


Now the ofcom list I looked at, for all this, lists every one of the 070 personal number prefixes including 07005, 07006 and 07008 but strangely 07007 is missing  - showing that even ofcom know the value of certain number ranges.


I'm guessing the networks horse trade their own ''desirable" numbers with other networks 'desirables' cos many number ranges will be valuable to some customers but not to others but I expect they keep the most valuable ones to sell off, as gold.


Additionally and has been mentioned numbers that some might consider desirable that end up on PAYG sims can be sold on by third parties, though using these involves activating/ taking over the SIM, and then porting it in if wanted on a contract. 


Quite how they keep track of the desirable needles in the haystack of bog standard numbers is beyond me, and the above just points to the futility of trying to track down 'in use' numbers. Either a number is available to a network from its own stock or another networks in which case might be allocatable or it's been allocated and it isn't.






***** often called '070 personal numbers' or “follow-me” numbers, 070 numbers are used to connect calls to landlines or mobiles with the caller paying all connection costs.

Message 6 of 7

Level 94: Supreme
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That's a lot of in depth research and very feasible reasoning. I only know that no one has a sniff now of a 'memorable' number. These are all withheld from general release to Joe Public and made available as golden numbers at varying prices obviously dependent on the number. 

The old saying that anything is available for a price holds true but is only worth what fools or the wealthy are prepared to pay. That's not to say that some of the wealthy aren't fools..... 

Message 7 of 7