with 5G Promising to fold billions of devices, Japan hopes to reach that demand by launching plans to create 10 billion 14-digit phone numbers. like The Japan Times reported today, all the new numbers will start with the code "020."
The plan is to introduce the new numbers by the end of 2021. Three of Japan's largest mobile operators – NTT Docomo, KDDI, and soft – agreed to the idea and will update their systems to accommodate the 10 billion new numbers. Japan's communications service plans to reward carriers for forward-schedule support.
Japan expects to run out of 11-digit numbers as early as fiscal 2022, starting on April 1 of that year for the Japanese government.
The 14 billion new figures sound excessive, but remember that Internet of Things (IoT) devices use 11-digit numbers starting with "020" from January 2017. Carriers have already used 32.6 million of the 11-digit 020 numbers allocated two years ago.
14-digit numbers can be difficult for the masses as there will be more numbers to remember. This issue can be exacerbated by Japan's aging of the population. It is estimated that people are over 60 make up 33 percent of the Japanese population.
However, we can see similar announcements in other countries planning to deploy 5G networks and lower on dedicated phone numbers. It's not so much of a problem in the US where a North American numbers plan exhaust analysis estimate that the country's current numbering system is sufficient until 2044.