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Botswana's Numbering Plan

The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) commissioned an independent study of the future of Botswanas E.164 (telephony) Numbering Plan. This report is written on the basis of information gathered and discussions held during a weeks visit by an external consultant to Botswana in July 1998. Discussions including BOCRA staff and the consultant took place with:

  • Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) (twice)
  • Both cellular operators, Orange Botswana (then Vista)  and Mascom Wireless
  • Three users (with responsibility for large company telecoms), all based in Gaborone
  • A. C. Braby (Botswanas directory producer)

All those who took part in these discussions are thanked for their valuable contributions. Comments on a draft report made by BOCRA, BTC and Mascom are also acknowledged, and have been reflected here wherever appropriate.

The Current Numbering Plan

Botswanas population is around 1.8m, with a fixed line teledensity of about 8 per hundred population, amounting to some 144 195 lines as at March 2009. Over half of the lines are concentrated in the capital, Gaborone. Together with a small but fast growing number of mobile phones, the fixed lines are numbered by a closed near-uniform geographically structured 6-digit numbering plan. The following numbers have more than 6 digits:

  • DDI lines in Gaborone, which have 7 digits, numbered in the ranges starting 36 and 355 mobile phones, which have 2-digit codes (71 and 72) and 6-digit subscriber numbers, ie 8 digits in all the new 0800 freephone range, which with 6-digit subscriber numbers (SNs) amount to 10 digits in all...