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Russian firms support ban on number change at Internet calls

September 24, 2014, 16:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The State Duma, the parliament’s lower house, postponed the consideration of a bill to change phone numbers until October
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© AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

MOSCOW, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian cellular operators have supported a ban from changing telephone numbers when making calls via Internet services to mobile and landline phones, PRIME reported Wednesday.

The State Duma, the parliament’s lower house, postponed the consideration of a bill to change phone numbers until October.

The delay was proposed by Yaroslav Nilov, a deputy from the Liberal Democratic Political Party (LDPR), due to mass media reports claiming that the suggested amendments will almost ban Skype and IP telephony.

“An illegal termination of traffic with a replacement of phone numbers of subscribers making calls is a serious problem: the connection quality degrades in these calls; and the replacement of the number gives a lot of room for fraud against subscribers. Besides, subscribers could not see the incoming number and call back,” a spokesperson for cellular operator MTS said.

“We find important so that operators respect the rules of routing traffic, including the indication of a right phone number: the subscriber should understand from what number they are given a call,” Dmitry Petrov, director for relations with state entities at cellular operator MegaFon, said.

Deputy Communications Minister Dmitry Alkhazov said that the initiative forbidding operators to alter phone numbers will not affect activities of Skype.

“According to our estimates, the adoption of the bill will not influence activities of IP telephony operators, using legal schemes of traffic routing, including the work of such service as Skype,” Alkhazov said.

He said the Communications and Mass Media Ministry has familiarized with the bill and will take part in its deliberation.

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