Ukrainian mobile operators block communication with new Crimean numbers

Ukrainian mobile operators block communication with new Crimean numbers
Photo: Reuters

The meeting of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ended last week in South Korea. The Ukrainian delegation prepared a draft resolution prohibiting the use of Russian telephone numbers in Crimea and Sevastopol.

Ukrainian fiasco

The draft resolution never came to vote. Secretary General of the ITU Hamadoun Toure simply read the document thanking Ukraine and Russia for a compromise. However, he confused the name of the Republic of Crimea and the Republic of Korea. Then he laughed stating he does not intend to declare a war there.

Vitaliy Kuksa, Adviser to the Chief of the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIPU), a telecommunications administration representing Ukraine at the specialized international conferences, said that if the resolution was put to vote the conference could be simply disrupted. Toure feared such a scenario. “In other words, they let the solution slide,” says one of Capitals’ sources on the telecommunications market.

On its Facebook page the SSSCIPU reported that over the last week of meetings of the ITU in Korea the composition of the Russian delegation has increased up to 70 compared to seven officials representing Ukraine. This allegedly gave the Russians the opportunity to hold many talks with representatives of various delegations that were often repeated. In the end, they managed to convince many delegates of the biased approach in the Ukrainian proposition. As a result, the Ukrainian side was allegedly persuaded to agree to a compromise.

Disconnecting international communication

Meanwhile, at the end of last week the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Information (NCSRCI) published its recommendations for operators’ work in Crimea. In particular, the NCSRCI states the necessity of suspension of servicing of traffic from Russian codes assigned by Russia to Crimea and Sevastopol (+7365, +7869, +7978-60, +7978-64 and +7978-9).

As a reminder, Miranda Media, a subsidiary of Rostelecom, started operating in Crimea this summer with the code +7365 (somehow it agreed on the maintenance of Crimean subscribers of Datagroup). Beeline’s VimpelCom was issued the numbers with the code +7987-6 on the peninsula. In addition, since August the Russian company K-Telekom (WinMobile) has been servicing the only GSM-network in Crimea with the code +7978-9. These companies received Russian codes on the territory of the peninsula. At the same time, Crimea (except Sevastopol) still uses the code +38 and the local Ukrainian numbering of Ukrtelecom and 3G-operator of the monopoly Trimob continues to operate with the code +38-091. Its network provides roaming services for the remaining subscribers of MTS Ukraine.

Start of the blockade

Back in October Ukrtelecom called on Ukrainian operators to block the traffic from Sevastopol numbers with +7869 code (Sevastopol’s code assigned by Russia after annexation of the peninsula) when the company lost control over its subsidiary in Sevastopol. It is currently managed by Sevtelekom controlled by the city authorities. Sevtelekom was given a Russian code +7869-2.

On Friday the largest mobile operators Kyivstar and MTS Ukraine reported that they fulfilled the recommendations of the regulatory commission and stopped traffic routing on the number resource allocated by the Russian Federal Communications Agency for Crimea and Sevastopol. Press Secretary of MTS Ukraine even added that the company started receiving complaints from its subscribers, who could not get through to Crimea, and representatives of life :) reported that the company has been analyzing the recommendations of the NCSRCI “with a view to implementation in compliance with the legislation of Ukraine and the recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union”. “Such mobile codes as +7978-60, +7978-64 and +7978-9 will be blocked by the operator within four days,” representative of the press service of Ukrtelecom said on Friday. In addition, the landline codes +7365 and +7869 are already blocked in the entire network of the company regardless of the entry point.

Earlier, representatives of the government of Sevastopol stated in conversations with Capital that subscribers in the city had difficulties making calls to Ukraine though they were mostly on landline networks.

Inspection impossible

Despite this, member of the NCSRCI Viktor Mazur says not all the operators have implemented the recommendations. He believes that an inspection should be carried out. He also says that the regulatory body cannot initiate it independently – it needs an appeal from at least one subscriber. Another member of the NCSRCI Oleksandr Sklyarov adds that it will be impossible to conduct an inspection even in theory, since there is a moratorium of the Cabinet on inspections of business entities by the end of 2014. “And we completed those inspections for which we had permits by November 1,” he added.

Noteworthy is that not all Russian numbers operating in Crimea are affected by the recommendations of the NCSRCI. For example, since the beginning of the summer the Krasnodar branch of MTS started retail sales of its SIM cards on the peninsula (+7978). Now they are working in the K-Telecom network and calls to Ukraine from these numbers are not blocked. The fact is that they were not intended for Crimea and were registered as numbers in the Krasnodar region.

Comments (3)
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Артем Коновалов
Артем Коновалов 11 November 2014, 17:18

Все делается для народа, для того чтобы удобнее было общаться. А вдруг какой-нибудь абонент расскажет другому абоненту какую нибудь гос тайну? И всё, пиши пропало.

Семён Березин 10 November 2014, 17:06

А сайт "Корреспондент" блокирует и безжалостно банит неугодных комментаторов, удаляет комменты обычных комментаторов, пишущих по сути вопроса или статьи. Лучше бы банили тупых троллей! А может у них там на Корре цель, чтобы комментаторами остались только тролли??? Интересно, чьи провладные интересы Корреспондент представляет?

Артем Коновалов
Артем Коновалов 10 November 2014, 17:37

А не любят на "Корреспонденте" не угодных комментаторов. Все-же должно быть АККУРАТНЕНЬКО... Шепнули на ушко в принудительном тоне кому надо, вот и работают "человеки" оправдывая доверие, да и не за бесплатно наверное...