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Re: data point - anonymous E.164 number usage, enum-trial@localhost, enum-l@localhost

  • To: James Seng < >
  • From: Michael Haberler < >
  • Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 08:24:20 +0100

At 01:16 27.02.2004, James Seng wrote:

And the point is?...
During discussion of validation rules, one proposal which came up was to require proof of identity for mobile users.

For prepaid anonymous SIM cards, this would have meant that more data and effort is required for validation of the ENUM domain than for aquiring the underlying phone service itself. Plus, the resulting data, even if collected, would have no reference data set to be compared to. And: this applies to quite many subscribers.

Or, to put it differently - any validation effort shall keep the underlying service data requirements and available data quality in perspective, or it might result in collecting useless data at high cost.

I'm sure there are many more examples where subscriber identity proof is of limited use - telcos might not care as much if you are James Seng, but they care about you paying the bill.


Michael Haberler wrote:
In the context of validation of numbers for ENUM, I have tried to estimate the amount of mobile users which have totally anonymously bought a prepaid SIM card, or in other words, users of E.164 numbers which have no trace at all in a phonebook or other records.
In the EU, all countries except Germany, Hungary and Italy permit totally anonymous purchase of prepaid SIM cards. This indicates that about 65% of the EU population have access to anonymous mobile service (even in Italy, just a taxpayer code is needed which is not subscriber data but allows to track down a user for law enforcement - but lets leave that out for the sake of argument; in France I understand a record is made for purposes of recovering a lost SIM card but not for proof of identity).
There are about 400 Million mobile users in Europe, and penetration of prepaid is about 40%. Assuming that nobody registers if he doesnt have to, and multiplying those figures a ballpark estimate is that *there are about 100 Million E.164 numbers in use in Europe without any subscriber data just through the use of prepaid SIM cards.

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