The province of Málaga has the lowest availability of new fixed-line telephone numbers in Spain.  To ease the pressure on the system, it has been proposed that a new prefix be introduced to permit the generation of more numbers.

Presently, all numbers in the province begin with either 951 or 952, but with take-up at 93 per cent capacity, the risk of running out of new numbers to allocate is becoming a reality.  In a recent report, the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) described phone numbering as a “limited resource,” adding that there is a “medium-term risk” of a depletion in six Spanish provinces including Málaga.

With government approval, the CNMC awards each telecoms operator blocks of 10,000 numbers be used within a given province or district.  The report warns that only 13 such blocks remain available in Málaga, so has asked government to approve a new prefix for the province.  This is expected to be 851 followed by numbers starting from 2 to 9.

The other provinces where capacity is presently running at 90 per cent or more capacity and where new prefixes have been proposed are Alicante, Badajoz, Burgos, Castellón and Guipúzcoa.  Two years ago in a similar exercise, Guipúzcoa was given a new 8437 prefix while Madrid province began using 919.