Mobile phone numbers starting with the digits “4,” “7” and “8” will soon be available to Hongkongers, the Office of the Communications Authority said on Monday.

The first batch of numbers with the new prefixes will be available starting this month, adding around 10.6 million new numbers for allocation. They will be used alongside the existing mobile phone numbers starting with the digits “5,” “6” and “9.”

Photo: GovHK.

A spokesperson for the Communications Authority said the public will start receiving calls with the new prefixes and warned that “members of the public should stay vigilant with regard to suspicious phone calls.”

Operators are required to insert a “+” sign as a prefix for all calls from outside of Hong Kong so that the public can identify suspicious calls.

The release of the new numbers are part of a plan introduced by the Communications Authority in 2016 for the “more efficient utilisation of the 8-digit numbering plan.”

The office said that, when all the measures are fully implemented, there will be an additional 15.72 million numbers for mobile services. It will help meet demands until 2029.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.