Who owns the phone number?

Another attempt to figure out who is the owner of the phone number, as well as a proposal to forever bind the number to a specific person. Is this correct, who might need it and what will be the consequences of such a radical move?

Let’s make a reservation right away: most likely, there will be no consequences, since the adoption of such an amendment to the law “On Communications” is unlikely. And even if the corresponding amendments are adopted, little will change in the format proposed now. Probably, the procedure for transferring a phone number to another person and inheriting the number can be somewhat simplified, but it is unlikely that all this will be greatly simplified, there are too many procedures mandatory by law when registering a phone number. Then why start all this and who needs it? Let’s try to understand.

What’s in my room for you?

Read the article in “Kommersant” here, very interesting material. I will quote so as not to rewrite in my own words:

“Deputies Fedot Tumusov and Dmitry Ionin proposed amendments to Art. 45 of the law “On Communications” follows from the bill, which Kommersant got acquainted with. It is planned to be introduced on June 25th. The law proposes to write down that a mobile user “has the right to keep the allocated subscriber number for himself, as well as to dispose of it, including transferring it to a third party on a reimbursable or gratuitous basis,” notifying the mobile operator about this. Such a feature is considered an “additional service” that the user can deactivate at any time. If the subscriber does not pay for communication within six months, the operator has the right to no longer provide the service, and the number will no longer be retained by the subscriber.

<...> …. As Mr. Tumusov explained to Kommersant, the transfer of the number to the ownership will be an additional service that will be mandatory only at the request of the subscriber. In his opinion, it will allow the owner, for example, to transfer the number by inheritance. “

Cool? How to say. If you look at it, then almost nothing new is offered, but more on that below. As for the ownership of telephone numbers, their owner is the state, mobile operators only rent numbers. And, in turn, they offer these numbers rented from the state to their subscribers. Unfortunately, many believe that the number received from the operator becomes their property, but this is not the case. If your number is needed by the state or the operator, then it will be taken away from you and given another. This is not a joke or a horror story, at one time my number was taken away from me (and not only from me) when the state wanted this number sequence for its projects. Then the state changed its mind, but the number was not returned. Another thing is that it happens so rarely that it cultivates the widespread illusion that the number belongs to the subscriber.

From this point of view, the innovation proposed now has some practical meaning, since it will be a little more difficult to select the number conditionally belonging to the subscriber. If they want, they will still take it away, but, as far as I understand, in the case of an officially registered purchase of a number by a subscriber, the subscriber taking away the number from him (the state or the operator) in this case will have to compensate the affected subscriber for the costs. The case is, to put it mildly, infrequent, but it does happen.

What can change

If you decided to approach the issue thoroughly and wanted to actually legitimize the ownership of the subscriber’s number, then a lot would have to be changed, and so, judging by what is offered, there is a lot of PR and light cosmetics. Let’s try to look at things, as they say, with a sober look.

Who owns the phone number?

The regional binding of the sim card does not disappear anywhere, “where the account was opened – go there and go change the card !!!” (© – Sberbank). That is, with all the possible beauty of the number, the rationality of buying such a sim card is questionable. The rationality of a sale is quite another matter; it is tempting to sell a number. Not all buyers understand that a SIM card purchased for a lot of money remains “assigned” to the issuing region, and is not magically transformed. After all, they read a lot of bravura news about the fact that from now on, for very little money, the number becomes their property. Let’s say that it becomes formally, but what’s the point? Bring your purchased number to your health in Russia, it was assigned to a certain region, and it will remain assigned there.

Who owns the phone number?

I am tired of writing about the fact that roaming has been “canceled” (and it was canceled crookedly and half-heartedly), and by no means long-distance, but ordinary people do not understand this phenomenon catastrophically. And how to understand if even experts get confused in this verbiage and law-making perversion? Read at least our review here, this is from the latter. I’m also tired of writing about this, but others don’t write at all: it’s impossible to understand or figure it out right away, they are afraid to write outright nonsense and prefer not to get away from sinning in all this. Buying a number won’t change a thing in all this.

By the way, take another look at the quote from the sentence (see the quote above), I specially emphasized the important ending of the paragraph: if you haven’t performed paid actions with the number for half a year, then it, honestly bought by you, is taken away from you and simply returned to the operator. It turns out that you bought such a specific, rapidly disappearing “property”, and everything remained as elementary as it was. How was it without buying a number and your parting with money, and you stupidly paid for an additional line in the list of characteristics of the room, no?

The process of selling or donating a kind of honestly purchased number belonging to you is a separate topic. The number is not a porcelain figurine on a shelf; it needs to be re-issued anyway. And the operator is legally obliged to verify the passport of the “receiving the gift” with his face, and also do the same with the face of the person and the passport of the donor. This is called “change of ownership”, and no one is going to cancel this procedure. And how is it easier than the existing procedure for changing the owner?

With beautiful phrases about the possibility of inheriting a number as property – it’s a separate story. Far from everyone, not everyone knows that the number of the untimely deceased can be reissued to a relative-heir for a long time, but only if you have not just a will, but a will with a separate specifying phrase “and my phone numbers”, there is no way without it. And this is if the heir does not forget to notify the operator about the death of the subscriber, because if this is not done, then the number will be taken away even before the heir enters his rights (according to the law, at least six months).

The procedure itself also raises numerous questions, but it’s too lazy to analyze in detail. Sharing the skin of a bear that has not yet been killed by Fair Russia? Dismiss me, let them first push their amendment into the law “On Communications”, and then “we’ll see”. So far, this is more like a PR action by Fair Russia and its two deputies, nothing more. If we are engaged in conspiracy theories, then we can assume some preliminary running-in of the idea of ​​rigidly assigning a telephone number to each citizen. In the proposed amendment, assigning the number to the owner is a voluntary matter, but who prevents, if the experiment is successful, from making it mandatory? In theory, maybe, in practice – very unlikely.

“Added value” of the room

Experts write, and this is not news for many years: in Russia (or rather, including in Russia), a telephone number is successfully used as a means of authentication. “Simple and tasteful”: it is assumed that the operator has passport data and all other ins and outs of each subscriber, ie you can safely use the phone as a reliable means of identifying a person. And what if suddenly a sim card issued for someone else’s uncle was bought in a gateway? Well, in the country of victorious socialism, this cannot happen in principle. And if suddenly it could be, then we are struggling with it.

For what and for whom?

To be honest, despite all my efforts, I did not see the direct beneficiaries of the proposed amendments to the Law “On Communications”. I can only assume an attempt to bring numerous deals for the sale of beautiful rooms from the “gray” zone to the legal zone, with the collection of the corresponding taxes. That is, they seem to be trying for the good of the state. It is no secret that the sale of beautiful numbers is a long-standing business that brings in considerable income and is out of the attention of the tax authorities. How does it work now? Everything is “under the rug” and unprovable: two people sit down at a table in a communication salon and arrange a “change of owner”, pay 300 rubles and leave, satisfied with each other and the employee of the salon. They can even give the employee of the salon a chocolate bar. Who, to whom and how much later (or before that) transferred cash rubles, no one except themselves knows. And this is a mess, you must agree! Moreover, there are many tens and hundreds of thousands of money, beautiful numbers are always in the price.

As I was told, in the past many people were employed in the “business” of beautiful rooms, who went to the salons, chose and bought more attractive rooms for resale. They say that now this “business” in this format is actually dying out due to the fact that operators have greatly raised prices for beautiful numbers and resale ceases to bring the previous profit.

Who owns the phone number?

It may seem strange, but now, as they say, it is cheaper to buy a beautiful number from a service provider than directly from an operator. Have you bought / sold beautiful numbers? Tell us about your experience.

From this point of view, the logic of introducing personalized telephone numbers is clear. It’s like with privatized apartments: donate your property to anyone you want, good Samaritan, but do not forget to pay the state tax if you suddenly become frequent with such gifts. And then suddenly you started your (or someone else’s) hard-earned real estate not to give, but to sell, without paying the state tax? It seems to me that with paid and “private property” phone numbers will be about the same.

If the amendments are adopted (miracles happen), even in such a castrated format, then all sorts of seething around this topic will make the telecom life more interesting and richer. For example, it may be possible to insure a room, since it is now kind of like your property, which has a very specific price in rubles. And if the next thief, with the help of an operator’s employee, receives a duplicate of your SIM card in the salon under a fake power of attorney and clears your bank accounts attached to it, then the insurance company will deal with the operator, and not you personally, sticking your tongue out, running around the courts.


An interesting project, although it is unlikely to be implemented in the current conditions. Although … Isn’t it just that the deputies of “Fair Russia” suddenly began to intensely worry about the financial well-being of the owners of beautiful numbers? Eh, I would ask the deputies themselves, but the origin of the numerous amendments to the laws, which the deputies unexpectedly (including for themselves?) Initiate, in most cases remains unknown to the general public. To recall at least the famous “Yarovaya Package”, no one seriously assumes that the respected deputy herself invented all this or even instructed her assistants to develop it?

And I want to repeat: in their current form, the proposed amendments have no radical consequences. Especially considering that it is supposed to bind a number to a person on a voluntary basis and in a free service format. If they suddenly accept it, then we will honor it. Psychologically, it’s probably nice: you can be proud and brag about your personal phone number.

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