MORE than 10 million new mobile phone numbers starting with ‘4’, ‘7’ and ‘8’ will start hitting the market this month, with speculators looking out for ‘lucky’ combinations.
To cope with demand for new mobile phone numbers, the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA, 通訊事務管理辦公室) began implementing a series of measures last year to open up 15 million numbers for mobile communications to help meet demands for new numbers until 2029.
It said that 10.6 million new numbers starting with ‘4’, ‘7’ and ‘8’ would be available this month.
In Cantonese, four is considered unlucky as it sounds like ‘death,’ while eight is auspicious as it is phonetically similar to ‘fortune’, or ‘getting rich’.
An operator of a trading platform for phone numbers, surnamed Mak, said some combinations that end with ‘8888’ could be worth tens of thousands of dollars. “Some business users, such as lawyers and companies, may use it as their primary phone number. It is also good for advertising, as some combinations are easily memorised," Mak said.
Mak added that some end users who obtained ‘lucky combinations’ might also want to resell them for profit.
An OFCA spokesman warned against phone scams. “Whatever the leading digit when receiving incoming calls, members of the public should stay vigilant with regard to suspicious phone calls,” the spokesman said.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 13 February 2018)
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OFCA press release