I N T E R N A T I O N A L
R O A M I N G
MOBILE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (M I N)
A S S I G N M E N T
G U I D E L I N E S
A N D
P R O C E D U R E S
This document contains the guidelines and procedures for the assignment
and use of International Roaming Mobile identification
numbers (IRM) in ANSI-41 based mobile systems. IRMs perform, internationally,
the same function as the Mobile Identification Number (MIN) in domestic
networks. The use of IRMs is a temporary solution for
international roaming between or into ANSI-41 based systems. The long term
solution is the evolution to and use of the International Mobile Subscriber
Identifier (IMSI), a 15-digit identifier defined in the International
Telecommunications Union's (ITU) Recommendation E.212 - The International
The MIN is a 10-digit number that traditionally has been identical to
the domestic Mobile Directory Number (MDN) and is defined in
ANSI/EIA/TIA-553. The MIN is used
by home and visited wireless networks to identify the subscriber and to perform
subscriber and service verification procedures. The use of a domestic number,
if utilized across national boundaries when roaming internationally, can
often result in conflicts with MINs in other
countries, thereby, hindering or complicating international ANSI-41 based
roaming. There has been no
centralized international administration for MINs and
their formats. TSB-29, by listing all known MIN assignments (NANP and non-NANP) has provided a limited source for
assignment coordination. The International Forum on ANSI-41 Standards
Technologies (IFAST), has assumed an active role
in addressing this problem by creating and administering IRMs.
The IRM administrator is appointed by
the IFAST and manages and coordinates the assignment of the IRMs,
under the oversight of the IFAST.
These guidelines were developed by the consensus of
representatives of entities within the ANSI-41 based international wireless
sector and international wireless networks in which intersystem operations for
roaming and handoff are based on versions of ANSI-41, as represented at the
These guidelines apply
internationally for carriers using ANSI-41 based mobile systems and/or for
carriers roaming into ANSI-41 based systems from other wireless network
guidelines do not supersede the regulations, procedures, or requirements of any
appropriate national or international legal or regulatory authority.
may be found on the IFAST web site;
In many ANSI-41 based
countries, e.g., those countries served by the NANP, numbering resources cannot
have a "0" and "1" as the first or fourth digit of an MDN
and, consequently, of a legitimate MIN. The IFAST determined that this non-utilized
numbering plan capacity was appropriate for IRMs and
determined to use this resource.
Therefore, the IRM is a valid MIN
constrained to having a "0" or "1" as the first digit. As
An IRM Network Identifier is the
4-digit code assigned by IFAST. An
IRM Network Identifier defines an IRM Block, which is a group of one million
unique IRMs which all have the same IRM Network
Identifier. There are 3,600 IRM
Network Identifiers. 2,000 MIN Blocks of the format 0XXX and 1XXX and 1,600 MIN
Blocks of the format NXX0 and NXX1 (N=2-9) are reserved to be assigned by the
IFAST as IRMs.
The IRM, when transmitted by a
roaming terminal to a visited network, is utilized by the VLR of that network
to identify the home network of the roaming subscriber in order to query that
network to determine the validity of the subscriber and to ascertain billing
and services information.
The digits following the IRM
Network Identifier uniquely identify a subscriber of the network identified by
the IRM and are in the format appropriate for the domestic numbering plan of
the home network. The IRM assignee is responsible for the assignment and
management of the digits following the IRM.
These guidelines are based on the following
assumptions and constraints:
guidelines and procedures should provide the greatest latitude to those
providing ANSI-41 based mobile systems, as well as other wireless
technologies carriers providing roaming into ANSI-41 based
systems, while permitting the effective and efficient management
of a finite resource.
function of the IRM administrator will be performed by a person(s)
or organization so agreed to by the IFAST.
The IFAST management is responsible for IRM assignments if such a person
or organization is not agreed to. The Administrator will conform to all aspects
of these Guidelines and will be subject to the oversight of the IFAST.
guidelines do not describe the method by which IRMs are transmitted across and processed by networks.
Network interworking arrangements are contained in
other standards, documents, or business agreements.
by all international carriers engaged in providing
public correspondence based on a wireless medium is strictly voluntary.
The assignment principles defined below allow all international wireless
service providers the greatest possible latitude in providing seamless
international roaming capabilities in ANSI-41 based systems.
IRMs are to be assigned
to any wireless service provider(s) meeting the criteria specified in Section 5
of these guideline, to provide roaming in ANSI-41 based networks.
4.2 IRMs are normally assigned uniquely to individual service
providers. However, it is a national matter whether IRMs
can/must be shared between service providers within a country. IRMs will be shared at the 5th digit level, i.e.,
the 4-digit IRM + the next digit (4+1 = 5-digit format) will identify the
approval of the application, the IRM administrator will initially assign one
IRM Network Identifier (or Block) per network. An applicant(s) must provide customer
forecasts if requested by the IRM administrator when more than one code per
network is requested.
4.4 IRMs shall be assigned to permit the most effective and
efficient use of a finite resource in order to maximize the existing allocated
resource inventory and to defer, as long as practical, the need to request
additional MIN resources.
IRM administrator will:
IRMs in a fair, timely and impartial manner to any
applicant that meets the criteria for assignment (Section 6).
IRMs on a first come, first served basis from
the available pool.
all assignments based on the procedures in these guidelines.
sensitive information received from applicants as proprietary and confidential,
and not to be shared with non-administrator personnel.
that is requested of an applicant(s) in support of an IRM application shall be
uniform and kept to a minimum.
4.7 Assigned IRMs should be implemented by the assignee as
soon as possible, but no later than twelve months after assignment. If the assignee can demonstrate that an
assigned IRM has not been deployed solely due to delays beyond its control, the
time period can be automatically extended for up to 90 days. The IRM assignee must, however, apply to
the Administrator for such an extension. At the discretion of the
administrator, three additional 90-day extensions may be granted.
has the right to reserve any block of IRM network identifiers from assignment,
subject to the appeals process.
entity which is denied an IRM assignment or extension under these guidelines
has the right to appeal that decision (Section 10).
4.10 The payment of an
application fee and an administrative fee is required with an application for
an IRM. Any entity applying
for an IRM must pay outstanding invoices for their past IRM maintenance fees
before any application can be processed by the Administrator.
4.11 As required, an IRM
applicant(s) must comply with all applicable domestic regulations.
4.12 IRM assignees are
required to pay an annual IRM maintenance fee (contact the IFAST Secretariat
for fee schedule). In the case of a shared IRM, all assignees are required to
pay the full maintenance fee. The IFAST will submit an annual bill to each IRM
assignee. Payment is expected within 30 days. However, if payment is not
received within 5 months of billing, the assignee will receive a letter
indicating that if payment if not received in an additional 30 days, the
assigned IRM(s) will be returned to the IRM inventory for reassignment.
Reassignment can occur following the normal "dormant"period
assignment criteria in the following paragraphs should be considered by a
potential IRM applicant(s) before submitting an IRM application and will be
used by the IRM Administrator in reviewing and processing an IRM application.
5.2 IRMs will be assigned to any ANSI-41 based wireless network
that will provides roaming between other ANSI-41 based networks in other countries,
included in the NANP serving area. IRMs can also be
assigned to wireless networks not based in a specific geographic country, e.g.,
Global Mobile Satellite Service (GMSS) networks.
Entities requesting IRM assignments and entities already assigned
one or more IRMs shall comply with the following:
applicants and assignees must meet all conditions specified in these
guidelines. Copies of the
guidelines may be obtained from the IFAST web site (www.ifast.org).
Applicants must apply to the IFAST Secretariat
(contact details provided below). The application must be accompanied by
payment of the application and first annual maintenance fees (see the IFAST
website or contact the Secretariat for fee information). Applicants should
follow all application instructions found on the Application Form.
If sharing of IRMs is
nationally authorized/mandated and if an IRM application is for a shared
implementation, the application must include the details for each entity
sharing the IRM. The applications and maintenance fees are per IRM and will,
consequently, be shared by the multiple applicants.
The IFAST Secretariat will ensure the completeness of
the application, including the payment of fees, and forward the application to
the IRM Administrator for processing.
The IRM Administrator will process the application
within 30 calendar days and inform the applicant of the result. This 30-day
processing period includes a 2-week IFAST application comment cycle. If the application
is denied, the IRM Administrator will provide a detailed explanation of the
The Administrator may place an IRM Network Identifier
in "Pending Assignment" status for a period not to exceed 60 days
following notice of intent to apply for the IRM Network Identifier. The IRM Network Identifier will not be
considered for assignment to another entity during this period. There is no fee associated with placing
an IRM Network Identifier in this status.
The IFAST will track and monitor IRM assignments and
assignment procedures to ensure that all assignments of IRMs
are being used in an efficient and effective manner. Ongoing Administrator
procedures that foster conservation shall include, but not be limited to, the
a) An active
reclamation and reassignment
program (detailed below) to reclaim unused or misused IRMs.
b) Strict conformance
with these guidelines by those assigning IRMs.
c) Appropriate and
timely recommended changes to these guidelines, if they are found to result in
inefficient or inappropriate use or assignment of IRMs.
d) Periodic specific
and random audits of assignments and assignment procedures.
The Administrator will utilize the following method
with regard to IRM reclamation and reassignment:
IRM that is reclaimed/returned, was never implemented by the original assignee,
and is specifically requested by a different entity, can be assigned
IRM that is reclaimed/returned, was implemented by the original assignee, and is
specifically requested by a different entity, can be assigned following a
6-month dormant period.
IRM that is reclaimed/returned, whether implemented or not by the original
assignee, and is not specifically requested by an entity, will remain dormant
for a minimum of 6 months or until all never-assigned IRM resources have been
an IRM is reclaimed due to non-payment of the appropriate maintenance fees, and
the original assignee pays those fees during the 6-month dormancy period, that
IRM shall not be considered for reassignment to another entity.
It may be
necessary to modify these Guidelines periodically to meet changing and
unforeseen circumstances. The need for Guidelines modification may be
identified by the IRM Administrator, any entity in the international wireless
telecommunications sector or the IFAST.
When need for modification is identified by other than the IFAST, the
identifying entity will submit the modification issue to the IFAST. The forum will coordinate the
modification process. Questions or
concerns regarding the maintenance of the guidelines may be directed to:
c/o TelecomXchange International (TXI)
attempt will be made at the time of allocation to avoid conflicts with existing
IRMs. Organizatons requesting specific IRMs
should first seek the IRM availability by checking the listings found on the
IFAST web site, www.ifast.org.
a conflict, at some later point, is determined to exist, the following process
should be followed:
the IFAST Secretariat in writing
the organization(s) with whom the conflict exists and attempt a
resolution. Then notify the IFAST
Secretariat, in writing, regarding the result of this attempt to negotiate a
resolution cannot be achieved, the issue may be brought before the IFAST for a
Disagreements may arise between the IRM Administrator and IRM applicants
or assignees in the context of the administration and management of these
guidelines. In all cases, the IRM
Administrator and IRM applicants/assignees will make reasonable, good faith
efforts to resolve such disagreements among themselves, consistent with the
Guidelines, prior to pursuing any appeal.
Appeals may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the
* The IRM
applicant/assignee will have the opportunity to resubmit the matter to the
IFAST for reconsideration with or without additional input. The appeal should
be submitted in writing to the IFAST Secretariat. The Secretariat will include
the appeal on the agenda of the subsequent IFAST meeting, for resolution. The
Secretariat will also post the appeal to the IFAST web site at least 2 weeks
prior to the next IFAST meeting and will alert the IFAST membership of the
interpretation/clarification questions may be referred to the IFAST for
resolution. Unless otherwise
mutually agreed to by the parties, these questions will be submitted in a
generic manner protecting the identity of the appellant.
applicant/assignee may pursue the disagreement with the appropriate
any resolution resulting from the above options, the content of which will be
mutually agreed upon by the involved parties, will be kept on file by the
Administrator. At a minimum, the report will contain the final disposition of
the appeal, e.g., whether or not an IRM was assigned.