And now the Germans…

Grahame Davies

Grahame Davies

25th October 2022

by Grahame Davies

Recently, we advised the Norwegians were blocking traffic presenting their telephone numbers at the international gateway, and now the Germans are up to something similar. 

That said, we should point out Section 120(4) of the Telekommunikationsgesetz (the German version of our Communications Act) was passed last year, so technically, the Germans were first, but, semantics don’t matter, the substance and direction of travel does.

On and after 1st December 2022, any traffic entering Germany presenting a German number (regardless of the network number) will be overridden to display “Anonymous”. There will be genuine call scenarios caught up in this, such as calls being forwarded from Germany to Germany by a UK PBX or something, but it’s a matter of German law and it is what it is. 

If you get complaints about this behaviour, i.e. someone isn’t getting their German number displayed on a German phone and we are in the switching path, there is nothing we can do about it – the meddling with the signalling is happening at the international gateway into Germany and not by us. There will invariably be grey routes where this doesn’t happen (yet), but the argument of “but x,y,z do it” won’t cut it. They’ll eventually have to answer to the Bundesnetzagentur and your traffic will end up getting fiddled with. 

Between the new legal requirement for you to operate your networks for UK end users from within the UK (regulation 3(3)(f) of the Electronic Communications (Security Measures) Regulations 2022), France, Norway and others having issues with where calls using their numbers originate outside that country, or trombone in and out etc., we think the direction of travel is clear – there is going to be increasing State intervention forcing the localisation of telecommunications services. The era of being able to do anything, anywhere, outside-in, is under threat. Regular readers of this blog know we’ve been warning about this for some time. 

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