13. Timeline

Mandatory regulations are nonexistent in international service, although recommendations are made by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) concerning international interconnectivity. ITU recommendations are generally discounted within national boundaries when related to local character grouping and sequencing.
The Public Telecommunications Numbering Plan (ITU Recommendation E.164) does place a limitation however of 15 digits on address length for international connectivity. Three digits <xxx> are reserved for country codes, leaving 12 digits for addresses.
Outgoing Calls
Because MTAS does not affect conventional telephone addressing, its adoption will not have a direct effect on outgoing international connectivity.
Incoming Calls
Ostensibly, for MTAS to function in international service in regard to incoming messages will require that both <*> and <#> keys appear on keypads outside the NANP service area. However, unless MTAS were internationally adopted for telecommunication addressing, the symbol keys will not be functional. In addition, it would be unrealistically to assume that foreign telecommunications companies would activate their symbol keys solely to accommodate NANP requirements. Accordingly NANP addresses will have to be reformatted in foreign countries for foreign connectivity.
To reach NANP telecommunication devices from outside the NANP service area will require that a ITU-compatible number sequence be dialed. Accordingly, outside the NANP service area all NANP addresses will take the following fixed form:


Consequently, anyone dialing into the NANP service area will be instructed to dial a final digit identifying the device to be reached after the address.



This string would then be translated to the MTAS format at the NANP gateway. For example consider a facsimile message from France to the NANP address (987) 321<**>1234. To access the United States the sequence dialed would be

This control signal would be transmitted to the appropriate NANP gateway where it would immidiately be recognized as a facsimile address. The address would then be translated into the NANP-compatible address without ambiguity:

There is little probability that modems or pagers would need to be accessed from outside the NANP service area, but if the requirement arose they could be accommodated, as could videophone or devices not yet developed.
ITU Compatibility Issues
All countries in the NANP service area and most countries in Western Europe and North and South America have <*> and <#> keys on their telephone keypads, as do most countries on the eastern Pacific rim. As in the NANP service area none of these countries use the <*> and <#> keys for primary addressing purposes. Consequently the MTAS protocol could be readily adapted to specifying telecommunication devices by sub-addresses in these countries for domestic and international telecommunications. MTAS is fully compatible with national addressing protocols, at least for the countries shown, if MTAS were to be adopted by such countries. In each case the number of digits following the symbol group must be fixed.


Of course if MTAS were fully implemented this option is practical only for countries which presently have <*> and <#> keys on their telephone keypads, posing an inconvenience for those countries that do not. Overwhelmingly most residential subscribers only have telephones on their lines and most businesses use their telecommunication devices only for domestic purposes, as in the NANP service area. Because MTAS is compatible with present addressing no problems arise. Only those subscribers who require international service would have to replace their telecommunication devices in a timely fashion, or use the appropriate suffix group that would be transformed at the NANP gateway. For all others the upgrading would depend on personal needs or desires as they arise.
Of course it would be exceedingly convenient if all of the countries that might adopt the MTAS protocol used the same markers for the same telecommunication devices, or at least for the principal devices in common usage, but this would hardly be necessary. If marker standards were adopted however it would probably fall under the aegis of the Telecommunications Standardization Sector of the ITU with the International Standards Organization undoubtedly involved. In any event no standards promulgated would be mandatory.