Japan will soon introduce 10 billion 14-digit phone numbers amid worries that its existing 11-digit numbers could run out soon as the number of connected devices in the country increases.

The new numbers with start with '020' prefix, the prefix is already in use for the various Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoT is a network of non-standard computing devices that connect wirelessly and speak to each other. Japan's IoT devices have been using 11 digit numbers since January 2017, but the demand for more numbers is expected to increase as Japan's gets ready to launch its 5G network next year. Some 36.2 million of the country's 80 million phone numbers have been assigned the prefix  020.

Japan Times reports that the proposal has been approved by the country's three major telecom companies -- SoftBank, KDDI and NTT Docomo. The paper reported that Japan will run out of existing phone numbers by 2022. Japan's communication ministry has found a solution in 14 digit numbers.