TRAI suggests 11-digit mobile numbers in India, details inside

On Friday, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) suggested moving from the existing 10-digit mobile numbers to 11-digit mobile numbers in India. The new numbers could begin with different digits and the existing numbers can add a zero. This autonomous body also suggested that the government should launch ‘new national numbering plan’ for fixed lines as well as mobile numbers to meet the expected growth in the subscriber base. The calls made from fixed-lines to mobile numbers should be prefixed with a zero.

In its recommendations, TRAI wrote, “The existing 10-digit numbering scheme should be continued to avoid inconvenience to the customers that would accompany any move to shift to an 11-digit numbering scheme.”

It believes that switching from 10 to 11-digits beginning with nine would give a total capacity of 10 billion users. As per the current policy of allotment after 70% utilisation, this would be enough till India has 7 billion connections. It could also allow liberal allocation to service providers and administrative ease.

TRAI added, “Resultantly, we find ourselves in a situation where we need to review the utilisation of the numbering resources and make some policy decisions to ensure that adequate resources are available for sustainable growth of the telecommunication services.”

After 17 years of National Numbering Plan, due to an increase in the range of services and massive growth in the number of connections the adequate availability of numbering resources is now threatened.
Telephone connections allotted for dongles will switch to 13-digits.

“Nowadays, some mobile connections are used purely for the internet or mobile data (dongles) but 10-digit mobile numbers are allocated from the same series which is used for voice communication. DoT has already allocated 13-digit numbers for M2M communication,” said TRAI.

By the end of January 2020, the telephone subscriber base in India was 1177.02 million with a teledensity of 87.45%.

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