The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday released its latest recommendations of developing a ‘Unified Numbering Plan’ to ensure adequate numbering resources for the fixed line (aka landline) and mobile services in the country. This will lead to the current phone numbers changing — existing mobile numbers will require a “0” in front of them to dial from a fixed line of connection. One of the key points mentioned in the recommendations include switching from 10 – 11 digits in case of regular mobile numbers, which will lead to the addition of a ‘0’ for existing numbers, and new phone numbers could start with different digits going forward.
Here, we are listing the top five recommendation by TRAI that could transform the existing numbering system for both fixed line and mobile services.
- Mandating prefix “0” for calling mobile numbers from a fixed line connection – At present, mobile phones can be accessed from a fixed line phone without dialling a prefix “0”. The latest recommendations are, however mandating “0” to be prefixed for dialling from the landline number. This means that just like how you dial inter-service area mobile calls from a fixed line phone, you will be required to prefix “0” to access a mobile phone even within a service area.
- Shifting from 10-digit to 11-digit numbering scheme in case of mobile numbers – The second major recommendation by TRAI to switch from 10 to 11 digits for mobile numbers, with first digit as “9”. The regulator said that this new change will give a total capacity of 10 billion numbers.
- Mobile numbers allotted for dongles to be shifted to 13 digits – Just like the numbers associated with our mobile phones, various devices such as dongles and data cards currently have the 10-digit numbering scheme. The latest list of recommendations, however, include a point that such devices should be shifted from the existing 10-digit to 13-digit numbering scheme. This will also release some numbering resources, TRAI said in its recommendations.
- Moving fixed line numbers to a sub-level of “2” or “4” – Since some operators in the past offered landline connections to users with the numbers starting from “3”, “5”, and “6” numeric that are no longer in service, TRAI has recommended to move the underutilised fixed line numbers to an sub-level of “2” or “4”. This will allow mobile operators to use the under utilised numbers for mobile phone connections in the future.