The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that landline users should use ‘0’ before dialing a mobile number. This is part of TRAI’s mission to ease the congestion of mobile numbers, as reports suggested India might have to look at having 11-digit mobile numbers very soon. But instead of that, the telecom body has suggested using 0 in front of a mobile number which effectively converts into 11-digit number.
TRAI also highlighted the change will be only applicable for landline to mobile calls. For everything else such as, mobile to mobile and mobile to landline, the existing format remains without any changes. The body also feels that numbers starting with 9 should be changed from 10 to 11-digit format. Because of which, TRAI claims, they will get totally capacity of 10 billion numbers.
Making changes for dongle and fixed line numbers
In addition to this, TRAI also says that mobile numbers used for Wi-Fi dongles should be increased from 10 to 13-digits. This also will ensure that telecom operators can adjust the remaining numbers for their regular database. They also want to limit use of numbers for landline by starting with digits 2 or 4. Releasing numbers 3, 5 and 6 out of the mandated list for fixedline ensures the telecom body can utilise these numbers for mobile connections in the near future.
Planning in advance
So why it TRAI making wholesale changes to the format of numbers for dongle, mobile and fixedline? According to its latest available data, India already has more than 1 billion telephonic numbers. And the growth in the sector has alerted them to make changes that will ensure telecos have enough numbers in the buffer to operate. While the country caters to more than 500 million smartphone users, there are more 400 million users expected to join the list in the coming years. And TRAI is doing its best to take suggestions from stakeholders and understandably prepare in advance.