The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has come out with five recommendations. The telecom body is pushing to create a ‘Unified Numbering Plan’ so that adequate numbering resources can be maintained for the fixed line (landline) and mobile services in the country. This will change the method of existing phone numbers to be dialled in with a ‘0’ in the front from a fixed-line. Recommendations from Trai are inspired by the inputs which were given by the various stakeholders during the discussions held during Open House Discussion (OHD) conducted in January. The key recommendations from the Trai are shifting the current 10 digit mobile numbers to 11 digits and adding a ‘0’ as prefix whenever making called with fixed lines. Along with this, the new numbers which are going to come out in the future might start with different digits.
Very soon you might see the rule for adding ‘0’ as a prefix before dialling in phone numbers from a fixed-line to make a call. Right now, you can make calls using landlines without adding in ‘0’ at the start of the number, but if the new recommendations were to come in place, this would be changed. At present, you dial ‘0’ before dialling in the phone number when you are making an inter-service call. But after the new rules, you will be adding ‘0’ before the phone numbers even when making calls in the service area. But for calls which are made from landline to landline, mobile to mobile, or mobile to landline won’t change anyway in nature.
It is the second biggest recommendation that Trai has laid out. The current mobile numbers which are 10 digits in number might change to 11 digits. If you are thinking about what that first digit would be, don’t think too much, it is ‘9’. What will this do though? Why would Trai want to change an existing system which is very simple and accepted by everyone suddenly? It is because after the change, it will give a total capacity of 10 billion numbers to be utilised.
At present, the 10 digit numbers allotted to you with the internet dongles are suggested to be changed as well. The suggested number for change is 13 digits. Many dongles and data cards are used by people with 10 digit numbers. Trai has suggested that all such devices should carry a 13 digit numbering scheme. This will also benefit in releasing some of the numbers for the telecom industry.
Trai has recommended that numbers for the landline be moved to sub-level ‘2’ and ‘4’. Currently, there are many landline numbers which were offered to users with a sub-level of ‘3’, ‘5’, and ‘6’, and are not functional. These are under-utilised resources for the telecom industry. When the change is made, it will become easier for the telecom operators to use the under-utilised numbers for mobile phone connections.
Trai has suggested that fixed lines should be provided by the telecom operators with the ‘0’ dialling facility. At present, the ‘0’ dialling facility is only provided to the customers who have opted for the subscriber trunk dialling (STD) calls. But this should be changed and made available for every landline user to support the changes made by Trai suggesting that calls to mobile numbers be dialled with a ‘0’ as a prefix to the mobile number from landlines.