New Delhi: The volume in cellphone adoption has lead to a worry among telecom circles on the need for a eleven digit cellphone number. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had been studying the national numbering policy which involved discussions with telecom operators on the need to move to a 11 digit numbering system.
On Friday, the TRAI released its report observing that although prospects of a 11 digit cellphone number cannot be ruled out, simple methods could be adopted currently by operators.
The agency observed that during consultation with operators, most opposed the prospects of a 11-digit numbering, arguing that doing so would incur massive configuration modifications including software and hardware, additional cost and even cause confusion and inconvenience to the customers.
"The authority is of the opinion that some serious problems are anticipated with change in the mobile number from 10 digits to 11 digits. This would require widespread modifications in the configuration of switches involving cost," it said.
"Hence, the authority is of the view that migration from 10 digits to 11 digits may be resorted to, only if all the efforts to continue with the 10-digit numbering are exhausted", it added.
The telecom Regulator has also added that a unified numbering scheme for fixed-line and mobile services was not required at present since sufficient numbering space could be created by various methods such as prefixing '0' to all fixed-to-mobile calls.
The regulator was releasing the recommendations on "ensuring adequate numbering resources for fixed-line and mobile services" and opined that there needs to be no-change in dialing plan for fixed-to-fixed, mobile-to-fixed, and mobile-to-mobile calls.
"The authority recommends that the following scheme should be adapted for creation of sufficient numbering space...dial all fixed to mobile calls with the prefix '0'," Trai said adding that time of one month should be given to all the operators to implement the scheme.
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The regulator has suggested that all the SIM-based Machine-to-Machine connections using 10-digit mobile numbering series should be shifted to the 13-digit numbering series allocated by Telecom Department for M2M communication at the earliest. It has also recommended that a revised and new National Numbering Plan (NNP) should be issued at the earliest. The Telecom Department had asked Trai to furnish its recommendations on the strategies of National Digital Communications Policy which also talks of "ensuring adequate numbering resources, by developing unified numbering plan for fixed-line and mobile services." Accordingly, the telecom sector watchdog had issued a consultation paper in this regard and had followed it's up with an open house discussion to seek stakeholders' views, after receiving written comments.