The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday released its recommendations on “Ensuring Adequate Numbering Resources for Fixed Line and Mobile Services”. As a part of that, the regulatory body has recommended using 11-digit long mobile numbers in the country.
According to TRAI, replacing 10-digit mobile numbers with 11-digit ones will lead to the availability of more numbers in the country. “Switching from 10 to 11 digits with the first digit for mobile number as ‘9’ would give a total capacity of 10 billion numbers. With the current policy of allotment after 70% utilization, this would suffice till India has 7 billion connections,” TRAI wrote in its recommendations.
Apart from this, the regulatory body also recommended using ‘0’ as a prefix in front of mobile numbers while calling from a fixed line connection. At present, inter-service area mobile calls from a fixed line connection can be accessed by a dialing ‘0 in the prefix’. However, mobile phones can be accessed from a fixed line phone without using ‘0’ in the prefix. This, as TRAI explains, puts a “limitation that any digit which has been used as a first digit for a fixed network (for local calls) cannot be used for mobile numbers”.
“By making it mandatory to access mobile numbers in a service area from a fixed network by dialing prefix ‘0’, all the free sub-levels in levels ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘4’, and ‘6’, can also be used for mobile numbers,” TRAI wrote in its recommendations.
Additionally, TRAI recommended shifting mobile numbers used for dongles from 10 digits to 13 digits.
Besides this, TRAI recommended that a new National Numbering Plan (NNP) should be issued at the earliest. “Consolidated list of short codes should be issued at the earliest,” TRAI wrote in the document adding that “the consolidated list of short codes should be updated every year incorporating all withdrawals and new allocations.”