UID number may become mobile number too

With the fast exhausting current 10-digit mobile numbers, C-DOT, a research and development organisation of the telecom sector, is studying if the Unique Identity Number (UID) could be used as mobile number.     

The identity number could be the one to be issued by the government for every citizen of the country and for which an UID Authority has been set up under the leadership of IT honcho Nandan Nilekani.

As over one crore mobile subscribers are being added every month and the all India mobile subscribers base crossing the 44 crore mark, the current 10 digit is likely to exhaust very soon.

The present numbering plan was framed in 2003 to serve estimated 75 crore subscribers until 2030. However, the rapid growth in Indian telecom sector is likely to reach 75 crore mobile users much before that period. Reworking the present numbering system means that cell phone numbers could go beyond the usual 10 digit.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is planning to come up with 11-12 digit number, but doubts are raised whether this step will contain the demand.     

“What we have thought is why not have one unique number associated with the person like the social security number in US or the UID. So that unique number we can use for the purpose of mobile communications also,” C-DOT Executive Director P V Acharya said.

The project is still at a very nascent stage and no funding has been decided yet for the project. C-DOT has started the study project in May and is likely to come up with some conclusion within a year. The government is hoping to rework the current numbering plan and is already debating with the telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) whether 11-12 digit numbers could be offered. However, the cost and technology is a major consideration here.

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