Mobile numbers to remain 10-digit

Mobile numbers to remain 10-digit

The DoT had recently prepared a draft notification proposing that all mobile users adopt a 11-digit-number plan by prefixing 9 to their existing numbers. The department planned to implement the 11-digit regime from January 1 this year.

However, the plan faced resistance from telecom service providers who said they needed at least a year’s time to upgrade the system.

Following this, the DoT decided to put on hold its decision and is exploring an alternative proposal submitted by the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), a body representing GSM operators.

The COAI has suggested that the 7 and 8 starting series be allowed. If the government accepts the proposal, mobile numbers will continue to have 10 digit, but fresh subscribers will get numbers beginning with 7 or 8. The government is also examining if more levels such as ‘5’ and ‘6’ can also be opened up for mobile telephony, sources in the department told Deccan Herald here.

The COAI had also suggested that opening up of these levels “will give 2,000 million more numbering resources” which would be sufficient for the next nine to 10 years.

The country’s existing numbering plan was decided in 2003, and the DoT had hoped it would be sufficient till 2030.

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