TRAI seeks industry's opinion on 11-digit mobile numbers

TRAI seeks industry's opinion on 11-digit mobile numbers

The regulator has floated a consultation paper and has asked the operators to give their opinions.

The 10-digit mobile numbers are expected to get exhausted soon due to the phenomenal growth in mobile telephony in the country with over 15 million users being added every month.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is also looking at possibilities of retaining 10 digit numbering scheme.It has also sought industry's views on migrating to 11 digit for fixed and mobile telephones.

Besides, it is also looking at pricing of the numbers as a tool for encouraging efficient utilisation of numbering resources."Major modifications in a numbering plan could mean substantial changes in the network and costs for the service providers.

"From the subscribers viewpoint as well, frequent changes are inconvenient. It has therefore become necessary to elicit views of the stakeholders on issues like allocation and efficient utilisation of numbering resources," TRAI said in a statement.The government was planning to rework the current numbering plan and was debating with TRAI whether 11-digit numbers could be offered.

The present numbering plan was framed in 2003 and the DoT had expected it to be in place till 2030. Based on the 2003-projections, India was expected to have 500 million mobile customers only by 2010. But the country has reached that mark in 2009 itself.
Today we have about 550 million connections and it is expected that the one billion mark would be crossed before the end of 2014.

The consultation paper would discuss issues such as long term suitability of numbering plan, effective utilisation of numbers, allocation and pricing of the numbers.
TRAI has asked the stakeholders to furnish their response before February 19, 2010.

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