Trai seeks view on 11-digit mobile numbers

Trai seeks view on 11-digit mobile numbers

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Telecom regulator Trai has sought public views on increasing the digits in a mobile phone number from existing 10 to 11 as one of the options to address rising demand for telecom connections in line with the growing population.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) in its consultation paper on "Developing a unified numbering plan" for fixed line and mobile services said that even if it is assumed that there will be 200% wireless tele-density in India in 2050, the number of mobile telephones working in this country is likely to be nearly 3.28 billion.

The regulator said that even if 70% utilisation of numbering resources, 4.68 billion numbers will be enough to cater to mobile telephones working in this country in the year 2050.

The current provision of 10-digit mobile numbers starting with 9, 8 and 7 have a total capacity to grant 2.1 billion connections. There are 1.2 billion telephone connections in the country.

The government has already started 13-digit number series for Internet of Things and machine to machine communications.

However, according to an assessment by the TRAI, around 2.6 billion more numbers would be required to cater to need of the country by 2050.

The regulator has fixed the deadline of October 21 for public comments and November 4 for counter comments.

To increase numbering resources, the regulator has sought opinion on number of alternatives, including moving on to 11 digit numbering scheme for mobile and continuing with 10 digit numbering for fixed line services; shifting data only mobile numbers (like dongle connections) from 10 digits to 13 digit numbering; and vacating number series start from 3, 5 and 6, etc.