NEW DELHI: The department of telecom (DoT) has put on hold its plan to get all the 500 million-plus mobile users in the country to adopt a 11-digit
cellular number from 2010.
The DoT had recently prepared a draft notification in which it sought all mobile users to adopt a 11-digit numbering plan by prefixing ‘9’ to their existing cellphone numbers.
But, the department has been confronted with stiff opposition from all leading operators who said that it would be “next to impossible” for India to move to 11-digit mobile numbers in 2010 as this would involve making massive technical changes to both softwares and mobile network configurations. They also argued that the process could take up well over a year to implement.
NEW DELHI: As against moving to 11-digit mobile numbers, telecom regulator Trai is planning an alternate solution where it will retain the current
10-digit format but open up digits 2 to 9 for mobile numbers. Currently, over 90% of the mobile numbers begin with 9 and the rest with 8, a top official with the Trai told ET.
While existing mobile numbers will remain intact, this model will lead to all landline numbers having 10-digits. Trai officials are of the view that it is easier for the 40 million landline users to shift to a 10-digit format as against 510 million and growing mobile users moving to a 11-digit cellphone numbers.
NEW DELHI: All mobile firms, with the exception of Reliance Communications and the Tata Teleservices, have asked telecom regulator Trai to
continue with the existing system of 10-digit mobile number format and have opposed the proposal to move towards 11-digit mobile numbers.
Responding to the Trai’s consultation process on this issue, most mobile firms have suggested that digits between ‘2’ and ‘9’ be opened up for mobile telephony so that the current 10-digit format be retained as against the current policy where levels ‘9’ and sublevels of ‘8’ and ‘7’ are only used for mobile numbers.
Over 90% of the mobile numbers begin with ‘9’ as this level has been completely opened up for mobile telephony. Off late, the Department of Telecom has also opened up sublevels in ‘8’ and ‘7’ for mobile telephony, which has resulted in cellular phone numbers beginning with this digit.