11 Digit Mobile Number Soon

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 | | |

By the middle of next year, one will have to dial 11 digits, instead of the current 10, to connect to mobile phone users across the country. And, `99’ will be the first two digits in every mobile number, in the 11-digit regime.

There won’t be any change in fixed line phone numbers. The Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), which is the technical arm of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), has finalised the report on national numbering plan, sources in the government told DNA Money. It is learnt that TEC submitted the national numbering plan report to DoT last week.

TEC has recommended a timeframe of six to nine months, for converting the existing 10-digit mobile numbers to the 11-digit format. The shift to 11-digit number will apply to all mobile users-GSM (global systems for mobile communications) and CDMA (code division multiple access), old and new subscribers.

According to the latest recommendation of TEC, the new telecom operators will be allotted the spare levels of 90 and 91 in the 10-digit series. But, they too will have to migrate to 11 digits, by prefixing `9’, in the same timeframe as the existing telcos.

The TEC recommendation adds that the numbering plan for fixed line phones will remain the same.

In 2003, DoT had come out with a 30-year numbering plan, but five years down the line there’s a need for review. This time, DoT wants to ensure that the solution is for a much longer term, it is learnt. Mobile telephony has been witnessing tremendous growth and new telcos have also queued up to offer wireless services.