The Department of Telecom or DoT has released a circular on modification of dialling pattern from fixed landline connections to cellular mobile numbers from January 1st. This comes in response to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations dated May 29th, 2020. The new move is intended to ensure adequate numbering space for fixed landlines and mobile services.
Notably, back in May, there were several reports that TRAI suggested shifting to 11-digit mobile numbering plan in the country. The regulatory authority was quick to put out a press release to refute those reports and revealed that it has instead recommended a dialling prefix ‘0’ while making a call from a fixed-line number to a mobile number. DoT has now accepted the recommendation.
Landline users will need to prefix ‘0’ while calling mobile numbers
In the circular dated November 20th on its website, DoT has backed TRAI’s suggestion. The telecom department has made it mandatory for all telcos to provide “‘0’ dialling facility, that is, STD dialling facility,” to their fixed-line subscribers. DoT has given time till January 1st to all telecom service providers in India to implement the new system. The department has also mandated an auto announcement for landline users.
According to the circular on the DoT website, phone companies have to compulsorily feed suitable auto announcements into all fixed-line switches. This is to remind landline users to prefix any call to a mobile number with a ‘0’, should they forget about it. The announcement will play whenever any subscriber makes a landline-to-mobile call without prefixing ‘0’.
According to TRAI, the new dialling pattern will free up a whopping 2,544 million additional numbering resources for mobile services. To illustrate, a senior telco executive pointed out to Economic Times that since all fixed-to-mobile calls will be prefixed with ‘0’, it opens up unused landline levels like ‘3’, ‘4’, and ‘5’ for mobile services. This means mobile numbers in future could begin with those digits.