As per the information given by the reports, the Department of Telecom (DOT) allegedly had issued orders to all the telecom operators in India that all the telecom operators should start issuing a 13-digit phone number to all of its customers.
The news was confirmed by a senior BSNL official who told media that the directive from DoT had come on January 8, 2018, post which the company has started working on it. The decision has been taken to provide better security features to users.
Under this latest development, the existing mobile users’ numbers will be ported to 13-digits starting from October 1, 2018. The last date to complete the process would be December 31, 2018. “It is decided that 13-digit M2M (Machine-to-machine) numbering plan will be implemented from July 1, 2018. From this date onwards, all new M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13-digit numbers only… Migration of existing 10-digit M2M numbers will start latest by 1 October 2018 and shall be completed by 31 December 2018,” the official was quoted saying in the report.
If the decision is implemented, India will become the country with the longest mobile numbers, with China the only country at scale with 11 digit mobile numbers, not counting the area code. Apart from this, only French ‘regions’ of Gaudeloupe, Martinique and Reunion have longer numbers.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Communication in a letter written to TRAI has reportedly said that ’13-digit numbering scheme has been approved for SIM-based M2M devices’. A M2M sim is actually the technology which enables devices and sensors or things to communicate with each other and with other Internet-enabled devices and systems. These sims can be used in any mobile phone.
The problem, however, with a 13-digit number is that it would be virtually impossible for a person to remember it, possibly leading to massive dislocations across business processes like banks where provisioning has been made to capture only 10 digit mobile numbers.