To provide better security features to mobile users, new numbers in India will be of 13 digits from 1 July 2018.Department of Telecom (DoT) has issued a directive instructing all telecom operators in the country to start issuing 13-digit mobile numbers to M2M customers.
Adding more the order issued has said that existing users numbers will be ported to 13-digits starting from 1 October and the deadline for completion of the same has been set for 31 December, 2018.
It is reported that Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has sent to its partners ZTE Telecom and Nokia Solutions Networks directing them to ensure that network elements including IT and other relevant systems are aligned with new numbering. Ministry of Communication has also informed that it has approved the new numbering scheme.
M2M sim refers to the technologies that enable devices and sensors or things to communicate with each other and with other Internet-enabled devices and systems.
Confirming the development, Bharti Airtel, in a written response to TRAI consultation paper on “Spectrum, Roaming and QoS related requirements in Machine-to-Machine Communications,” said, “DoT has already approved a 13-digit numbering series for SIM-based M2M devices which will co-exist with the prevalent 10-digit mobile numbering scheme to be allocated for the Unified Licence
M2M is a technology that leverages connected devices to remotely work or talk to each other via wireless network. Telecom operators have started offering SIM-based M2M services to enterprises across verticals in the form of smart electricity meters, vehicle tracking and fuel monitoring system and traffic management solution.
On the shift towards the 13-digit numbering plan for M2M communication, COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said, “This has been considered by (the) DOT. They will be the ones to give final instructions and notice to (the) operators.”
M2M numbers are the ones that are used for SIMs in devices like swipe machines, cars, electricity meters etc. Officials from Bharti Airtel–India’s largest telecom service provider, Reliance Jio and telecom industry body COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) confirmed to TOI that the mobile numbers we have and use remain unaffected by this development.
Earlier this month, the DoT had issued a directive to telecom operators mentioning the implementation of 13-digit numbering scheme for M2M communication.”Migration of existing l0-digit M2M numbers to 13 digits will start latest by October 1, 2018 and shall be completed by December 31, 2018,” the DoT order stated. All new M2M mobile connections will be allocated l3-digit numbers from July 1, 2018, it added.
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