Telecom Authority Plans New Series of Mobile Numbers

Trai Considers Introducing New Mobile Number Series to Accommodate Growing Demand

New Delhi, June 7, 2024 – The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is exploring the possibility of introducing a new series of mobile numbers to address the increasing demand for mobile connections in the country. This move comes as India’s mobile user base continues to expand rapidly, driven by the proliferation of smartphones and the increasing accessibility of mobile internet.

Rising Mobile Penetration

India has witnessed exponential growth in mobile connectivity, with the number of mobile subscribers crossing 1.2 billion as of 2023. This surge has put immense pressure on the existing numbering system. The current 10-digit numbering scheme is nearing its capacity, prompting TRAI to consider alternatives to ensure that there is no disruption in new connections and services.

Potential Solutions Under Consideration

TRAI is evaluating several options to expand the numbering capacity. Among these, extending the length of mobile numbers beyond the current 10 digits is a prominent proposal. This approach, while comprehensive, would require significant changes across telecom networks and consumer systems. Another option includes introducing a new series of numbers within the existing 10-digit framework by altering the initial digits, which may offer a quicker and less disruptive solution.

Stakeholder Consultations

In line with its transparent and consultative approach, TRAI has invited comments from stakeholders including telecom operators, technology experts, and the general public. This feedback will be crucial in shaping the final decision. The regulator is also considering global best practices, analyzing how other countries have addressed similar challenges as they transitioned to new numbering plans.

Impact on Consumers and Businesses

For consumers, the introduction of a new numbering series could mean new mobile numbers and the potential for some adjustment in dialing habits. Businesses, particularly those in telecommunications and technology sectors, will need to update systems to accommodate the new series. TRAI aims to implement any changes with minimal disruption, ensuring a smooth transition for all users.

Historical Context

This is not the first time TRAI has had to address the issue of numbering capacity. The last major change occurred in 2003 when the numbering plan was expanded to 10 digits. Since then, the number of mobile connections has grown exponentially, driven by increased affordability and advancements in technology.

Looking Forward

With India set to become the largest smartphone market globally, the demand for mobile connections is expected to continue rising. TRAI’s proactive approach in planning for future numbering needs will be critical in sustaining this growth. The regulator’s decision on the new numbering series is anticipated in the coming months, following the conclusion of the consultation process.

For Further Information:
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About TRAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was established in 1997 to regulate the telecommunications sector in India. Its mission is to ensure the orderly growth of the telecom industry while safeguarding the interests of consumers and stakeholders.

Note to Editors: For detailed information and updates on the consultation process regarding the new mobile number series, please visit the TRAI official website or contact the TRAI public relations office.

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