Soon India will have 13-digit mobile numbers for M2M customers; why it won’t affect you


The Department of Telecom (DoT) had reportedly issued a directive to all the telecom operators in India, asking them to start issuing 13-digit mobile numbers to all M2M customers.

India will soon have 13-digit mobile numbers. The change, however, will exclusively be for machine-to-machine communication, which essentially is used for direct communications among electronic devices.

According to a letter sent by the state-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to network equipment providers ZTE Telecom and Nokia Solutions, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided that all M2M connections will be migrated from the current 10-digit numbering systems to a 13-digit one.

“It was decided that 13-digit M2M numbering plan will be implemented from 1st July 2018. From this date onwards, all new M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13-digit numbers only,” BSNL wrote in the letter.

“All TSP’s must ensure that their network elements, including IT and other relevant systems are aligned with 13-digit numbering for M2M SIMs before 1st July 2018. The readiness of LI system has also to be ensured for 13-digit numbers before 1st July 2018,” it added.

The migration is scheduled to start from October 1, 2018 and completed by December 31, 2018, the letter added.

A senior BSNL official confirmed the implementation of the new 13-digit mobile number system. “Note that the communication is only for machine-to-machine and not for regular customers,” the official added.

It’s worth noting that Airtel in its response to TRAI’s consultation paper on ‘spectrum, roaming and QoS related requirements in M2M communications’ had said that the DoT had indicated it would implement the new number system as well.

“In fact, 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 (Access Service Authorization)/UASL,” the operator had said in its response.

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