Should your mobile and landline number be the same? TRAI wants to know

The total number of telephone subscribers in India stands at 1186.63 million as of June end.

NEW DELHI : The telecom regulator has started a consultation process to deliberate with stakeholders whether a unified numbering scheme should be introduced in India.

Simply put, this means that your landline number and mobile number would be the same.

The regulator’s consultation paper has come after the department of telecommunications in May sought its recommendations on how to ensure adequate numbering resources.

“The purpose of this consultation paper is to analyse the changes that affect the national numbering plan and to identify the ways in which numbering resource management and allocation policy might be managed for ensuring adequate numbering resources,” TRAI said in the paper floated on Friday.

It also seeks to know whether data-only mobile numbers can be shifted from the current 10 digit number to 13 digit number. The government has already said that 13 digit numbers will be used for machine to machine communication.

Written comments can be filed by October 21 and counter comments by November 4.

The total number of telephone subscribers in India stands at 1186.63 million as of June end.

The last such exercise was held in 2003 when a major review of numbering plan was carried out — National Numbering Plan 2003. This had created numbering resources for 750 million connections — 450 million were mobile and 300 million were for basic phones.

TRAI’s consultation is crucial because the 2003 plan had anticipated that there would be 450 million mobile connections by 2030 and this number was already achieved in 2009.

“Adequate availability of numbering resources is threatened because of increase in the range of services and massive growth in the number of connections especially in the mobile segment,” TRAI said.