If you know last year TRAI had announced that it will introduce 11 digit mobile numbers, as India is expected to run out of existing ones in less than 2 years time. TRAI had never expected that it will witness such meteoric Mobile subscriber growth. The numbers which were supposed to last till 2030 (as per their planning) are nearing exhaustion 20 years earlier than expected.
So now, instead of 11 Digit Mobile numbers, TRAI is proposing to retain the 10 digit format of mobile numbers, but Instead of mobile numbers starting from just 9 & 8, it will open up all the number segments starting from 2 to 9.
The side-effect of this would be that, all the existing landline numbers which are currently 7, 8 or 9 digits will all be converted into 10 digits. I think this is a very wise move, especially because landline numbers form less than 10% of all the phone numbers. Instead of changing 500+ million mobile numbers into 11 digits, its better to change minority landline numbers !
Currently, TRAI is in consultation process for this plan and seeking Telecom Industry’s reaction before actually implementing this process.
TRAI proposal will open up all levels except numbers beginning with the digit ‘1’, which the regulator wants to reserve for emergency services, toll free numbers and for government-related issues. If the levels, say ‘7’ and ‘8’ are opened up and allotted to mobile operators, this will increase the mobile numbering resources by an additional 2 billion. [source]
I think better sense has prevailed by retaining 10 digit universal format for landline as well as mobile numbers instead of going for 11 digit numbers. Whats your take?