NEW DELHI :
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Friday suggested that the government should come up with a new national numbering plan for fixed line and mobile networks in order to meet the expected growth in the subscriber base assuming India’s population will surpass 1.6 billion by 2050.
Besides a new national numbering plan, telecom regulator suggested that the government should also, every year, enlist all newly allocated numbering resources for fixed line as well as mobile services. The ongoing plan implemented in 2003, was developed keeping in mind the projections till the year 2033.
“After 17 years into the National Numbering Plan, adequate availability of numbering resources is threatened because of an increase in the range of services and massive growth in the number of connections, especially in the mobile segment," the regulator said in its recommendations on ‘ensuring adequate numbering resources for fixed line and mobile services’.
To make its point, the regulator cited a 87% jump during that period to 1.17 billion subscribers as of January 2020.
Among various suggestions, the regulator has sought that all calls from fixed line to mobile phones should be prefixed with a ‘0’ on dialling, and also asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to reallocate numbering resources surrendered by operators that have shut down.
The regulator has also suggested that all the SIM-based machine-to-machine connections using 10-digit series should be shifted to the 13-digit series allocated by DoT for this communication.
TRAI also suggested changes to codes for short-distance charging areas, which are telecom areas smaller than the size of a district.
Level and sublevels allocated to some fixed line operators who have not launched their services even after one year of allocation, may also be withdrawn after seeking justification, the regulator said.
The regulator also recommended that an automated allocation of numbering resources using a software be introduced to speed up the process of allocation in an efficient and transparent manner.
“The primary challenge here is the need to generate adequate numbering resources to cater to the emerging demand in the next 30 years... sufficient numbering resources can be made available for fixed line (and) mobile services through alternative methods," TRAI said.