Mobile numbers to remain 10-digit, other internet enabled devices to get 13-digit SIM numbers
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked telecom service providers to start issuing 13-digit numbers for SIM based machine-to-machine (M2M) services, which will co-exist with existing 10-digit numbers.
The DoT had approved the scheme and a letter on it was sent to various departments on February 9, 2018.
M2M services are those where Internet-enabled devices like point-of-sale machines or latest household devices like refrigerators communicate through a SIM card. All major telecom operators offer M2M services to their enterprise customers.
During the meeting, it was decided that 13-digit M2M numbering plan will be implemented from July 1, 2018. From this date onwards, all new M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13-digit numbers only.
The DoT said all service providers must ensure that their network elements including IT and other relevant systems are aligned with 13-digit numbering for M2M SIMs before July 1, 2018.
Migration of existing 10-digit M2M numbers to 13 digits will start latest by October 1, 20I8 and shall be completed by December 31, 2018, it said.
Meanwhile, contrary to some reports and social media messages, the decision will not have any effect on mobile phone SIMs as the DoT rubbished reports claiming that the Centre was planning to shift existing retail 10-digit mobile numbers to 13-digit ones.
As a result, the existing 10-digit mobile number convention will continue to be used for issuing mobile connections to retail consumers for regular voice and data services.
M2M connections are paving way for internet-enabled devices which are capable of connecting or interfacing with each other and exchanging data.