In a move to address the surge in mobile subscribers, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper aimed at revising the National Numbering Plan.

The last update to this plan was made in 2003, and for the past 21 years, no changes have been implemented. With the increasing number of subscribers and the expansion of 5G networks, the regulatory body has decided it’s time for a revamp.

What is the National Numbering Plan?

The National Numbering Plan plays a crucial role in the allocation and management of telecommunication identifiers (TIs), ensuring efficient communication and network management.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) oversees the management of these identifiers for both fixed and mobile networks.

Why Now?

Back in 2003, the plan was designed to allocate up to 750 million telephone connections. Fast forward 21 years, and the numbering resources are at risk.

As of now, India boasts 1,199.28 million telephone subscribers. By March 31, 2024, the country’s teledensity is expected to reach 85.69 percent.

This exponential growth has made it challenging to fully utilize the existing number allocation system.

New Number Series On the Horizon

Under the new numbering plan, the Department of Telecommunications will be able to allocate more mobile numbers, making it easier to issue new numbers to users.

Currently, telecom companies are being instructed to recycle numbers—those that have been previously used but deactivated for over 90 days.

This recycling practice allows these numbers to be reassigned to new users. With the new plan, telecom companies might receive a fresh series of numbers to issue, easing the pressure on the current system.

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