With the mobile subscriber base exploding and fast reaching the billion figure mark, TRAI and DOT are faced with dilemma of how to provide new mobile numbers. Initially, there was a proposal to move to a 11 digit mobile number [currently we are sticking with 10 digit mobile number]. But that plan has been shelved for good. Telecom Regulatory authority of India [TRAI] had earlier accepted to a short-term measure of releasing new mobile number series beginning with ‘7’ and ‘8’ respectively. According to an estimate, this will free up additional 650 million mobile numbers [65 crores]. This should take care of the industry demands for the next 30 months!
But, as a future-proof and long-term solution, DOT has decided to open up 3 additional numbering series beginning with ‘3’, ‘5’, ‘6’. We may soon see mobile numbers beginning with 3,5 and 6 respectively. When this happens, it will free up additional 2.75 billion mobile numbers (in other words 275 crore mobile numbers)! This should theoretically tackle the demand of the industry for the next 10 years. You may ask why so many numbers are required. Well, it’s hard to foresee the future. In future, we may allocate mobile numbers for smart devices/objects which can talk to each other! [much in the same way as IP]