13 Digit mobile numbers coming to India from July
In order to provide better security features, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has reportedly issued a directive to all telecom operators to issue 13-digit mobile numbers to M2M (Machine to Machine) customers and one of the first operators to start working in this direction is state-run BSNL. The existing numbers will reportedly be ported to the new format starting October 1, 2018.
According to reports, a process to port the existing 10-digit mobile numbers to 13-digits will start from October 1, 2018. The last date to complete the process would be December 31, 2018. Once the process is completed, India will become the country with the longest mobile numbers, with China the only country at scale with 11 digit mobile numbers, not counting the area code.
The spokesperson said that the BSNL will bring the new 13 digit protocol to a machine to machine (M2M) communication and it is not meant for the general public. This simply means that BSNL customers need not to worry about the transition from 10-digit numbers to 13-digit numbers. For the uninitiated, M2M communication is a form of communication where the network devices exchange information and take actions without any manual assistance of humans.
This type of communication is generally used in warehouse management, robotics, traffic control, logistics services, supply chain management, fleet management, remote control and more. Further M2M communication also plays an important role in the Internet of Things (IoT).
According to a letter written by the Ministry of Communication to TRAI, 13-digit numbering scheme has been approved for SIM-based M2M devices. An M2M sim card can be used in any mobile phone. The release of 13-digit mobile number could lead to massive dislocations across business processes like banks.
M2M sim refers to the technologies that enable devices and sensors or things to communicate with each other and with other Internet-enabled devices and systems.