Dial to Prefix '0' for all Mobile calls from fixed lines (Landline phones)

Attention landline customers: The dialing prefix "0" is mandatory for all calls from landline (landline) to mobile from January 15, 2021.

In order to ensure adequate numbering resources for fixed line (landline) and mobile resources, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has accepted TRAI's recommendations on changing the dialing model from landline numbers to mobile cell numbers .

Dial to Prefix '0' for all Mobile calls from fixed lines (Landline phones)

According to the latest information under Make in India, DoT has approved the recommendations of TRAI of 29/05/2020 on the prefix "0" to call mobile numbers from a landline. 

This modified dialing model is applicable to all landline (landline) customers in the country making outgoing calls to mobile numbers from January 15, 2021 onwards. 

It means that landline customers must prefix existing 10-digit mobile numbers with '0' while making calls to any mobile number (between inter service areas and intra service area calls to mobile numbers).

What are the five strategies adopted for wireless subscribers?

TRAI has decided to revise the dial-up model in an effort to meet the growing needs of subscriber levels for mobile consumers in the country. In order to ensure an adequate number, TRAI had explored five strategies that can be adopted to meet the future number requirement for wireless subscribers in the country. These five strategies were:

  • Unified numbering plan for India
  • Create numbering resources by freeing up landline levels
  • Compulsory dialing prefix "0" to call mobile numbers from landlines
  • Changing mobile numbers from 10-digit to 13-digit numbering data only
  • Changing the 10-digit to 11-digit scheme for mobile numbers

Of the five previous alternatives, option three, which is to require the dialing prefix '0' to call mobile numbers from a landline, is the most acceptable solution for all telecom service providers, as this change in the scheme of composition will not cause major architectural changes and databases of the fixed telephone network. 

There will be no changes to the dialing pattern for incoming international calls. There will be no change in the dialing model for local landline to landline calls, which can be dialed without the SDCA prefix. In general, this scheme is less destructive for the fixed line segment. The current allocation and use of SDCA landline numbers is shown in the table below.

Dial to Prefix '0' for all Mobile calls from fixed lines (Landline phones)

"Dialing of mobile numbers in the intra-service area and in the inter-service area from a fixed line with the prefix '0' number".

By simply changing the dialing scheme for landline mobile numbers (landline), we can use levels "2", "3", "4" and "6", excluding SDCA codes for mobile numbers. Even in the case of SDCA codes starting with '2', '3', '4' and '6', the SDCA code with suffix '0', '1', '8' and '9' can be used for the assignment of MSC codes for mobile services. 

This proposed scheme will generate nearly 2.544 million numbering resources for mobile services. Detailed calculations are provided below with explanation: -

Dial to Prefix '0' for all Mobile calls from fixed lines (Landline phones)

If all landline to mobile calls (both within the circle and between circles) are marked with the prefix "0", the levels "2", "3", "4" and "6" can also be used for mobile numbers. It would require all landline customers to have a "0" dial function. No subscriber numbers are affected or any SDCA code is changed. Implementing this scheme shouldn't be a difficult proposition as subscribers must already use "0" to call adjacent SDCAs.

Based on the recommendations above, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked all wirelline (landline) telecommunications service providers to make the following changes to their network by January 15, 2020.

  • Calls from landline to mobile will be made with the prefix "0".
  • Suitable announcement may be fed in the fixed line switches to apprise the subscribers about the requirement of dialing prefix '0' for all fixed to mobile calls. This announcement should be played whenever a fixed line subscriber dials a mobile number without prefixing '0'.
  • All the fixed line subscribers should be provided with '0' dialing facility i.e., STD dialing facility.

If everything goes fine as per the DoT instructions, all landline customers in India need to prefix zero for all outgoing calls to mobile numbers from 15th January 2021 onwards. 

However, there will not be any changes for numbering scheme or dialing pattern for existing mobile numbers in the country. All mobile numbers will continue to be of 10 digit length while M2M numbers (Machine to Machine SIM cards used for IoT applications) to be of 13 digits length.

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