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India to implement 13 digit mobile number system

India will soon have 13 digit mobile numbers. However, this change will be only for machine to machine communication that is used for direct communication among electronic devices. All the M2M connections will be migrated from the 10 digit number system to a 13 digit one. BSNL wrote in a letter that it was decided that this numbering plan will be implemented from the 1st July 2018 and from this date onwards; all the M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13 digit numbers only.

All TSPs will have to ensure that their network elements which include IT and other relevant systems are aligned with 13 digit numbering for M2M SIMS before 1st July 2018. This migration will begin from 1st October 2018 and is expected to be completed by 31st December 2018.

In response to this move, Airtel has said that the DoT had indicated it would implement the new number system as well. DoT has already approved a 13 digit number series for SIM based M2M devices that will co-exist with the current 10 digit mobile numbering scheme which is to be allocated for the Unified Licence. If this plan is implemented, India will be one of the few countries to have the longest number of digits for phone numbers. There are some operators in Germany that use 13 digit phone numbers for certain services and China uses an 11 digit mobile number system.

The transition has generated a lot of buzz on social media, believing it will be rolled out for the end users, which is not the case. M2M communication is a term for direct communication between electronic devices. The technology is used for the exchange of information without human intervention. Its applications include order management, fleet management, vending machines, production chain monitoring and automation and remote maintenance and control among others.

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