Telcos to start issuing 13-digit mobile numbers to M2M customers in India

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To ensure a more solid and secure telecommunication framework, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has issued a directive instructing telcos to start migrating to 13-digit mobile numbers for all M2M (Machine-to-Machine) customers from 18 October onwards. As reported by News18, the directive was first issued on 8 January and the deadline for completion of the same is set for 31 December. 

The implementation of the new numbering plan will begin from 1 July, suggests the report. Starting1  July, all the M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13-digit mobile numbers by the telcos.

Will it affect mobile users in India?

No, this move will not affect the mobile users in India. That means your existing 10-digit number remains the same.

Although the 13-digit numbers ensure better security, it would be a tedious job for the telcos to port all the existing mobile numbers. Moreover, with more than 119 crore (1.19 billion) numbers linked to Aadhaar cards, it won't be a wise move to revisit all of them.

What are Machine-to-Machine (M2M) mobile numbers?

In simple words, M2M numbers are those used to interact between two SIM-based machines/devices and with other Internet-enabled devices or systems. These machines could be vehicles, GPS trackers, IoT products, or anything that uses data connectivity over a cellular connection. The M2M numbers are used in various sectors like Logistics, Transport, Health, Telecom and more. 

According to TRAI, “Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication is a form of data communication that involves one or more entities that do not necessarily require human interaction or intervention in the process of communication. M2M is also named as Machine Type Communication (MTC) in 3GPP.