New National Numbering Plan recommended by TRAI 

  • IASbaba
  • June 8, 2020
  • 0
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New National Numbering Plan recommended by TRAI 

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II – Statutory Bodies & GS-III – Telecommunications

In News:

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended a new National Numbering Plan to be issued so that a uniquely identifiable number can be provided to every subscriber in India.

Key takeaways 

  • TRAI has recommended:
    • Switching to a 11-digit mobile number.
    • Reallocation of mobile numbering resources surrendered by operators who have shut shops. 
    • Prefixing zero for all mobile calls made from fixed lines.
    • Shifting of SIM-based M2M (machine to machine) connections to the 13-digit numbering series allocated by DoT at the earliest.
    • The government should enlist all newly allocated numbering resources for fixed line as well as mobile services every year. 
    • Automated allocation of numbering resources using number management system software to speed up the process of allocation in an efficient and transparent manner. 
    • The mobile number should be changed from 10 to 11 digits only if all the efforts to continue with the 10-digit numbering are exhausted.
  • Presently, adequate availability of numbering resources is threatened because of an increase in the range of services and number of connections, especially in the mobile segment. 
  • Adequate availability of resources is necessary for sustainable growth of the telecommunication services. 
  • Challenges involved in migrating to 11 digits:
    • Widespread modifications in the configuration of switches involving cost. 
    • Inconvenience to the customers in the form of dialing extra digits and updating phone memory. 
    • More dialing errors
    • Unnecessary traffic
    • Loss of revenue to service providers.
    • Changes will be required in the databases of all services which require telephone numbers for identity like financial banking services, e-commerce, government welfare schemes, etc.
  • The Department of Telecommunications administers the numbers for fixed and the mobile networks based on the International Telecommunication Union’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Recommendations. 
  • The management of numbering resources is governed by the National Numbering Plan.

Important value additions 

National Numbering Plan (NNP), 2003

  • NNP (2003) provides a set of rules and guidelines for the use and assignment of numbers to telephone services delivered over the public networks.
  • It also describes the assignment of numbers to international services, trunk service, emergency service, etc. 
  • The management of numbering resources is governed by the NNP.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

  • It was established by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services.
  • It provides a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
  • The TRAI Act was amended to establish a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.

International Telecommunication Union

  • It is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. 
  • It is the oldest among all the 15 specialized agencies of UN.
  • It is based in Geneva, Switzerland. 
  • It is an intergovernmental public-private partnership organization. 

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