DoT orders use of prefix for fixed to mobile calls

30 Nov 2020

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has accepted recommendations from sector watchdog the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on ensuring the availability of adequate numbering resources for fixed line and mobile services. As such, the DoT has instructed service providers to modify the dialling pattern for calls from fixed to mobile numbers, requiring all calls from fixed lines to mobiles to be prefixed with a ‘0’. The DoT’s order also requires operators to implement a system to play a message regarding the change whenever a fixed line customer dials a mobile number without the new prefix. The measures – which are set to take effect from 15 January 2021 – will free up additional numbering resources for mobile services by enabling the exploitation of underutilised blocks of numbers that were previously usable only for fixed lines. The regulator stressed that the move does not represent a transition to an eleven digit numbering scheme, a measure which has been proposed several times but has met with opposition from stakeholders.