The Department of Telecom (DoT) has reportedly issued a directive to all telecom operators in India, asking them to start issuing 13-digit mobile numbers to all M2M customers. However, the decision will not affect a normal user as the 13-digit numbers are meant only for M2M (machine2machine) SIM cards, or in other words, the cards that are used in automated machines. The decision will not have any bearing on Person-to-Person mobile numbers, or ordinary 10-digit consumer mobile connections.
The development was confirmed by a senior BSNL official who told CNN-News 18 that the directive from DoT had come on January 8, 2018, post which the company has started working on it. The decision has been taken to provide better security features to users, the report said.
Under this latest development, the existing numbers of M2M connections will be ported to 13 digits starting from October 1, 2018, as per the directive. The last date to complete the process would be December 31, 2018. “It is decided that 13-digit M2M (Machine-to-machine) numbering plan will be implemented from July 1, 2018. From this date onwards, all new M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13-digit numbers only… Migration of existing 10-digit M2M numbers will start latest by 1 October 2018 and shall be completed by 31 December 2018,” the official was quoted saying in the report.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Communication in a letter written to TRAI has reportedly said that ’13-digit numbering scheme has been approved for SIM-based M2M devices’. An M2M sim is actually the technology which enables devices and sensors or things to communicate with each other and with other Internet-enabled devices and systems. These sims can be used in any mobile phone.