Relax! Your mobile number won't be made up of 13 digits from July

Dhirendra Tripathi
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Net neutrality, in-plane cell use in Telecom Commission’s 10-item meet for May 1

Telecom Commission, headed by the secretary of the department of telecommunications, is the apex decision-making body of the DoT

Dhirendra Tripathi

Moneycontrol News

Reports in the media, and speculation in social media, has gone viral that can very well be attributed to lack of understanding on the part of all those who reported it.

This is about the department of telecommunications making the numbering plan of an M2M communication a 13-digit one. Except, here M2M stands for machine-to-machine and not mobile-to-mobile.

M2M communication happens between two machines, say between a smart electricity meter and the server of your power supplier which records the meter reading from a distance.

The news of the DoT deciding to make all mobile numbers 13 digits started doing the rounds early morning. Its genesis lay in a February 5 letter written by Bharat Sanchar Nigam to equipment suppliers ZTE and Nokia regarding the implementation of the plan. The letter was circulated through Whatsapp and other social media.

Anybody with even the slightest of curiosity should have asked: what about landline to mobile communication and vice versa? Surely, a mobile to mobile numbering plan couldn’t be exclusive. What is exclusive is a machine to machine communication.

Anyway, coming to the real news. The DoT now plans to make numbering for all machine-to-machine communication a 13-digit one by the end of December. The suggestion to make M2M numbering 13 digits came from mobile operators.

The shift is also necessitated as the ecosystem develops and more machines communicate with each other. A 10-digit numbering plan may then fall short to accommodate the billions of machines that would be able to communicate with each other as time goes.

So while you sweat over how a self-driven car would communicate, there’s one thing you needn’t worry about -- your 10-digit mobile number. It stays the same.