The Department of Telecom (DoT) has reportedly issued a directive instructing all telecom operators in India to start issuing 13-digit mobile numbers to M2M (Machine-to-machine) customers.
What are Machine-to-Machine (M2M) mobile numbers?
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."
If the decision is implemented, India will become the country with the longest mobile numbers, with China the only country at scale with 11 digit mobile numbers, not counting the area code. Apart from this, only French 'regions' of Gaudeloupe, Martinique and Reunion have longer numbers.
At the moment, BSNL has sent a directive to its hardware vendors ZTE and Nokia. In a meeting on January 8, the Department of Telecom decided that M2M SIM cards in India will need to have 13-digits. The company has also informed its vendors that it will need infrastructure that can handle the M2M numbers, starting from July 1, 2018.
"It is intimated that DoT has convened a meeting on subject matter 08.1.2018. During the meeting following decision has been conveyed regarding implementation of 13-digit numbering scheme for M2M communication," the DoT statement said.
"It was decided that 13-digit M2M numbering plan will be implemented from 1st July 2018. From this date onwards, all new M2M mobile connections will be 13 digit numbers only..," it added.
Click here to read the direction issued by the DoT.