From January 1, you will have to add the ‘0’ prefix for making calls from landlines to mobile phones in the country.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) in a circular on ‘modification of dialling pattern from fixed line numbers to cellular mobile numbers‘ said in order to ensure adequate numbering resources for fixed line and mobile services, Trai’s recommendations dated May 29 this year have been accepted. Trai had recommended dialling prefix ‘0’ for a call from fixed line number to mobile number.

The department has asked telecom service providers to make necessary arrangements by January 1 to implement the new system.

“Following may be implemented… Fixed-to-mobile calls shall be dialled with prefix ‘0’. Suitable announcement may be fed in the fixed line switches to apprise the fixed line subscribers about the requirement of dialling the prefix ‘0’ for all fixed-to-mobile calls,” DoT said in a circular dated November 20.

This announcement should be played whenever a subscriber dials a fixed-to-mobile call without prefixing ‘0’, it said. “All the fixed line subscribers should be provided with ‘0’ dialling facility, that is, STD dialling facility,” said the circular on DoT’s website.

DoT said that time till January 1 is allowed to all the telecom service providers to implement this new system.

“Compliance of the same may be intimated,” DoT said.

TRAI had stated the existing 10-digit numbering scheme should be continued to avoid inconvenience to the customers. The number of digits to be dialed remains the same. “Presently, inter-service area mobile calls from basic/fixed phone can be accessed by dialing prefix ‘0’. However, mobile phones are accessed from a fixed line phone, within a service area, without dialing prefix ‘0’. This puts the limitation that any digit which has been used as a first digit for fixed network (for local calls) cannot be used for mobile numbers. By making it mandatory to access mobile numbers in a service area from fixed network by dialing prefix ‘0’, all the free sub-levels in levels ‘2’,’3’,’4’, and ‘6’, can also be used for mobile numbers,” Trai stated in May this year.

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