Telecom regulator TRAI on Friday recommended that fixed line telephones should have 10-digit numbers like mobile phones to avoid a situation in which there are not enough numbers due to growing demand.
TRAI has called for the new phone number system to be implemented by December next year.
However, TRAI said, "The existing 10-digit numbering scheme for mobile telephony should be continued to avoid inconvenience to the customers that would accompany any move to shift to an 11-digit numbering scheme," in a statement.
In January this year, TRAI had initiated a consultation process on several important issues related to numbering resources, as it was anticipated that there would be a shortage of numbers to be allocated given the explosive growth in the Indian telecom industry.
"Both fixed line and mobile phones will have a 10-digit number. This would make available enough numbers to cater to expansion of existing services and introduction of new services for the next 30-40 years," TRAI added.
The move will also facilitate extension of number portability to fixed lines, it added.
The authority said that while all preparations for extension of the 10-digit numbering scheme to fixed lines will be complete by September 30, 2011, the actual migration should be completed by December 31, 2011.
Once the recommendations are accepted, TRAI proposes to go ahead with the preparation of a detailed plan for migration to the integrated numbering scheme.
The existing national numbering plan 2003 was designed for 750 million connections, including 450 million mobile connections. Expected to be applicable till 2030, the numbering plan has come under severe strain, with the number of mobile subscriptions surpassing the expectations in 2009 itself.
With the number of subscribers likely to exceed 1 billion by 2014, the situation calls for an urgent review to facilitate continued availability of numbers with minimum disruption to any service.