From January 15, callers will have to dial numbers with prefix '0' for making calls from landline to mobile phone. Announcing the decision, the communications ministry said the move would free up sufficient numbering resources for future use, and nearly 2,539 million numbering series are expected to be generated as a result.
There will be no change with respect to dialling numbers for fixed-to fixed, mobile-to-fixed, and mobile-to-mobile calls. "All fixed to mobile calls will be dialled with prefix '0' from 15 January, 2021," a statement from the ministry said.
Suitable announcement would be fed in the fixed line switches for the same. "This announcement shall be played whenever a subscriber dials a fixed to mobile call without prefixing '0'," it said.
Additionally, all fixed line subscribers will be provided with '0' dialling facility. "With the freeing up of sufficient numbering resources, more number of connections can be added in future which will be beneficial to the mobile customers at large. The above changes have been done in order to have minimum inconvenience to the subscribers and freeing up essential numbering resources," it said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the telecom department recently asked telcos to make necessary arrangements by January 1, to implement the new system. The Department of Telecom had accepted sectoral regulator Trai's recommendation for having the '0' prefix for such calls, in order to create sufficient numbering space for telecom services.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had in May this year recommended dialling prefix '0' for a call from fixed line number to mobile number. The regulator had, however, stated that the introduction of dialling a prefix for a particular type of call is not akin to increasing the number of digits in the telephone number.