Landline users will have to add a zero before calling any mobile number from January 1 onwards, the Department of Telecommunication said in the latest circular. The DoT has asked all the telecom companies to set necessary mechanisms to implement the new rules.
In a circular, the DoT said the landline users will be told about the new changes soon. "Fixed-to-mobile calls shall be dialled with prefix '0'. A 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," it added.
"All the fixed-line subscribers should be provided with 'zero' dialing facility, that is, STD dialling facility," the circular posted on DoT's website said.
In May, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) suggested prefixing ''0'' when mobile numbers are called from landlines. As per Trai's recommendation, the country will continue to follow a 10-digit numbering for mobile services, and the regulator has "categorically rejected" shifting to an 11-digit mobile numbering plan.
Trai explained that prefixing ''0'' for calls from fixed line to mobile numbers will generate 2,544 million additional numbering resources for mobile services to cater to the future requirements. The telecom regulator also said that migration to a unified or single numbering scheme for fixed-line and mobile services is not required for now and that sufficient numbering space can be created by various methods, including prefixing ''0'' for all fixed to mobile calls.
It also recommended that a revised and new National Numbering Plan (NNP) should be issued at the earliest, and made suggestions on ways to free up unutilised capacities, to create space for mobiles services.