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08 December 2020

Attention Landline Customers : Dialing prefix ‘0’ is mandatory for all fixed line (landline) to mobile calls from 15th January 2021

In order to ensure adequate numbering resources for fixed line (landline) and mobile resources, TRAI recommendations on modification of dialing pattern from fixed line numbers to cellular mobile numbers has been accepted by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT).

Attention Landline Customers : Dialing prefix ‘0’ is mandatory for all fixed line (landline) to mobile calls from 15th January 2021


As per the latest information, DoT has approved TRAI recommendations dated 29-05-2020 on dialing prefix '0' for calling mobile numbers from fixed line. This revised dialing pattern is applicable to all fixed line (landline) customers in the country who are making outgoing calls to mobile numbers from 15th January 2021 onwards. It means, landline customers need to prefix '0' with existing 10 digit mobile numbers while making calls to any mobile number (inter service area as well as intra service area calls to mobile numbers).
TRAI has decided to revise dialing pattern in an attempt to meet increasing requirement for subscriber number levels for mobile consumers in the country. In order to ensure adequate numbers, TRAI had explored five strategies which may be adopted to meet the future number requirement for wireless subscribers in the country. Those five strategies were :- 
  1. Unified Numbering Plan for India
  2. Creating numbering resources by vacating fixed line levels
  3. Mandating dialing prefix '0' for calling mobile numbers from fixed line
  4. Shifting Data only mobile numbers from 10-digit to 13-digit numbering
  5. Switching over from 10-digit to 11-digit scheme for mobile numbers
Out of the above five alternatives, the option three i.e., mandating dialing prefix '0' for calling mobile numbers from fixed line is found the most acceptable solution by all telecom service providers since this modification in dialing pattern will not cause major changes in the architecture and databases of fixed line network. There will be no change in dialing pattern for incoming international calls. There will be no change in dialing pattern of local fixed to fixed calls, which can be dialed without SDCA prefix. Overall this scheme is found to be less disruptive for the fixed line segment. The present allocation and utilization of SDCA linked fixed line numbers is represented in below table.

Attention Landline Customers : Dialing prefix ‘0’ is mandatory for all fixed line (landline) to mobile calls from 15th January 2021

Dialing intra-service area as well as inter-service area mobile numbers from fixed line with the prefix '0'

By simply changing the dialing pattern for mobile numbers from fixed phones (landlines), we will be able to utilize the levels '2', '3', '4', and '6', excluding the SDCA codes for mobile numbers. Even in case of SDCA codes starting with '2', '3', '4', and '6', the SDCA code with suffix '0', '1', '8', and '9', can be used for allocation of MSC codes for mobile services. This proposed scheme will generate nearly 2.544 billion numbering resources for mobile services. The detailed calculations with explanation are given below:-

Attention Landline Customers : Dialing prefix ‘0’ is mandatory for all fixed line (landline) to mobile calls from 15th January 2021

If all the fixed to mobile calls (intra-circle as well as inter-circle) are dialed with the prefix '0', then levels '2', '3', '4', and '6', can be used for mobile numbers also. It would require all fixed line customers to have '0' dialing facility. No subscriber numbers are affected nor are any SDCA codes changed. Implementing this scheme should not be a difficult proposition as the subscribers already need to use '0' for calling adjacent SDCAs.

Based on the above recommendations, DoT has asked all wireline (fixed line) telecom service providers to make the following changes in their network before 15th January 2020. 
  • Fixed to mobile calls shall be dialed with prefix '0'.
  • Suitable announcement may be fed in the fixed line switches to apprise the subscribers about the requirement of dialing prefix '0' for all fixed to mobile calls. This announcement should be played whenever a fixed line subscriber dials a mobile number without prefixing '0'.
  • All the fixed line subscribers should be provided with '0' dialing facility i.e., STD dialing facility.

If everything goes fine as per the DoT instructions, all landline customers in India need to prefix zero for all outgoing calls to mobile numbers from 15th January 2021 onwards. However, there will not be any changes for numbering scheme or dialing pattern for existing mobile numbers in the country. All mobile numbers will continue to be of 10 digit length while M2M numbers (Machine to Machine SIM cards used for IoT applications) to be of 13 digits length.



Dear readers, please share this latest information among all fixed line (landline) customers in your friends circle. Please share your views and opinions about this latest change in dialing pattern via comments with us.

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