No, your mobile number will not have 13 digits

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If you’ve been reading reports about your mobile number having 13 digits (from 10 digits currently) from July 1 and have been feeling perplexed, relax! Your mobile number will continue to have 10 digits. Certain sections of the media seem to have misinterpreted a DoT (Department of Telecommunication) order for machine to the machine or M2M numbers.

M2M numbers are the ones that are used for SIMs in devices like swipe machines, cars, electricity meters etc. Officials from Bharti Airtel–India’s largest telecom service provider, Reliance Jio and telecom industry body COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) confirmed to TOI that the mobile numbers we have and use remain unaffected by this development.

Earlier this month, the DoT had issued a directive to telecom operators mentioning the implementation of 13-digit numbering scheme for M2M communication.

“Migration of existing l0-digit M2M numbers to 13 digits will start latest by October 1, 2018 and shall be completed by December 31, 2018,” the DoT order stated. All new M2M mobile connections will be allocated l3-digit numbers from July 1, 2018, it added.

The DoT has also asked the service providers to “ensure that their network elements including IT and other relevant systems are aligned with 13-digit numbering for M2M SIMs before July 1, 2018.

What is M2M communication:

M2M is a technology that leverages connected devices to remotely work or talk to each other via wireless network. Telecom operators have started offering SIM-based M2M services to enterprises across verticals in the form of smart electricity meters, vehicle tracking and fuel monitoring system and traffic management solution.
It is an essential part of Internet of Things (IoT), an industry that the government expects to grow at a rapid pace. Tech fads of connecting everything from door locks and wearable devices to traffic signals and waste control systems to a vast network all fall under the ambit of IoT.

On the shift towards the 13-digit numbering plan for M2M communication, COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said, “This has been considered by (the) DOT. They will be the ones to give final instructions and notice to (the) operators.”

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