Fixed line users in India are now required to use the prefix “0” for all calls to mobile phones starting today, January 15th. This emerges from a guideline of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The rule enacted in November last year, which comes into force today, means that calls from landlines to mobile phones without the prefix ‘0’ will not be put through. All major telecom operators have started to inform their customers that the new landline-to-cellular call rule is now in effect.
The Order DoTThe “Change in dialing patterns from landline numbers to cellular numbers” published on November 20, 2020 states that the directive was enacted to ensure “adequate numbering resources for landline and cellular network users”. A circular from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology that followed on November 25, 2020The circular also states that the prefix rule ‘0’ is expected to generate a total of around 2539 million numbering series.
According to the DoT regulation, telecommunications operators must inform their users of the change in the rule with an appropriate announcement. The announcement should always be played when a landline subscriber dials a cell phone number without the prefix ‘0’. This also requires that telecommunications companies give their customers the option of starting a number with ‘0’ for local calls. Airtel and Jio have started informing their landline users that the rule has now come into effect. Other large telecommunications companies such as BSNL and Vodafone Idea (Vi) are expected to follow suit.
As previously reported, the new rule follows an Indian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRAI). recommendation issued in May. Before the rule came into effect, only calls from landlines to cell phones outside a service area should be preceded by the prefix “0”, and all landline calls to cell phones within a service area could be made without the prefix. As already mentioned, the rule now requires landline users to prefix all mobile phone numbers with “0” so that calls can be forwarded.
The dialing numbers from landline to landline, from mobile to landline and from mobile to mobile are not changed.
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