New Delhi: Fixed line phones could bear 10 digits just like their mobile peers by the end of next year.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) Friday said India should migrate to an integrated numbering scheme for fixed and mobile services by Dec 31, 2011.
TRAI said the 10-digit number system for both mobile and fixed phones would make available enough numbers to cater to expansion of existing services and introduction of new services for the next 30-40 years.
Besides, the new numbering system would also facilitate extension of number portability to fixed lines.
Till the time the scheme is implemented, the land line callers making intra-circle calls will have to add the prefix zero before dialling any mobile numbers to utilise the spare space available in the existing short distance charging area code.
The regulator also proposed that the service providers should not have more than three million unutilised numbers when they request for a new block of numbers to ensure efficient utilisation of the existing numbers.
The existing national numbering plan 2003 that was designed for 750 million customers including 450 million mobile connections to last till 2030 has come under severe strain as the mobile numbers crossed that mark in 2009.
With the number of subscribers likely to increase one billion by 2014, the situation calls for an urgent review to facilitate continued availability of numbers with minimum disruption to any service.