TRAI floats consultation paper on ‘Revision of National Numbering Plan’

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday has floated a consultation paper on ‘Revision of National Numbering Plan’ to ensure a structured approach for allocation and utilisation of Telecommunication Identifiers (TIs) resources, in line with international best practices.

The National Numbering Plan plays a crucial role in the allocation and management of TIs, ensuring efficient communication and network management. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) manages telecom identifiers for both fixed and mobile networks. It primarily defines the numbering space and its evolution for existing and potential services, aiming to accommodate a wide range of services and facilitate efficient expansion without premature depletion.

“TIs serves as the foundation for universal accessibility, facilitating reliable service delivery to consumers, businesses, and industries across various communication technologies. This Consultation Paper aims to assess all factors affecting the allocation and utilisation of TI  resources. It also proposes potential modifications to enhance the allocation policies and utilisation procedures, ensuring an adequate reservoir of TI resources,” TRAI said in the paper.

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It said the advent of 5G networks introduces unprecedented possibilities, including ultra-high-speed connectivity, minimal latency, and extensive device integration. Therefore, in this interconnected ecosystem, TI will play a pivotal role in ensuring efficient communication and network management.

In this regard, TRAI is seeking inputs from stakeholders through this consultation paper, such as: Are there any TI resource shortages envisaged in the near future due to the presently adopted Short Distance Charging Area (SDCA)-based fixed-line TI scheme? Is there a need to revise the criterion prescribed by DoT for the allocation of additional Telecommunication Identifier (TI) resources for fixed-line access services? How can spare SDCA codes and unused sub-levels out of the levels allocated to TSPs be best utilised to cater for future requirements of TIs for fixed-line access services?

As is the case currently with mobile numbers, in order to ensure the availability of TIs for fixed lines, should a 10-digit closed numbering scheme be made applicable to fixed line? Additionally, would migrating to a Long Distance Charging Area (LDCA)-based TI scheme address the constraints in SDCA-based fixed-line Tis? TRAI asked for suggestions.

The authority has sought written comments on the Revision of National Numbering Plan by July 4 and counter comments by July 18.

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