TRAI Issues Consultation Paper on “Revision of National Numbering Plan”

<Consultation paper>

[ABS News Service/07.06.2024]

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has on 6 June 2024 issued its consultation paper on ‘Revision of National Numbering Plan’.

India’s telecommunications landscape is currently undergoing a significant transformation driven by cutting-edge network architectures and services. The advent of 5G networks introduces unprecedented possibilities, including ultra-high-speed connectivity, minimal latency, and extensive device integration. In this interconnected ecosystem, Telecommunication Identifiers (Tis) play a pivotal role in ensuring efficient communication and network management. Tis serves as the foundation for universal accessibility, facilitating reliable service delivery to consumers, businesses, and industries across various communication technologies.

The purpose of a National Numbering Plan is to ensure a structured approach for allocation and utilization of TI resources, in line with international best practices. 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.

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) manages telecom identifiers for both fixed and mobile networks, following the E.164 series of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Recommendations. In 2003, the DoT conducted a comprehensive review and revision of the national number plan to accommodate the rapid increase in subscribers. This forward-thinking plan, known as the National Numbering Plan 2003, was designed to allocate numbering resources for 750 million telephone connections across the country. However, after 21 years, the availability of numbering resources is now at risk due to the expansion of services and the growth in the number of connections. With a current total of 1,199.28 million telephone subscribers and a tele-density of 85.69% as of March 31, 2024, it is crucial to assess the utilization of Telecommunication Identifiers (Tis) and make prudent policy decisions to ensure a sustainable reservoir for the continued growth of telecommunication services.

The TRAI received a reference dated 29 September 2022 from DoT seeking recommendations of the TRAI on revised National Numbering Plan under section 11(1)(a) of TRAI Act 1997.  DoT has further requested to address present and possible future constraints related to availability of adequate fixed line numbering resources arising out of rapid growth.

This Consultation Paper (CP) aims to assess all factors affecting the allocation and utilization of Telecommunication Identifier (TI) resources. It also proposes potential modifications to enhance the allocation policies and utilization procedures, ensuring an adequate reservoir of TI resources.

The Consultation Paper for seeking inputs from the stakeholders has been placed on TRAI’s website https://trai.gov.in/release-publication/consultation. Written comments on the Revision of National Numbering Plan are invited from the stakeholders by 04th July 2024 and counter comments by 18th July 2024.

The comments and counter-comments may be sent, preferably in the electronic form, to Advisor (BB&PA), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, on email: advbbpa@trai.gov.in with a copy to jtadvbbpa-1@trai.gov.in. For any clarification/information, Advisor (BB&PA) may be contacted at Tel. No. +91-11- 20907757.