The Department of Telecom (DoT) has issued a directive to all the telecom operators in India, asking them to start issuing 13-digit mobile numbers to customers. However, this moved is only for the M2M (machine2machine) SIM cards. The existing 10-digit mobile numbers will be converted to 13-digit ones from October 1, 2018 onwards. And the deadline to complete the conversion is December 31, 2018.
The directive which was passed by BSNL initially in January decided that the M2M SIM cards in India need to have 13-digits. Accordingly, BSNL informed its vendors that it will need infrastructure to handle 13-digit numbers from July 1, 2018, onwards. “It is decided that 13-digit M2M (Machine-to-machine) numbering plan will be implemented from July 1, 2018. From this date onwards, all new M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13-digit numbers only… Migration of existing 10-digit M2M numbers will start latest by 1 October 2018 and shall be completed by 31 December 2018,” the official was quoted saying in the report.
What is an M2M Sim card?
An M2M Sim card means a machine to machine SIM that enables only devices or sensors to communicate with each other. In simpler words, these are the SIMs which we use to connect a machine to the internet. You cannot rely on an internet connection at all times. An M2M SIM card is primarily used for sending and receiving data; not for voice and texts (although some providers are able to attach SMS bundles to your solution). These SIMs are able to provide you with GPRS, 2G, 3G and also 4G connectivity, depending on the scheme taken. They have a larger storage space.
For example: An M2M sim is used if you have a device which sends you any mobile alerts or some device connected to your car that gives you alerts.
With the coming in of this new move, India will become the country with the longest mobile numbers. China is the only country at scale with 11-digit mobile numbers, not counting the area code. But the problem with having a 13-digit number is it will difficult to remember and can cause more confusion.