Prefix ‘0’ before making calls from 1 January

From January 1, landline users across India will need to prefix all calls to any mobile phone with a `0′ , with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling on telcos to modify the dialing pattern for such calls in line with the sector regulator’s recommendations.

The move is likely to create fresh numbering resources for mobile services amid the continuing rise in India’s mobile user base and the decline in wireline connections.

The DoT, in a circular, dated November 20, has backed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations and mandated telcos to ensure all landline subscribers are “given a `0 dialing’ or STD facility” to be able to connect with mobile phones under the new calling system from next year.

It has also directed phone companies to ensure suitable auto-announcements are fed into all fixed-line switches for reminding landline users to pre-fix any calls to a mobile number with a `0,’ should they forget. The department has directed telcos to implement the new landline-to-mobile dialing pattern from January 1.

Back in May, Trai had recommended to the DoT that all calls from fixed-lines to mobiles numbers be pre-fixed with a `0’, saying such a move would generate a whopping 2,544 million additional numbering resources for mobile services.