Mobile numbers to get 11 digits in India by 2010

The ever increasing numbers of cell phone users have resulted in the all new concept of having an eleven-digit pattern for mobile phone numbers by early 2010. According to mobile Industry sources the subscriber base stood at 376 million by the end of February and another 150-200 million can be added before the 10-digit quota is consumed.

But analysis has confirmed that fifteen million users join the mobile phone club every month, meaning the mobile number quota will be over in 10-15 months. Officials from the DoT (department of telecom) informed that11-digit numbering framework will cause minimum disturbance to existing mobile phone users.

The process of this transition will be made simple by either suffixing or prefixing the existing mobile number. With the advent of the new technologies such as high-speed 3G and firms extending their reach to rural India, the current growth is only expected to expand.

Approximately 250 lakh mobile handsets are likely to be out of service from April 15, as GSM operators spruce up to end connection to cell phones without the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This is unique to a mobile phone as every mobile phone has an exclusive 15-digit code, or IMEI, which can be known by keying in *#06#.