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Prefix zero before making outgoing calls from Landline to Mobile phones

Users making calls to mobile numbers over a landline i.e fixed phones is mandatory to add a "0" before mobile number.

Users making calls to mobile numbers via a landline connection will soon have to add "0" as a prefix to the number. This is not new information; The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had published a circular in November last year ordering all telecom operators to implement this rule in their system.

Prefix zero before making outgoing calls from Landline to Mobile phones

According to the BSNL TARIFF website report, starting January 15, 2021, this rule will be applicable to all landline phone users across the country. It is worth noting that the suggestion to implement the rule came from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in May last year; more on the story to come. 

Why this rule implemented to prefix Zero to mobile no?

Few days back, Bharti Airtel started informing its customers about adding "0" as an area code before making calls to mobile numbers. Other telecom operators such as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), are already implemented this rule and prompting a message when user not prefixed 'zero' before mobile nuber to dial from landline phones. Similarly, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea (Vi) are also expected to follow suit very soon. 

However, please note that adding a "0" before the number is only required when making calls from landlines to mobile phones. The rules for making calls from a mobile connection to a fixed line, from mobile to mobile, and from a fixed line to a fixed connection remain the same.

So what is the need for this rule? Why is DoT asking telecom operators to implement this rule and what benefits does it bring to the user?
It does not directly benefit the user. The rule has been implemented so that numbering resources can be freed up amid the continuing increase in mobile users and declining landline users. With the implementation of this rule, the government expects to generate up to 2.539 million numbering series.

So in hindsight, this benefits users in the long run since, at the end of the day, they are the ones who will be using these numbering resources.

TRAI's recommendation to implement the rule also came with the intention of freeing up numbering resources. New numbering resources for mobile services would be a good thing for India as the number of mobile users is set to grow even more at a rapid pace making their way into the mobile market with affordable 4G smartphones.

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) also ordered all telecom operators to notify their landline customers about this in November. At the time, it was assumed that the rule would go into effect from January 1, 2021. 

But it has now been confirmed through Airtel's announcement to its customers that the rule will be implemented from January 15, 2021.

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