The need for a new numbering plan has arisen because India’s mobile subscriber base has grown at a faster pace than expected. With India adding over 10 million mobile subscribers every month, the country is already just short of 400 million mobile subscribers and the telecom penetration level stands at over 37 per cent.
Therefore, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has had to re-examine plans to accommodate more subscribers. The government has amended the national numbering plan to allow sub-levels of 8 to be used as access codes for mobiles.
GSM-technology service providers, which account for the bulk of mobile services in the country, welcomed the addition of the 8 level but objected to the 11-digit numbering plan, saying it would inconvenience incumbent subscribers.