Mobile numbers in India are now also starting with “8”

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OK. I have been wanting to write about this since the last few days, so I am gonna spill it out directly. Mobile numbers in India are now (also) starting with the digit “8”. Apparently, all the “9” ones are used up, so, the Department of Telecommunications has allotted 100 million more number starting with “8” to the operators (There goes Idea’s “nine eight…” theme song).

According to TelecomTalk:

Code Operator Circle
8000 Reliance GSM Gujarat
8001 Vodafone West Bengal
8002 Airtel Bihar
8003 Airtel Rajasthan
8004 BSNL Uttar Pradesh (E)
8005 BSNL Uttar Pradesh (E)
8006 Vodafone Uttar Pradesh (W)
8007 Vodafone Maharashtra – Goa
8008 Airtel Andhra Pradesh
8009 Airtel Uttar Pradesh (E)
8010 Reliance GSM Delhi
8011 Airtel Assam
8012 Aircel Tamil Nadu
8013 Aircel Kolkata
8014 Aircel North East
8015 Tata DoCoMo Tamil Nadu
8016 Airtel West Bengal
8017 Vodafone Kolkata
8018 Airtel Orissa
8019 Tata DoCoMo Andhra Pradesh
8050 Tata DoCoMo Karnataka

The National Numbering Plan on the DOT website hasn’t been updated with this yet and shows these numbers as “Reserved for future services”:

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Apparently, some Vodafone customers are having problems in calling these numbers. Looks like Vodafone needs to update its systems.

A lot of people still do not get it when you give a number starting with “800” to them. Understandable. However, I was really surprised when the customer care executives at Airtel Broadband asked me thrice to give me an alternate mobile number. I had to tell them that mobile numbers are now starting with “8” and that  this is an Airtel mobile number only. I still don’t think they believed me.

So don’t be surprised the next time you get a call from a number starting with “8” or your friend sends a message saying that he has a new number beginning with “8” (or, looking at the NNP table above, “7”). They are all just fancy new mobile numbers.

Oh, and yeah, since “8” is the new “9”, you can get a good choice of numbers in this scheme. I got 800-xxx-SETU for myself :).

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