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:
|8004||BSNL||Uttar Pradesh (E)|
|8005||BSNL||Uttar Pradesh (E)|
|8006||Vodafone||Uttar Pradesh (W)|
|8007||Vodafone||Maharashtra – Goa|
|8009||Airtel||Uttar Pradesh (E)|
|8015||Tata DoCoMo||Tamil Nadu|
|8019||Tata DoCoMo||Andhra Pradesh|
The National Numbering Plan on the DOT website hasn’t been updated with this yet and shows these numbers as “Reserved for future services”:
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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