Ahmedabad: A directive from state-run telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), dated 5 February to its vendors ZTE Telecom India Pvt. Ltd and Nokia Solutions and Networks said, “It was decided that I3-digit M2M numbering plan will be implemented from 1st July 2018. From this date onwards, all new M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13-digit numbers only.”

This won’t increase the digits of your mobile phone numbers—M2M refers to machine-to-machine SIM cards, the type used in automated devices that require network connections, from swipe machines to handheld gadgets to industrial machines.

According to India Today, most telecom firms in the country already provide 11- or 15-digit numbers for M2M cards, but BSNL does not, which explains the directive it sent to its vendors.

According to BSNL’s directive, “All TSP’s (telecom service providers) must ensure that their network elements including IT (information technology) and other relevant systems are aligned with 13-digit numbering for M2M SIM’s before 1st July 2018.” The state-run firm will begin issuing these M2M SIM cards on 1 October and expects to complete the process by the end of the year.

A fact worth noting is that sometime back, there were rumours and a scare among people that they should avoid calls from numbers that are of 13 digit as these were scammers trying to drain people of their money and personal details, so it has to be seen on how the people accept this new plan once implemented and if it is going to create a new spate of rumours until the government steps in to clarify.