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14 June, 20241 min read

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has strongly denied reports that it plans to introduce fees for mobile and landline phone numbers.

The controversy started after TRAI released a consultation paper on revising the National Numbering Plan on June 6th. Some media outlets wrongly reported that TRAI wanted to charge customers for holding multiple SIM cards or phone numbers.


In a press release on June 14th, TRAI called such claims "unequivocally false" and "unfounded", aimed at misleading the public. The regulator clarified it has no proposal to monetize phone numbers for consumers.

The consultation paper simply aims to improve policies on allocating and utilizing the limited numbering resources available. This is to ensure sufficient numbers for current and future telecom needs.

TRAI emphasized its stance against excessive regulation, preferring market forces to operate freely. It rejected any "spurious conjectures" about new number charges.

The numbering plan revision was initiated by the Department of Telecommunications in September 2022, seeking TRAI's recommendations on efficiently managing numbering resources as the sector custodian.

TRAI's consultation process is transparent, involving public comments and open house discussions before making recommendations to DoT.

While numbering resources are finite, TRAI assured any numbering plan changes will not burden mobile users with new fees or charges. Improving policies is aimed at sustainable allocation as India's digital economy grows.


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