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Soon 10-digit mobile numbers will change to 13-digit; but should you panic?
On January 8, 2018, the Department of Telecom (DoT) issued a directive to all the telecom operators of India, asking them to start issuing 13-digit mobile numbers to new customers.

The news has been confirmed by a senior BSNL official, as reported by CNN-News18.

According to the new directive issued by DoT, telecom operators will start issuing 13-digit M2M (machine-to-machine) SIM cards to new customers from July 1, 2018. However, old 10-digit M2M SIM cards of existing customers will start porting to 13-digit numbers from October 1, 2018. The process of porting all 10-digit mobile numbers to 13-digit ones will be completed by December 31, 2018.

But does it mean that your existing mobile number will change?

No, this decision will not affect a normal mobile user who makes voice calls or sends text messages. The change of mobile numbers to 13-digits is only meant for mobile-to-mobile (M2M) SIM cards, which are used in automated machines.

What is an M2M SIM card?

A machine-to-machine SIM card is primarily used for sending and receiving data and not meant for making voice calls or sending text messages. An M2M SIM card usually provides the user with the facility of GPRS and comes with either 2G, 3G or 4G internet connectivity.

M2M SIM cards provide users with the flexibility of sharing data across connected devices and are extensively used in Internet of Things (IoT) devices like your home's fire alarm for sending alerts etc.

All rumours circulating on social media that regular voice calling SIMs will also convert to 13-digit numbers are false and speculative in nature. So you don't need to panic as the SIM card that you are using in your smartphone will still remain a 10-digit number.

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