In an bid to make things more secure, the Department of Telecom has issued a directive to start issuing 13-digit numbers for machine-to-machine communication. Earlier reports stated that regular 10-digit mobile phone numbers will be converted to 13-digit numbers. However, that's not the case. We reached out to Anupam Shrivastava, CMD at BSNL for clarification. "There is no change in human mobile numbering scheme. This is only for M2M, only when machines need to talk to another machine," he said.
DoT has given a deadline of December 31, 2018 to do the same.
“It is decided that 13-digit M2M (Machine-to-machine) numbering plan will be implemented from July 1, 2018. From this date onwards, all new M2M mobile connections will be allocated 13-digit numbers only.. Migration of existing 10-digit M2M numbers will start latest by October 1, 2018 and shall be completed by 31 December, 2018,” a senior BSNL officer said in a statement.
M2M SIM is the technology that enables smartphones and other devices to communicate with each other and with other IoT devices and systems. This is different from regular GSM SIMs that can be transferred from one phone to another.
We also got our hands on a circular regarding the directive by BSNL but cannot vouch for the authenticity of the same. You can find it below and that essentially confirms all the facts stated above.
The story has been updated with the fact that regular mobile phone numbers will not be converted to 13-digits. It's only for M2M communications.