Why you may have to pay for having a mobile or landline number - Hindustan Times
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Why you may have to pay for having a mobile or landline number

Jun 14, 2024 10:27 AM IST

Several countries have a similar fee levied for telephone numbers. In some it is applicable on the mobile operator, in others subscribers bear the brunt.

You could soon have to pay a fee for your mobile number or your landline number as per a proposal by telecom regulator Trai which said that since phone number “represent an exceedingly valuable public resource which is not infinite”, charges can be imposed on mobile operators. These can then be recovered from users as per the proposal which is also considering whether to impose penalties on operators who are holding on to number resources with low utilisation.

Telecom regulator Trai said that since phone number “represent an exceedingly valuable public resource which is not infinite”, charges can be imposed on mobile operators.
Telecom regulator Trai said that since phone number “represent an exceedingly valuable public resource which is not infinite”, charges can be imposed on mobile operators.

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The proposal read as per a report in the Times of India, "Simply adhering to strict criteria for assigning numbering resources might not ensure judicious and efficient use of freely allotted numbering resources by service providers. One way of ensuring judicious and efficient use of any finite public resource is by imposing charges, while allocating it. Efficient utilisation can be further ensured by introducing penal provision for those holding numbering resources with low utilisation."

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Other countries also have similar rule

Several countries have a similar fee levied for telephone numbers. While in some countries it is applicable on the mobile operator, in others subscribers bear the brunt of this charge.

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These countries as per Trai include Australia, Singapore, Belgium, Finland, the UK, Lithuania, Greece, Hongkong, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Nigeria, South Africa and Denmark.

How would this charge be levied?

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The fee could be put in place either by imposing a one-time charge per number or through an annual recurring charge for each numbering resource allocated to the service provider, Trai said.

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