Currently, mobile number series in India begin either with 9, 8, or 7. However, soon you might come across 10-digit mobile numbers which begin with 6. Reliance Jio, which rolled out its 4G services in September last year, has been allotted new MSC codes in the 6-series by the Department of Telecom (DoT). This essentially means, future Reliance Jio subscribers will be able to acquire numbers starting with the digit 6.
The department has reportedly issued the company 60010-60019 MSC codes in Rajasthan, 60020-60029 MSC codes in Assam and 60030-60039 in Tamil Nadu. Jio has also got the 9-series MSC codes in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, and the 8-series MSC codes in Kolkata and Maharashtra, TelecomTalk reports.
The MSC code is a number series allotted to each operator in different circles. This is essentially the first 5-digit of your mobile number. Each telecom operator is assigned a bi-numeral number to identify its network. The first part is the Mobile Country Code (MCC) while the other part is known as the Mobile Network Code (MNC). While the MCC remains constant throughout the country, the MNC varies from circle to circle.
The department keeps assigning new MSC codes to operators if they manage to garner a subscriber base of over a million subscribers in a licensed service area. Hence, allocation of the new 6-series mobile numbers also indicates that Reliance Jio has been able to successfully garner over a million subscribers in the mentioned regions. ALSO READ: Don’t remember your Reliance Jio phone number? You are not the only one
Owing to its lucrative free voice calls and data plans, in less than six months of launch, Reliance Jio claims to have added over 70 million (as of January, 2017) subscribers to its network, and is estimated to hit the 100 million user base mark by March, 2017.
In addition to Reliance Jio, the DoT has also allotted new MSC codes to Bharti Airtel and Vodafone. Bharti Airtel has been assigned new MSC codes in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Delhi. Vodafone has been granted new MSC codes in the Tamil Nadu circle.
The new 9-series MSC codes 90680-90689 have been allotted to Airtel for the UP West telecom zone. For Rajasthan, Punjab, and Delhi, Airtel has been allotted MSC codes 73397-73406, 73407-73476, 92050-92059 respectively. While Vodafone has been allotted the 8-series MSC codes 82700-82709 for the Tamil Nadu circle. ALSO READ: Government issues notices to Reliance Jio, Paytm for using PM Modi’s photo in advertisements
It is worth mentioning that while Jio’s entry into the telecom segment has certainly compelled incumbent players to announce similar low-cost 4G schemes which in turn has benefited consumers, for the telecom industry the arrival of Reliance Jio has added new subscribers to the overall base. According to reports, the Indian telecom subscriber base crossed 1.12 billion in November last year with 21.02 million new addition, led primarily by Reliance Jio. The operator alone added over 16.2 million in November. In the same month, Jio became the market leader in the mobile broadband segment.
In a recent Credit Suisse report, it is said that Reliance Jio acquired 94 percent mobile data traffic share in India while other operators such as Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular captured a measly 2 percent each. Additionally, Jio has its 4G signals present in over 70 percent of the entire area covered by cellphone signals, and in no city it has a below 30 percent coverage.