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Getting unknown calls on new number? Here's what is Recycled Mobile Number, how this policy works

Telecom companies release more than 10 million recycle numbers every month, which are again allocated to new customers. If you purchased a new SIM and getting calls from unknown numbers, read to know about Recycled Mobile Number and how to stop unknown calls.

Written By: Om Gupta New Delhi Published on: April 26, 2024 15:14 IST
Recycled Mobile Number
Image Source : FREE PIK Recycled Mobile Number (representation image)

Recycled Mobile Number: Have you recently purchased a new SIM and are receiving unwanted calls throughout the day? You might be wondering how these callers have obtained your number since you haven't shared it with anyone yet. The reason behind this is a recycled mobile number. According to the Department of Telecommunications, telecom companies release over 10 million recycled numbers every month. These numbers are ones that a user has previously used but has now stopped recharging.

What is a Recycled Mobile Number?

After a certain amount of time, these numbers are returned to the telecom companies for new subscribers. If you purchase one of these recycled numbers, you may receive unwanted calls. Moreover, linking these recycled numbers to your bank and UPI account may be difficult because the number may already be linked to someone else's bank and UPI account.

You might be questioning why telecom companies issue recycled numbers if users face all these problems. Let's take a look at the policy of the Department of Telecommunications regarding recycled numbers.

Rules for Recycled Mobile Numbers

According to the rules established by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for recycling a mobile number, telecom companies cannot release a user's mobile number until the user has not used it for 6 months or recharged it.

If a customer has requested Mobile Number Portability (MNP) for their number, but the number has not been ported to another telecom operator for some reason, then the number can be released after two months.

A fixed resource is assigned to a mobile number, due to which there is a provision for recycling a number multiple times. As a result, telecom companies are compelled to recycle existing resources, i.e., available mobile numbers, to meet customer demand.

Need for New Numbering Resources

Under the current policy, the Department of Telecommunications can only assign series between 1-9 to any telecom operator. Initially, mobile numbers starting with 9 and then 8 were assigned. Later, DoT assigned mobile numbers beginning with 7 and 6. The Department of Telecommunications created 750 million mobile numbering resources in 2003. By 2019, 1,917 million numbering resources had been created. According to TRAI data, by February 2024, the number of mobile users in India is expected to reach a total of 1,165 million. The telecom regulator predicts that India will require 3,278 mobile numbering resources by 2025.

Activate DND

As you know, initially, only mobile numbers starting with 9 and 8 were assigned. As a result, most new numbers that start with these two digits are recycled mobile numbers. To avoid receiving unwanted calls, customers must take some critical steps after obtaining a new mobile number that starts with these two digits. To do so, users must activate DND, i.e., Do-Not-Disturb service, on their mobile number.

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