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The Department of Telecom has issued 13-digit numbers to telecom operators for the trial of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications like smart electric metres and car tracking devices.
The 13-digit numbers have been allocated to state-run firm BSNL and private telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular and Vodafone for testing purposes only.
According to a letter sent by the DoT to operators, the authority has approved allocation of "1 million codes for testing purpose for each LSA (licence service area)" to service providers.
M2M communication, a new-age technology, is at the heart of concepts such as smart homes and smart cars. M2M communication can include a gas, electricity or water meter communicating information it records such as consumption level, or a vending machine alerting distributor when stocks run low, or transmission of data about personal appliances.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended that all telecom licence holders should be allowed to provide M2M service using any spectrum. However, it has suggested that critical M2M services should be provided by those companies who have licensed spectrum.
The regulator has also recommended that government to issue new category of licence for M2M services for companies interested in providing or operating services in this segment only.