Vodafone Pleads for More Time to Abandon the Use of ‘111’-The Customer Care NumberVodafone has been asked by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to do away with the use of its customer care number 111; however, Vodafone, the network operator, has pleaded for more time to comply with the instruction. It argued that the number being in use for a very long time, its abandonment process would take time to complete.

After examining the matter in detail, TRAI had asked Vodafone to stop the use of the number 111 completely as its use violated the national plan of numbering. Moreover, it instructed Vodafone to submit a report about the compliance by 10th of March. The network operator on receipt of the instructions responded with a request to allow it some more time to complete the procedure of abandonment of its customer care number 111.

TRAI, on the other hand, revealed that the Department of Telecom had come out with its National Numbering Plan 2003 under which the numbers 111 to 115 had been prevented from being used by any service provider. Vodafone, as per its statement, were unaware of the provisions of the National Plan 2003, and have been using this number to provide support to its customer long before 2003.

The notice by TRAI had been served to Vodafone in February, and was instructed to stop using the number 111 immediately, and submit compliance by 10th March. However, Vodafone pleaded that since it had been using this number for the last eighteen or twenty years; so it would take more time to complete the abandonment process. The issue hangs in balance.