Dial 100 for …

A few days ago, coming out of the airport, I saw a board that boasted of some emergency numbers. The proudest line on top said: 100 ….. Police. Suspicious character that I am, I suddenly got a doubt if this number was BSNL only.

So I dialed 100 from my Airtel. Once, twice and thrice. “This number is out of service” each time!

I thought the cops were busy that evening and the lines must have been jammed. So I tried again this morning. A different message – “you have dialed an invalid number” – but the net result was same, no connection.

So what is it guys? BSNL has such a big competitive advantage that emergency police numbers work only from their network. And yet they don’t advertise this fact!? Dumb PSU I say!

And, BTW, going by this story Shreyas has, don’t have high hopes even if you manage to connect to 100. They may not help if you don’t speak Kannada :)

14 Comments so far

  1. ramses (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 7:59 am

    Silkboard, 080100 does the trick. just as any calls from mobile to landline [refix the 080

    but stil sad not many people may know of it..and will try 100 directly

    being harassed by the police operator is another issue,altogether

  2. silkboard (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 8:07 am

    Oh, is it. I never knew. I thought 100 would be like 911, no area code or 0 to prefix.

    The strange thing is, 101 works from airtel mobile. No 080 to prefix. Not sure if it connects to the fire department though, because two times that I connected, the other side couldn’t hear me at all.

  3. manav (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 8:24 am

    All these numbers (100, 101, 1062) work from mobiles if prefixed with the area code.

    there was a lot of halla-gulla, 3 years back when people found these emergency numbers did not work from mobile. then phone companies enabled it. I know at least reliance, BSNL, Airtel mobile services allow them.

    Also you are charged a special (means costlier) rate for dialing this number.

  4. Arun (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 9:04 am

    You need to pay more?!!

    This number is supposed to be toll free call.

  5. silkboard (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 11:47 am

    I thought so too Arun. And that is why didn’t prefix 080 when I tried. From what Manav says, looks like you are charged higher than normal toll for these so very important numbers. Why why why?

  6. Ravi (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 12:21 pm

    Well, well, well! What a learning this has turned out to be. Thanks, SB!
    I tried the 080100 as well as 80100…neither worked!
    God save people in trouble and trying to call for assistance!
    I think we should perhaps write to the police department and ask for clarifications. Anybody for a collective attempt? I’m game!

  7. silkboard (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 12:50 pm

    Good idea Ravi. Guys, could you all let the police and telecom authority know of this. Here is how to:

    Bangalore police – here is online feedback page.

    For telecom, here is the TRAI feedback page.

    Tell them both that police control room numbers 100 and 103 don’t work from mobile phones in Bangalore. If 10-20 guys can help, I am sure we will get heard. More the better.

  8. manav (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

    Tried out 1062 (without 080 prefix) and it works from my Airtel prepaid mobile.

    Tried out 100 (without 080 prefix) and it works from my Airtel prepaid mobile.

    Also the phone company did not charge anything for these calls. So I think we have come a long way since I last time used this facility.

    I did not call up anymore numbers thinking I was misusing this emergency line.


  9. rubic_cube (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

    to all following this conversation…
    100 is an emergency service number which means you can dial this number whether your phone is locked, or ur SIM is locked or even if your network is out of reach and shows “SOS calls only” in the display. these services are toll-free and are funded by the tax that we pay. emergency services are mandatory services that have to be provided by all network operators. failure to do so can amount to litigation against them for non-compliance.

  10. silkboard (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

    I posted online feedback to BCP and TRAI anyway. May be they fixed it just before you tried Manav :)

    It certainly wasn’t working over the weekend. And just now I tried again. No “not valid” message this time, but something like an ‘engaged’ tone. I have an Airtel postpaid.

    Ravi – what happened when you tried, what phone do you have?

    R_C – thanks for the info. See, so many didn’t know these are supposed to be toll-free.

  11. George E Matthew (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 9:42 pm

    What about Airtel? Can they not provide this facility instead of sending unsolicited SMS to lots of ppl asking them to download ring tones?

  12. Mohan (unregistered) on December 13th, 2006 @ 10:52 am

    “The GSM mobile phone standard includes 112 as an emergency number, and in countries where 112 is not the standard emergency telephone number, GSM telephone users who make calls to 112 generally have their calls redirected to the local emergency telephone number, if it exists. This is valuable for foreign travelers, who may not know the local emergency number. Most GSM mobile phones can dial 112 calls even when the phone keyboard is locked or the phone is without a SIM card.”

    I tried 112 from my airtel phone and it said “Attempting emergency number” and I did get a ringing tone. I didn’t wait to find out which number it had connected to.

  13. silkboard (unregistered) on December 13th, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

    Since I started it, must update folks that I got a reply from Bangalore Police (very prompt, impressive!). They asked me to talk to Airtel, fair enough, and I will.


    Thank you for visiting our website.Reqarding your question please enquiry Airtel customer care. ( or try 080 100)

    Bangalore City Police
    Bangalore City

  14. RDM (unregistered) on December 13th, 2006 @ 8:20 pm

    Has anyone tried the 1500 number similarly to report complaints on BSNL phones.
    It too never worked for me.. its mostly engaged or just disconnects after a brief connection.
    Also BSNL claims you can send SMS “COMPB 1500” The message never goes..

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