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  #1  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:02 AM
rocksolid rocksolid is offline
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Longest telephone number in the world?

What is the longest possible telephone number (including international dialling code)?

Is there a standard length internationally? If not, what country has the longest?
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:23 AM
Colophon Colophon is online now
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Apparently the ITU recommendation E.164 limits telephone numbers to 15 digits, including the international prefix, which can be up to 3 digits. That does not include the international access code, e.g. 00 from most countries, 011 from North America, 0011 from Australia, and also four digits from some other countries such as Brazil and Bolivia.

So I assume that if you called a maximum-length number, internationally, from Australia, you'd have to dial 19 digits in total.

In fact, looking at this Wikipedia page, Finland has some 5-digit international access codes, 99500 and 99588, so if you dial using these then it could be 20 digits.

As for whether there are any 15-digit phone numbers, I don't know. The only country I can think of that has longer numbers than the North American 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx (11 digits) is Greece, which has the international prefix, then 10-digit local numbers, with no area code, making 12 digits in total, i.e. 30-xxxxx xxxxx.

Edit: France also uses 10-digit local numbers, but these all start with a zero, which is dropped when you call internationally, so 01 xx xx xx xx becomes 33-1 xx xx xx xx, making the total lenght only 11 digits again.

Last edited by Colophon; 04-17-2007 at 06:26 AM..
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:26 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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If you look at international dialling codes, the international prefix is longest from a particular network in Venezuela, and the longest inward-bound dialling code is... Guantanamo.

So if you're using Veninfotel Comunicaciones to call Gitmo, you dial 01990 - 5399 - and that's nine digits already.

Not knowing anyone in Guantanamo myself, I can't be sure if the phone numbers are built on the US model, which is ten digits, or indeed if the "5399" contributes in any way to those digits, but you're looking at a potential upper limit of nineteen digits.

On a less extreme example, if I dial my friend in Hong Kong, I dial 00-852-XXXX XXXX which is thirteen digits. If someone from Venezuela were using Veninfotel Comunicaciones to dial him, they would be dialling 16 digits.
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:33 AM
Colophon Colophon is online now
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Actually I suspect that Germany might be a contender. There is no standard length for either the area code or the customer number there, and Wikipedia says "The default length for newly assigned numbers (area code without 0 + subscriber number) is 10 or 11 digits". That equates to 12 or 13 digits when you include the international code, 49.

As an example, this company lists a German contact number that has 13 digits including the international code: +49 (0) 2361 937 2710 (the zero in brackets is dropped when dialling internationally).

So to dial that number from Finland, using the 5-digit international access prefix I mentioned above, you would have to dial:

99500 49 2361 937 2710, making 18 digits in all.
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:36 AM
Colophon Colophon is online now
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Osama Bin Laden's old satellite phone number, +873 682 505 331, by the way, only has 12 digits
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:47 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
Osama Bin Laden's old satellite phone number, +873 682 505 331, by the way, only has 12 digits
"Salaam aleikum. I'm sorry, I can't come to the phone right now. I am either on another call or hiding in a cave.

"Press 1 to join the Holy Jihad; if you are already a memer of the Holy Jihad and with to discuss your application, press 2; press 3 to drive the infidel hordes from the Holy Lands; press 4 to recreate the Caliphate in the country of your choosing. Your call is important to us, Inshallah."
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2007, 09:20 AM
Shamozzle Shamozzle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
"Salaam aleikum. I'm sorry, I can't come to the phone right now. I am either on another call or hiding in a cave.

"Press 1 to join the Holy Jihad; if you are already a memer of the Holy Jihad and with to discuss your application, press 2; press 3 to drive the infidel hordes from the Holy Lands; press 4 to recreate the Caliphate in the country of your choosing. Your call is important to us, Inshallah."
That reminds me of a "Simpsons" episode when Homer called 911 and got an automated system.

Frantically, he starts wailing on the keypad....

"You have selected............Regicide................If you know the name of the King or Queen being murdered, press one."
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:32 AM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Inmarsat and Iridium numbers are typically 15 digits long
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:35 AM
Colophon Colophon is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Struan
Inmarsat and Iridium numbers are typically 15 digits long
Can you give an example? The satphone number I quoted above is an Inmarsat number (+873) and is only 12 digits.

Also, according to Wikipedia, "Iridium phone numbers all start with +8816 or +8817 (which is like the country code for a virtual country) and the 8-digit phone number", making a total of 12 digits.
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  #10  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:38 AM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Here's some examples:

http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/STAG/ssf...p_contact.html

There needs to be a country code added in some circumstances. I'm trying to construct a possible ship to Guantanamo number, but I'm heading out for a bit.
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:51 AM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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I've heard that Avagadro's number is pretty long.
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:53 AM
Colophon Colophon is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Struan
Here's some examples:

http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/STAG/ssf...p_contact.html

There needs to be a country code added in some circumstances. I'm trying to construct a possible ship to Guantanamo number, but I'm heading out for a bit.
Hmm, if I am reading that page correctly, the maximum number length is still 12 digits, excluding the international access code. The three-digit "ocean region codes" are only appended to nine-digit Inmarsat numbers. It does indeed make 15 digits if you include the international access code 011 (from the USA), but the German example I gave would be 16 digits if you included this.


By the way, I've Googled for some Guantanamo numbers, and they don't seem to be very long at all, only four or five digits after the "country code":

Columbia College, Guantanamo Bay: tel +5399 75555

Naval Station Dive Locker: tel +5399 3200 and +5399 4444

Traffic Management Office (from a PDF) : tel +5399 4206.
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  #13  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:54 AM
Colophon Colophon is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E
I've heard that Avagadro's number is pretty long.
Not nearly as long as Graham's number.
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:58 AM
Terminus Est Terminus Est is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
Can you give an example? The satphone number I quoted above is an Inmarsat number (+873) and is only 12 digits.

Also, according to Wikipedia, "Iridium phone numbers all start with +8816 or +8817 (which is like the country code for a virtual country) and the 8-digit phone number", making a total of 12 digits.
Right, but you can't just dial the number by itself. You still have to dial the international access code - 011 in the US or 00 in the UK.
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2007, 11:12 AM
Colophon Colophon is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terminus Est
Right, but you can't just dial the number by itself. You still have to dial the international access code - 011 in the US or 00 in the UK.
Right, but they're still not longer than the longest German numbers, which can have 13 digits excluding the international access code. So unless anyone can find any counter-examples, I reckon the answers to the OP are:

1) Theoretically, 15 digits plus an international access code which can be up to 5 digits, making a total of 20.

2) No, there is no standard length. Germany appears to have the longest telephone numbers currently in use, with 13 digits plus an international access code, thus requiring up to 18 digits when dialling from certain countries.

When dialling within Germany, you have to dial the initial zero of the area code, so German domestic numbers can be 12 digits long. The example I gave would be dialled as 02361 937 2710. I don't know of any longer domestic numbers, either. North American numbers have the form 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx, and UK numbers are mostly 01xxx-xxxxxx or 011x-xxx-xxxx or 02x-xxxx-xxxx, all for 11 digits. (There are a few shorter numbers in the UK, but no longer ones).

Last edited by Colophon; 04-17-2007 at 11:15 AM.. Reason: typo
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  #16  
Old 04-17-2007, 11:31 AM
Colophon Colophon is online now
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In fact I think I have found some even longer German numbers. Looking at the Wikipedia page on German area codes, there are quite a few 5-digit area codes (not counting the initial zero) in the 03... range.

Googling on a few of these came up with this page with a whole bunch of phone numbers in the town of Kleinmachnow with seven digits after the code.

With the 49 prefix for Germany, that makes 14 digits, e.g. +49 33203 8773041.

The SDMB... helping me spend my time on pointless Google research since 2002
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  #17  
Old 04-17-2007, 11:36 AM
guizot guizot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamozzle
That reminds me of a "Simpsons" episode when Homer called 911 and got an automated system.

Frantically, he starts wailing on the keypad....

"You have selected............Regicide................If you know the name of the King or Queen being murdered, press one."
It reminds me of the episode where he wants to call a company in Japan (because a box of Japanese detergent has a logo that looks like his face), and asks the librarian if he can use the phone at the front desk. She says yes, if it's local. Then he dials about 25 digits.
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  #18  
Old 04-17-2007, 03:29 PM
Mops Mops is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
...

Googling on a few of these came up with this page with a whole bunch of phone numbers in the town of Kleinmachnow with seven digits after the code.

With the 49 prefix for Germany, that makes 14 digits, e.g. +49 33203 8773041.

...
These aren't full telephone lines, though, but numbers of extensions in the Kleinmachnow town administration's PBX system (apparently in this town of 18,650 souls the town's administration has 4-digit extensions.) The switchboard is +49 33203 877 0, i.e. just 11 digits.

There was a local flap some years ago when the University of Tübingen instituted 5-digit extension numbers (+49 7071 29 xxxxx, i.e. 13 digits including the country code). Researchers complained that their extensions could not be reached from some foreign countries, so 13 digits seem to have not been supported all over the world, at least a few years ago.
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  #19  
Old 04-17-2007, 03:35 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Fairly mundane, but still 14 digits: UK to Ireland. 00353 + nine digits.
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  #20  
Old 04-17-2007, 03:59 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GorillaMan
Fairly mundane, but still 14 digits: UK to Ireland. 00353 + nine digits.
Isn't the leading zero dropped off the nine digits when calling with the international dialing code (it's been a while).
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  #21  
Old 04-17-2007, 04:01 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Struan
Isn't the leading zero dropped off the nine digits when calling with the international dialing code (it's been a while).
I'm going by the ones stored in my phone - nine digits after the 353, with no leading zero.
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  #22  
Old 04-17-2007, 04:11 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GorillaMan
I'm going by the ones stored in my phone - nine digits after the 353, with no leading zero.
You're likely right, my Dublin numbers are old and of the form 01-xxx-xxxx. Haven't used them for a few years. Bloody cow!
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  #23  
Old 04-17-2007, 04:54 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GorillaMan
I'm going by the ones stored in my phone - nine digits after the 353, with no leading zero.
Depends where you're calling. Dublin has a single digit - 1 - after the zero, and a seven-figure number after that. Down culchie-land the codes are longer, inversely proportional to the number of chromosomes they have . Mobiles have two digits after the leading zero (86, 87, 88), followed by seven figures.
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  #24  
Old 04-17-2007, 05:02 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
Down culchie-land the codes are longer, inversely proportional to the number of chromosomes they have
Hehehe - I thought that the ever-lengthening German numbers posted by Colophon were indicative of the language in those parts.
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  #25  
Old 04-17-2007, 05:03 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
Depends where you're calling. Dublin has a single digit - 1 - after the zero, and a seven-figure number after that. Down culchie-land the codes are longer, inversely proportional to the number of chromosomes they have .
That would explain it. I was looking at Donegal numbers.
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  #26  
Old 04-17-2007, 05:05 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
North American numbers have the form 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx, and UK numbers are mostly 01xxx-xxxxxx or 011x-xxx-xxxx or 02x-xxxx-xxxx, all for 11 digits. (There are a few shorter numbers in the UK, but no longer ones).
But the 1 in North American numbers is actually the 'sent-paid' trunk dialling digit. It's not part of the actual phone number; it indicates that you are paying for the call at the phone from which you are dialing. You can replace it with a 0 if you are calling collect or billing to a third number.

It's merely an unfortunate and confusing coincidence that 1 is also the North American telephone country code (something I didn't know until I studied the phone system in electronics school). Thus people can get away with writing their North American phone numbers as 1 xxx xxx xxxx; this form off the number is appropriate for all users outside the North American Numbering Plan.

However, users within North America have to remember to remove the one (and possibly the area code) based on where they are relative to the location of the number they are dialing. There is enough variability in dialling plans across North America that you cannot predict precisely how you will need to dial.

Likewise, the 0 quoted in UK phone numbers is not part of the phone number or even the area code; it's the UK trunk dialling digit. This is why you leave it off when calling from overseas.

So both UK and North American phone numbers, the ones that actually identify your phone, are a max of 10 digits long. What you actually dial, though, may be longer, variably-so depending on where you are dialing from. A London, UK, number is 20 xxxx xxxx; locally, you dial xxxx xxxx; long-distance within the UK you dial 020 xxxx xxxx; from Toronto, I dial 011 44 20 xxxx xxxx.
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Last edited by Sunspace; 04-17-2007 at 05:09 PM..
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  #27  
Old 04-17-2007, 05:16 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspace
But the 1 in North American numbers is actually the 'sent-paid' trunk dialling digit. It's not part of the actual phone number; it indicates that you are paying for the call at the phone from which you are dialing. You can replace it with a 0 if you are calling collect or billing to a third number.
That's interesting. I don't think the UK system is set up to handle billing this way at all - the various options live down at the "area code" level. Do you have a link handy for a curious observer?
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  #28  
Old 04-17-2007, 05:18 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspace
But the 1 in North American numbers is actually the 'sent-paid' trunk dialling digit. It's not part of the actual phone number; it indicates that you are paying for the call at the phone from which you are dialing. You can replace it with a 0 if you are calling collect or billing to a third number....

Likewise, the 0 quoted in UK phone numbers is not part of the phone number or even the area code; it's the UK trunk dialling digit. This is why you leave it off when calling from overseas.
What's going on here is that the everyday nomenclature is different in different countries. UK area codes are never ever given without the leading zero. And so, until your comment (and subsequent googling/wikipedia-ing to elaborate on it), I wasn't aware of what you describe.

Is there any comparable situation in the UK to replacing the 1 with a zero in the US? I can't think of one (other than having mobile phones storing numbers with the international prefix +44...).
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  #29  
Old 04-17-2007, 05:22 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspace
It's merely an unfortunate and confusing coincidence that 1 is also the North American telephone country code
Very interesting. This explains so much of the incomprehension I encountered when trying to get an international phone database fixed in the US by American developers.

So, I'm interested: you say North America. Is Canada on the exact same system as the US (and some of the Caribbean)?
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  #30  
Old 04-17-2007, 05:23 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Struan
That's interesting. I don't think the UK system is set up to handle billing this way at all - the various options live down at the "area code" level. Do you have a link handy for a curious observer?
Actually to make a collect call here on a bog standard phone needs operator intervention as far as I can tell. I wonder how these things have evolved?
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  #31  
Old 04-17-2007, 05:34 PM
Colophon Colophon is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Struan
That's interesting. I don't think the UK system is set up to handle billing this way at all - the various options live down at the "area code" level. Do you have a link handy for a curious observer?
What's really confusing with UK phone numbers now is that dialling within the same area code does not necessarily mean that you are making a local call! For example, all of Northern Ireland is now in the 028 code, but calls from one part of the province to another are not all charged at local rate. Similarly, both Portsmouth and Southampton are now in the 023 code, but depending on where you are calling from, Portsmouth may be a local call and Southampton a national one.

And let's not even go into the Londoners who still insist on giving their phone numbers as seven digits, and continue to believe that there are two codes, 0207 and 0208 (actually three, as some London numbers now start with a 3!). I can only assume that these people always dial the full number including the dialling code, as dialling a seven-digit local number will not get you anywhere in London!
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  #32  
Old 04-17-2007, 05:46 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Struan
That's interesting. I don't think the UK system is set up to handle billing this way at all - the various options live down at the "area code" level. Do you have a link handy for a curious observer?
Voila! The Canadian Numbering And Dialing Plan (PDF), straight from the Canadian Numbering Administrator.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Section 4
The numbering plan used in Canada and the other 18 nations served by Country Code 1 is known as the NANP. A Canadian telephone number consists of the Country Code 1 plus a 10 digit NANP telephone number. Current NANP telephone numbers are ten digit numbers that consist of the following three basic parts:
a) A 3-digit Numbering Plan Area (NPA) code, commonly called the Area Code.
b) A 3-digit Central Office (CO) Code, sometimes referred to as the NXX code. The term Central Office (CO) Code is used in this document because of its long standing use and because the NXX format is used for both CO Codes and NPA codes.
c) A 4-digit Line Number, sometimes referred to as a station number.
Quote:
A complete Canadian telephone number is an eleven digit number that contains the Country Code “1” plus the 10 digit NANP telephone number.
Then there's the 'dialing plan':
Quote:
Originally Posted by Section 6
The most commonly used prefixes are the digit 1 preceding a sent paid toll call, and the digit 0 which precedes an operator handled toll call. The current list of commonly used prefixes is shown below. Prefixes are usually deleted or used in the originating switch before the NANP number digits are used to route the call to its final destination.
Prefix: Use of Code
0+ NANP 10-digit Number: Person Paid Collect Special (PPCS) Call
01+ International Number: International PPCS Call
011 + International Number: International Station to Station Sent Paid (SSSP) Call
1+ NANP 10-digit Number: Toll Access for SSSP Calls
(minor editing to make table legible, because the quote box seems to smash whitespace)

These prefixes are useful only within the NANP; from outside, you have to dial the country code 1.

"Station-to-Station Sent-Paid" is where the call is paid for at the originating phone, and you are calling another phone. When anyone answers, the call starts and you start paying. (This assumes long-distance caling, where you pay by the minute.)

One alternative, dialed with the 0 prefix, is a "person-to-person" call. You dial 0 plus the number, the operator calls the number and asks for a specific person, and you start paying only when that pwerson answers. This is also good for calling extensions, hotel rooms, etc. There is something like a $3.50 charge for a person-to-person call, and phone calls are so inexpensive these days, that it's hardly ever used.

You can also use the 0 prefix to dial a 'collect' call. This is where the person you are calling pays. You dial 0 plus the number; the operator answers; you say, "I'd like to make a collect call, please"; the operator calls the person, and when they answer, says, "I have a collect call from <person>. Will you accept the charges?" If the answerer says yes, you talk. And they pay.

Back when I was in school, long-distance calls were a lot more expensive and I was a lot poorer, and mobile phones and calling cards were almost unknown. If you were stranded, often the only choice whas a pay phone. And the only way to make a long-distance sent-paid call from a pay phone was to feed it with a lot of coins (no dollar or two-dollar coins then, either!). I used to have to do make a collect call occaisionally.
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:58 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
And let's not even go into the Londoners who still insist on giving their phone numbers as seven digits, and continue to believe that there are two codes, 0207 and 0208
I confess, I've been out of the country for many many years, and returning to this situation is confusing as hell. And I do make this mistake all the time, and always use the full code. I'm sure Londoners look at me askance as they do when I don't know what to do with my Oyster card.
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  #34  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:03 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
What's really confusing with UK phone numbers now is that dialling within the same area code does not necessarily mean that you are making a local call!
Is it still based on local exchanges? For instance, my mum and dads phone number has gone from <0xxx-12345>, to the national change expanding it to <01xxx-12345>, to the most recent (fifteen years ago-ish) to make it <01xxx-y12345> where the y is different depending on where the old tiny local exchange was.

As far as I know the top level <01xxx> numbers are all considered local, but perhaps in places where the number range is busier it is the y number that defines locality ie places where the base phone number has seven digits?
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  #35  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:03 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
Very interesting. This explains so much of the incomprehension I encountered when trying to get an international phone database fixed in the US by American developers.

So, I'm interested: you say North America. Is Canada on the exact same system as the US (and some of the Caribbean)?
Yes. From the website of the NANPA, the North American Numbering Plan Authority
Quote:
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) is an integrated telephone numbering plan serving 19 North American countries that share its resources. These countries include the United States and its territories, Canada, Bermuda, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks & Caicos.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
What's really confusing with UK phone numbers now is that dialling within the same area code does not necessarily mean that you are making a local call! For example, all of Northern Ireland is now in the 028 code, but calls from one part of the province to another are not all charged at local rate. Similarly, both Portsmouth and Southampton are now in the 023 code, but depending on where you are calling from, Portsmouth may be a local call and Southampton a national one.
Welcome to the world of the large North American-style area code. It works similarly in Southern Ontario. Many of our area codes are large enough to require long-distance dialing between distant points. And in recent years, you have to dial all ten digits of the phone number instead of being able to leave the area code off for local calls.

But you can't tell whether the number you are calling is long-distance just from its form!

If it's local, you must dial xxx-xxx-xxxx. If it's long-distance, you must dial 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx or 0-xxx-xxx-xxxx. Doing it the other way around causes an error. And the only way you can find out which way applies is to try.

(This applies only to the traditional phone companies. Mobile phones on the GSM system (about half of ours) let you dial +1 xxx xxx xxxx even for a local call, something that the landline companies do not let you do. I'm not sure about the CDMA mobile phone companies. I'm also not sure about cable phones.)
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  #36  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:04 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
And let's not even go into the Londoners who still insist on giving their phone numbers as seven digits, and continue to believe that there are two codes, 0207 and 0208
This is one of my pet peeves. I hate it. Pure ignorance.


On a related note, I recall a minor news item a while back, where some guy on trial tried to forge letters he claimed to have sent/received, which would have proved his innocence....but put in an 0161 number when the date of the letter would have made it 061. And some trainspotter in the prosecution spotted it.
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  #37  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:08 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GorillaMan
This is one of my pet peeves. I hate it. Pure ignorance.


On a related note, I recall a minor news item a while back, where some guy on trial tried to forge letters he claimed to have sent/received, which would have proved his innocence....but put in an 0161 number when the date of the letter would have made it 061. And some trainspotter in the prosecution spotted it.
By 'trainspotter' I presume you mean 'phone geek'?
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  #38  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:15 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspace
By 'trainspotter' I presume you mean 'phone geek'?
Clearly a transatlantic terminology conflict What impresses me most is that it would have made a good plot for a TV courtroom drama, yet it happened for real.
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  #39  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:18 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Location: Near the GT eeehhhh...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Struan
Is it still based on local exchanges? For instance, my mum and dads phone number has gone from <0xxx-12345>, to the national change expanding it to <01xxx-12345>, to the most recent (fifteen years ago-ish) to make it <01xxx-y12345> where the y is different depending on where the old tiny local exchange was.

As far as I know the top level <01xxx> numbers are all considered local, but perhaps in places where the number range is busier it is the y number that defines locality ie places where the base phone number has seven digits?
Does the UK system still let you dial a local call without the 0+area code?
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  #40  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:21 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspace
Does the UK system still let you dial a local call without the 0+area code?
Yes.
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  #41  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:37 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Struan
Is it still based on local exchanges? For instance, my mum and dads phone number has gone from <0xxx-12345>, to the national change expanding it to <01xxx-12345>, to the most recent (fifteen years ago-ish) to make it <01xxx-y12345> where the y is different depending on where the old tiny local exchange was.
According to Wikipedia:
Quote:
Note that although Southampton and Portsmouth are one code from a code structure point of view, as of January 2006 calls between them are not local calls and the "codes" (023) 80 and (023) 92 are treated as separate by the BT site for determining local call area
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_Tele...numbering_plan

So the Southampton/Pompey situation is a specific one, not a general trend.
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  #42  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:54 PM
snailboy snailboy is offline
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As for the complete opposite of the original post, when I was a little kid living in Beckville, we only had about 800 people and consequently only one prefix. So for a local call, you only had to dial the last 4 digits of the phone number. Some time in the early 90's, we got extended local calling so we had to dial the prefix too. A few years later for some reason, they made us start dialing the area code as well. Thinking about how we used to only dial 4 digits trips me out though. I wonder if any other places in the country still do the same.
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  #43  
Old 04-17-2007, 06:57 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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I worked in a village in the late '80s where the company phone number was 222. That was it.
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  #44  
Old 04-17-2007, 07:10 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Nothing to shout about, I'm afraid, jjimm. Pretty damn common around here, even into the 90s.

It's pretty sad that I'm a couple of miles from BT's major research & development base, yet simple things like comprehensive ADSL coverage are supposed to be 'major improvements'. Because we're 'rural'. Or 'low demand'. Or something. Tell that to Finland.

Finland has it all.
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  #45  
Old 04-17-2007, 09:43 PM
MrFloppy MrFloppy is offline
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When I call Mum in Cumbria from the Floppy residence in Maryland, it is 15 digits.

011 44 1768 xxx xxx
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  #46  
Old 04-17-2007, 10:11 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GorillaMan
Finland has it all.
Yes. When I was there in 2000, it reminded me of a version of Canada run by smarter people.
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