Meaning of plus sign leading off phone numbers

I get a lot of resumes from foreign nationals applying for jobs with outfit I work for, and often when they list their phone numbers, they put a plus sign (+) in front of the country code. I should know why this is done, after having spent severeal years in Europe, but I haven’t a clue. I don’t recall seeing any plus signs on non-US phone keypads. Can someone help me out here?

Hold down zero.

It’s actually shorthand for “insert international dialling code here” - this is because the IDC differs from country to country. In most of Europe, for example, it’s 00, but in the US it’s 011. IIRC in India it’s 051 for some reason.

The plus sign can work on cellphones (either what GM said, or hit the 0 button twice), but on landlines you have to know your country’s dial-out IDC.

Oh, sorry, why it is done?! indicate the international dialling code. For example, +44 161 xxx xxxx would indicate a Manchester number, which would be called from most of Europe by dialling 0044 161 etc., and from within the UK as 0161 xxx etc. From the US, I think you’d dial 001 44 161 etc.

Having the +44 code in a mobile memory means that I can call (and caller display recognises) UK numbers when I’m abroad. It doesn’t depend on what the local requirement is for the prefix to the 44 code, and also still functions within Britain.

If you’re completely clueless (not saying you are), the format is:

IDC - country code - area code (often dropping leading zero) - phone number.

Gah, jjimm, give me time to correct myself, would ya? :slight_smile:

011-44-161 etc.

The “standard” international dialing prefix in the US is 011. IIRC, some phone companies have discount (at least they call it discount) plans for which you use a different prefix.

Ah, insert international dialing code. OK, got it.

Not quite, it means ‘inserts appropriate international prefix for your location’, and the subsequent inernational code is the first digits give. So +353 means ‘dial 011 353 or 00 353 or whatever you need to do in the country you’re in for 353 to mean Ireland’.

For example, if you’re in the UK, and see +353 xxxxx, it means ‘dial 00 353 xxxx’, which will connect you correctly. If you used the American prefix in error and dialled 011 353 xxxx, you might end up talking to a Yorkshireman (0113 being the dialling code for Leeds). However, +353 in the US would correctly resolve as 011 353.

Yes, in the USA and Canada, those prefixes are 101-CCCC, where CCCC is a four digit “carrier selection code”.

This is for dialing a call using a specific phone company (a local or long-distance carrier) of your choice. You dial 101-CCCC, then the rest of the number as normal (in other words, for a normal call within North America, you dial 101-CCCC-1-XXX-XXX-XXXX).

I think you can dial special calls (0+) and international calls (01+ and 011+) using a 101-CCCC code, but I imagine that would be dependent on whether the particular carrier you are using allows that.

When you dial a number as normal (1-XXX-XXX-XXXX), you use whatever carrier is the default on the particular phone you happen to be using.

This is IMHO much better than the Brazilian system, where you must embed the two-digit carrier selection code on every long-distance call.

Often they advertise it as “10-10-XXX” or “10-15-XXX”–a stylistic holdover from when the carrier selection prefixes were only three digits and preceded by “10” (10-XXX).

Yes. The + sign is shorthand for “Insert international dialing prefix here”.

My GSM cellphone lets me store all my phone numbers in “full international format” using the plus sign, the country code, and the full national number (dropping any national trunk dialing digits, like the UK 0 in front of the area code).

Thus, when I travel to another country, I can just hit the number on speed dial and the system figures out how to dial the call. I never did learn how to use the pay phones in Finalnd.

Exactly. And depending on where you are, new numbers you recieve calls from are displayed and stored in this format (my incoming ones certainly get shown as +44, and from Ireland as +353). Not only does this mean you can dial without problem when abroad, it also means that caller ID works internationally - I’ve got a friend in Bermuda, and the number coming through as +1 441 means I know who it is, whereas if it came through as 011 441 it wouldn’t tally with what was in my phone.

(errr, or whatever the hell it would be from within the American system itself!)