World Telephone Numbering Guide (2023)

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Updated 2 June 2011By Country CodeBy Country NameOther WTNG pagesAcknowledgements
World Telephone Numbering Guide (1)World Telephone Numbering Guide (2)World Telephone Numbering Guide (3)World Telephone Numbering Guide (4)Main Page
World Telephone Numbering Guide (5)Calendar
World Telephone Numbering Guide (6)Glossary
World Telephone Numbering Guide (7)History
World Telephone Numbering Guide (8)Regional Services
World Telephone Numbering Guide (9)Special Services
World Telephone Numbering Guide (10)What's New
World Telephone Numbering Guide (11)

World Telephone Numbering Guide (12)
World Telephone Numbering Guide (13)United Kingdom+44

Number Format

Area Code: 2-5 digits (see note below)Subscriber Number: 5-8 digits (see note below)Trunk Prefix: 0International Prefix: 00

Area code information

General Numbering Notes

Area Codes formerly 3-6 digits are moving towards 2-4 digits standard.Subscriber Numbers formerly 3-7 digits are moving towards 6-8 digits standard.

UK is making 10-digit national numbers standard; that is, numberswill have 3-digit area codes followed by 7-digit numbers, or 4-digitarea codes followed by 6-digit numbers. Some exceptions may remain inthe meantime.

April 2008: +44 1987 - new code for Ebbsfleet

Major new residential and commercial developments for Ebbsfleetwould generate demand for new telephone numbers. This territory wasserved by the Dartford +44 1322 and Gravesend +44 1474 codes. However,numbering demand in the area was already high. Dartford in particular wasalready declared a telephone numbering "conservation area" where measureswere imposed due to the limited spare numbering capacity.

Ofcom considered whether to introduce an overlay code for the existingDartford-Gravesend areas, or to establish a new area code in theEbbsfleet lands. Its decision on 29 April 2008 was to establish a new+44 1987 territory for Ebbsfleet, rejecting an overlay.

Source:Proposalsto accommodate geographic number demand in the Ebbsfleet region(Ofcom, 2008)

(news courtesy Alex Martin)

+44 3 range (03x) - national rate numbers

Ofcom introduced the 03x series of numbers (equivalent to +44 3)within the UK for use as national-rate numbers, similar to the existing0870 numbers.

The 030 (+44 30) sub-range of numbers is restricted to non-profit uses such ascharities and government agencies.

034 (+44 34) and 037 (+44 37) are reserved for migration from thehigher-cost 084 (+44 84) and 087 (+44 87) services respectively. Forexample, a customer with number 0845 1111111 can change to 0345 1111111,keeping the remaining sequence of digits intact.

033 (+44 33) is unrestricted, available to all customers.

Source:Ofcom:What are... 03 numbers?

030Number Eligibility Guidance

(news courtesy Alex Martin)

1 June 2005: London new subscriber number range

New numbers in the range +44 20 3xxxxxxx were introduced in Londonon 1 June 2005.

There were no changes to the existing subscribernumbers in +44 20 7xxxxxxx and +44 20 8xxxxxxx ranges. This was notanother split of the London calling area.The introduction of the new number range merelymakes more use of London's 8-digit capacity without requiringadditional disruptive dialling changes.

Source:Ofcom announcement 13 July 2004(report courtesy Chris Ward)

Other sources on the added +44 20 3xxxxxxx number range:

Research Report, London Telephone Numbers, New Sub-Range for London, (020) 3 (PDF format)

Research Report, Telephone Numbering Programme, The London Project,Qualitative Research Report (PDF format)

Ofcom Press Release,"First London (020) 3 Number Blocks Released From 1 June 2005" (15 November 2004).

(with items courtesy Mark J Cuccia)

September 2004 - geographic number ranges open to VoIP services

Regulator OFCOMannounced that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services mayuse geographic numbering ranges (+44 1, +44 2).

VoIP services may also use the non-geographic +44 56 number range.

(Tip courtesy Ken Westmoreland)

Source:OFCOM bulletin, 6 September 2004

29 December 2003 - OFCOM replaces OFTEL

OFCOM has replaced OFTEL and othercommunications regulators. OFCOM assumed OFTEL's telecommunicationsregulation on 29 December 2003, including regulation of telephone numbering.

Previously, OFTEL, the Office of Telecommunications, issued periodicnumbering bulletins. There is anOFTELlegacy information archive available through OFCOM.

OFCOM will maintain information ontelephonenumbering through its website(http://www.ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/ioi/numbers/).

Previous OFTEL numbering information page is now located on the OFCOMsite at:http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/oftel/ind_info/numbering/index.htm.

(some material courtesy Andrew Restall)

December 2003 - Corporate Numbering: BT Broadband Voice

Ken Westmoreland reports thatCorporate number format numbers of +44 55 xxxxxxxx are being used for BT'srecently-introducedBroadband Voice service,which can be described as "a poor man's Vonage". This is an example ofthe +44 5 (05) corporate numbering range.

+44 56 range will probably be introduced in February.

Further from Ken Westmoreland:

"Other countries are introducing similar ranges prefixed with '5' for VoIP(Voice over Internet Protocol) numbering, such as Japan, South Korea,Switzerland. +41 58 (formerly used as an area code for Niederurnen)is now used for VPN numbering."

22 April 2000 (Easter) - Various Regional Changes

New area codes officially took effect 22 April 2000 (Easter) in certainareas of the UK. Parallel running of old and new area codes for long distanceand international calls is planned until late 2000 (14 October 2000 wasmandatory date for London geographic codes; 28 April 2001 for wireless andspecial service codes).

Local calling in the affected areas will be changed without any permissive orparallel period.

Sources:OFTELNumbering Bulletin 41 andOFTEL Framework Document of 4 October 2000, updated March 2001.

The Big Number - consumer document.

Consideration is also being given to plans for European-wide telephonenumbering (see Europe information).

According to the results of OFTEL's telephone numbering planning during1996, the following places are to receive new area codes. Each of thesenew area codes will be followed by 8-digit local subscriber numbers, createdby prefixing digits before existing subscriber numbers:

  • London will have a single area code +44 20, in place of today's separate+44 171 (inner London) and +44 181 (outer London) codes.
  • Portsmouth and Southampton numbers will be consolidated under +44 23.
  • Coventry changes from +44 1203 to +44 24 76 (change from 6- to 8-digitsubscriber numbers).
  • All Northern Ireland numbers will be consolidated under +44 28.
  • Cardiff (Wales) will change from +44 1222 to +44 29. This makes provisionfor all areas of Wales to be consolidated under +44 29, although at presentCardiff is the only Wales area to be changed.

The following table indicates expected conversion from today's numbersto the new area code/local number schemes (subject to implementation detailsas formalised by OFTEL):

Place Current Numbers (1997) Future Numbers (2000)============ ====================== =====================Inner London +44 171 xxx xxxx +44 20 7xxx xxxxOuter London +44 181 xxx xxxx +44 20 8xxx xxxxPortsmouth +44 1705 xxx xxx +44 23 92xx xxxxSouthampton +44 1703 xxx xxx +44 23 80xx xxxxCoventry +44 1203 xxx xxx +44 24 76xx xxxxNorthern Ireland +44 xxx... +44 28 xxxx xxxxBallygawley +44 16625 xxxxx +44 28 850x xxxxBelfast +44 1232 xxx xxx +44 28 90xx xxxxCardiff +44 1222 xxx xxx +44 29 20xx xxxx

Also on this date, Guernsey (+44 1481, or 01481 domestically) also changedits 5-digit subscriber numbers to 6-digit numbers, by prepending the digit '2'(former subscriber numbers beginning with 3, 4, 5 or 6). Existing Guernsey6-digit subscriber numbers (beginning with 2, 7 or 8) were unaffected.

Guernsey's GSM Code also changed from +44 4481 (04481 domestically) to+44 7781 (07781 domestically). The old and new codes will be inpermissive mode for some time.

Sources, further information:

Office of Utility Regulation (Guernsey)(Guernsey is a British Crown dependency but separate from the UK)

Sure / Cable & Wireless(Guernsey carrier, previously Guernsey Telecom)

Guernsey Telecom notice on numbering change(from Internet Archive)

(with tips courtesy Keith Blackman)

1998-9: Business Numbering Range

Numbers in the +44 5 series are reserved for business services. OFTEL isto publish proposals on numbering in this range by June 1997.

1997-2001 - Wireless (mobile, paging) and Personal Numbering

Numbers in the +44 7 range are to be used to identify mobile, paging andpersonal numbers. Conversion of existing services to this numbering rangeis to be completed by 2001.

+44 70 for use by personal number services
+44 71, +44 72 reserved for personal number services
Other +44 7 numbers will be used (or reserved) for mobile and paging

1997-9 - Premium Rate Services Range

Premium-rate services are to be standardised in the +44 9 numbering range,ideally by 1999. New premium-rate special codes will be issued as +44 9numbers from July 1997.

OFTEL is expected to determine the details of the +44 9 numbering formatby July 1997.

1997-?? - Specially-Tariffed Services

Numbers in the +44 8 range are to be used to identify specially-pricedand toll-free services. The maximum charge of any service in this numberrange would be the national rate. As of July 1997, new special-tariff numbersmust conform to the following numbering ranges:

+44 80 freephone
+44 84 local rate
+44 87 national rate

OFTEL has not set a date for which conversion to this range must becompleted. Rules on migration to the standard +44 8 numbering are expectedto be established by July 1997.

1996-8 - Reading code changes to +44 118

The old Reading code of +44 1734 (01734 within UK) was changed to +44 118(0118 within UK). The digit 9 was prefixed to the old 6-digit numbers toform new 7-digit numbers within +44 118. Permissive dialling of eitherold or new Reading code was in effect from 8 April 1996 until 9 January 1998.

Additional information on the Reading code change is available inOFTEL Numbering Bulletin 34.

1996-7 - New telecom numbering scheme announced

Following a consultation throughout late 1996, a revisedNationalNumbering Scheme was announced by OFTEL. Several significant area codechanges were announcement, and general numbering assignments are established.

The following standard numbering ranges will be:

+44 1 ... geographic (conventional service) area codes
+44 2 ... geographic (conventional service) area codes
+44 3 ... reserved for future geographic area code assignments
+44 4 ... (spare range for future services)
+44 5 ... corporate numbering
+44 6 ... (spare range for future services)
+44 7 ... wireless (paging/mobile) and personal numbers
+44 8 ... specially-tariffed services
+44 9 ... premium-rate services, provision for multi-media

1994-5 - Phoneday telephone numbering overhaul

Area codes throughout the UK were changed in a "Phoneday" conversion programme.The digit 1 was incorporated into most area codes so that London's 071code became 0171 (domestically), or changed from +44 71 to +44 171 (asdialed from other countries). A select few areas were assigned new codesdue to specific telephone numbering requirements.

"Non-geographic" services such as toll-free numbers, premium chargenumbers, mobile codes, etc. did not have their codes changed during thisconversion, although the UK numbering plan is intended to be structuredaccording to types of services. Some of these codes may change in the future.

The new area codes became operational from August 1994, and became mandatoryto use as of 16 April 1995.

A UK Telecom FAQ item deals with reasonsfor/against this telephone numbering change.

1994 - OFTEL assumes numbering administration

The government-based Office of Telecommunications (OFTEL) assumedresponsibility from British Telecom for telecom numbering administration.

1990 - London split of 01 into 071, 081

1990: London's 01 code was split due to exchange growth. New codes 071(inner London) and 081 (outer area) were established and 01 was eliminatedfrom service. (Internationally, these are dialed +44 71 (inner) and +4481 (outer).

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