TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Worldwide Telephone Numbers

Re: Worldwide Telephone Numbers

Anthony Bellanga (
Thu, 12 Jan 2006 20:36:59 -0700

PAT: Please suppress my email address where ever it might appear in the
headers. Thanks!

John McHarry <>

> Anthony Bellanga wrote:

>> These days, more and more businesses outside of the US and Canada are
>> listing their full international number in adverts and such. You are
>> seeing more numbers displayed on the Internet and elsewhere (if you
>> see non-US/Canadian ads and such), as +44 etc (for the UK) or +81 etc
>> (for Japan), +33 etc (for France) etc.

> I pretty much agree with your comments, and would add another bit,
> mainly for NANP readers. The access code for domestic long distance
> in Europe, and a number of other areas, is 0. This isn't part of the
> international number, so if you see a number like +44 (0)20 ..., the
> zero in parentheses should be dropped. Similarly, where a national
> number is referenced, the leading zero should be dropped before
> prepending the international access code and country code.

This is true for most "other countries" in the world who use '0' as
their domestic long distance access code, that they actually write it
"as if" it were a part of the national number, when in reality it
isn't, and is to be omitted on calls to that country dialed from
outside (overseas). But there are some countries in the world where
you MUST dial any leading zero's of their domestic number. Which
countries require a leading zero from outside and which countries
don't want outside inbound calls to be dialed with a leading '1' has
varied over time. And there are "inconsistancies" to be aware of as

Prior to their national re-numbering of the later 1990s, the island of
Tasmania in Australia (but ONLY that island, not the rest of
Australia) had area codes that actually began with a significant
initial digit of '0'. Domestically, they were printed as 00X-etc. You
had to drop the leading '0' on calls from outside. Other parts of
Austrailia had significant first digits other than '0', but they did
display their number with the leading '0' access code.

It might be confusing to know whether or not an Australian number
being displayed was a number in Tasmania written with only one '0',
i.e., the true "significant" part of the domestic number, or if it was
some other number in Australia that was displaying the access digit of
'0' "as if" it wwre a significant part of the domestic telephone

I don't know if this still applies today, but there were some
countries in the world who had other domestic access code digits,
usually '9' or '8'. And these access code digits might even be
displayed as if it were a significant leading digit of the domestic
number, when it really is not. I don't know if these countries have
since changed their domestic toll access digit to '0', or if they have
"reformatted" the display of domestic numbers to "separate" the
leading access digit from the rest of the area code and domestic
number though. Some countries probably changed over from '9' or '8',
to '0', when they went through major domestic re-numbering in the
1995-2000 time period. (During the second half of the 1990s, most of
the world was being renumbered or having reformatting of their
numbering, especially the US and Canada with scores of new area codes!
Today this has slowed down to almost a trickle, in the US/Canada, as
well as elsewhere throughout the world).

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