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Telephone numbers in the Americas


Canada, the United States and some
Caribbean countries use the country calling code 1. Local area codes in
these countries are managed by the North American Numbering Plan.
Greenland and Aruba have a country calling code that has the number “2” as
first digit, which mostly is used by countries in Africa. All other countries
use codes that start with “5”. North American Numbering Plan
Country Code: +1International Call Prefix: 011Trunk Prefix: 1
In the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and 18 Caribbean nations, area codes are
regulated by the North American Numbering Plan. Currently, all area
codes in the NANP must have 3 digits. Historically, the second digit was
always “0” or “1”, while the second digit of the 3-digit exchange prefix was
never “0” or “1.” With the increased demand for area codes because of
additional lines, FAX lines, pagers, cell phones, etc., the restrictions on
the second digit were lifted in 1995. At the same time, the historic restriction
on a local telephone number’s second digit, which previously could not be a
“0” or “1”, was also lifted. Under the new rules, a telephone number such as
400-1234 is perfectly legal, whereas before 1995 it was not permitted.
Despite being one numbering plan, the cost of calling numbers in the NANP can
vary widely depending on which country of the NANP the code is in. As a result,
great care is needed on the part of a caller to avoid unexpectedly large
bills. Not all area codes correspond to a
geographical area. Codes 8xx with the last two digits matching, such as 800,
888, 877, 866, etc., are reserved for toll-free calls. Code 900 is reserved
for premium-rate calls. Area code 710 is reserved for the United States
Government. Area code 600 is reserved for national Canadian services.
Mobile phones are normally allocated numbers within regular geographic area
codes corresponding to or close to the subscriber’s home or work location,
instead of within a distinctive subset of area codes. All the extra costs of
mobile telephony must be borne by the mobile’s owner, unlike in many countries
where calling mobiles costs significantly more than calling
landlines. Local number portability applies across landline and mobile
services. In some regions, customer can port a landline number to mobile service
and vice versa. Dialing plans vary from place to place
depending on whether an area has overlays and whether the state requires
toll alerting. The NANPA web site includes dialing plan information in
their information on individual area codes.
In areas without overlays and without toll alerting, including much of
California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey, calls within an area code are
dialed as seven digits and calls outside the area code as 1 followed by 10
digits. Most areas allow permissive dialing of 1+10D even for calls that
could be dialed as 7D. The number of digits dialed is unrelated to whether a
call is local or toll. In some places, local calls to other area codes are
1+10D, in others they can be dialed as 10D without the leading 1.
In areas with overlays, local calls are all dialed as either 10D or 1+10D; this
varies by area. In areas without toll alerting, all calls to numbers within
the caller’s area code and overlay codes serving the same area can be dialed as
either 10D or 1+10D, while calls to other area codes must be 1+10D. In areas
with toll alerting, all toll calls must be dialed as 1+10D.
Most areas permit local calls to be dialed as 1+10D except for Texas, parts
of Florida and many parts of Canada which requires that callers know which
numbers are local and which are toll, dialing 10D for all local calls and
1+10D for all toll calls Mobile phone users in North America are
not generally required to dial 1, but do need to dial 10D for calls within the
North America numbering plan unless: Calling from an area without an overlay,
and Within the home area code of the mobile
telephone Listing
(initial ordering by country) See also
Telephone numbering plan List of country calling codes
List of international call prefixes List of NANP area codes
Area codes in the Caribbean Category:Telephone numbers by country

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