Telephone numbers in Germany

Last updated
Germany telephone numbers
Karte Telefonvorwahlen Deutschland.png
8 geographic zones
Location
Country Germany
Continent Europe
Regulator Federal Network Agency
Type Open
NSN length2 to 12
Typical format(0xx…) xx…
Access codes
Country calling code +49
International call prefix 00
Trunk prefix 0
List of Germany dialing codes

The regulation of telephone numbers in Germany is the responsibility of the Federal Network Agency (German : Bundesnetzagentur, BNetzA) of the German government. The agency has a mandate to telecommunications in Germany and other infrastructure systems.

Contents

Overview

Germany has an open telephone numbering plan. There used to be no fixed lengths for either area codes or subscriber telephone numbers, meaning that some subscriber numbers may be as short as two digits. As a result, dialing sequences are generally of a variable length, except for some non-geographic area codes for which subscriber numbers use a fixed-length format. It is not possible to determine unambiguously the end of a phone number from a prefix or the digits already dialed. This feature allows the extension of the length of phone numbers without revoking or changing existing numbers. Cell phone numbers in Germany are not given geographic area codes but non-geographic codes. Thus they can easily be told apart from other numbers.

A new numbering plan was introduced on 3 May 2010. Since then new landline phone numbers have a standard length of 11 digits, which includes the area code but omits the trunk prefix of 0. Area codes remain as they are and are still variable in length. Exceptions to the 11 digit rule are the four cities of Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich, which are the only cities with two digit area codes and require only 10 digit numbers so as not to exceed the maximum length of 8 digits for a subscriber number. [1]

The German telephone network uses 5200 geographical area codes, the length of which varies from two to five digits (not including the trunk code 0), with five-digit area codes only being assigned in the New States (prefix 03). In general, geographic area codes start with digits 02 to 09, whereas other non-geographic area codes including those for cell phone usage are assigned to 01 and network services to 11. [2]

Geographic numbering

Geographic area codes have a length of two to five digits. The maximum total length is eleven digits.

Geographic numbers are assigned to carriers in blocks, from which these carriers can make derivative assignments to subscribers.

Subscriber numbers do not start with 0 or 11 and can be called directly from landlines within the same geographic area code.

Originally, the first digits following the area code would indicate a smaller area within these area codes or the type of the subscriber line (analogue or ISDN). However, this is no longer true as subscribers can keep their numbers when moving within an area code or when switching from analogue to ISDN. Further, new carriers assign numbers from different blocks.

This is the format used for the four largest geographic areas in Germany: Berlin (030), Hamburg (040), Frankfurt (069) and Munich (089).
Newly assigned numbers have a length of eight digits for the local subscriber number, yielding a total length of ten digits (not including the 0 trunk code). This is shorter than the maximum of eleven digits in other areas in order to avoid local numbers to be longer than eight digits.
Numbers assigned in the past, which are generally grandfathered, may be as short as five digits.
In area codes that use three digits, newly assigned numbers (for all locations from May 2010; some cities were earlier, e.g. Cologne in February 2007) also have a length of eight digits, yielding a total length of eleven digits. Grandfathered numbers may be as short as four digits (seven total).
In area codes that use four digits, newly assigned numbers (for all locations from May 2010; some cities were earlier, e.g. Heidelberg in May 2003) have a length of seven digits, also yielding a total length of eleven digits. Grandfathered numbers may be as short as three digits (seven total) in very rural areas.
Some smaller areas in the former East Germany use five-digit area codes, all of which start with 3. Newly assigned numbers (for all locations from May 2010, some locations were earlier) have a length of six digits, also yielding a total length of eleven digits.

Non-geographic numbering

Non-geographic numbers were originally assigned the prefix 01. However, some of these services have been moved to other area codes.

These numbers can be dialled in front of the actual phone number in order to select a carrier (virtual phone number).
Area codes starting with 011 overlap the prefix for network services. In general, these numbers cannot be dialled from abroad, with the exception being 0116xxx (or +49-116xxx) for harmonised services of social value.
The prefix 012 has been assigned as a testbed for innovative services, such as VoIP or unified messaging, for which no other area codes were available. Allocations were only valid for a maximum of five years, after which new numbers would have to be assigned. Recent requests for registrations have been declined and referred to the premium-rate services under 0900. When the last remaining allocation expires in 2011[ needs update ], the prefix is planned to be returned to the reserved range.
The area code 0137 is assigned for services that may result in a high number of connections in a fairly short period of time, e.g. votes or competitions initiated from TV or radio shows. The first digit indicates the rate for a call, the second digit indicates the maximum number of calls that can be handled per time period.
There are also sixteen [2] grandfathered numbers in the range 0138-1, which have originally been allocated by Deutsche Bundespost.
Mobile numbers are assigned non-geographic area codes starting with 015, 016 and 017 and have a length of 3 or 4 digits without the trunk prefix. The numbers have a total length of ten or eleven digits without the trunk prefix: numbers starting with 17 or 16 are 10 digits long except 176 and 1609, which are 11 digits long like the numbers starting with 15.
Network operators issue area codes as listed in the following table.
Prefix(ex)In use by MNP
0151, 0160, 0170, 0171, 0175 T-Mobile (GSM/UMTS)yes
0152, 0162, 0172, 0173, 0174 Vodafone (GSM/UMTS)yes
0155, 0157, 0159, 0163, 0176, 0177, 0178, 0179 o2 Germany (GSM/UMTS)yes
0164, 0168, 0169 e*message (pagers)no
However, since the advent of mobile number portability, mobile phone number prefixes can no longer be relied on to determine the current operator behind a particular mobile phone number – only the original operator. As mobile phone plans often include different rates for intra-network calls, it is important for users on such plans to know the network operator of the party they wish to call. The information on which number is registered to which cellular network is updated daily and is publicly available.
All network operators offer free automated services that can be reached via phone and/or internet and give users the ability to enter any number and determine to which network the number belongs.
The prefix 018 is used for user groups. The length of the block number and the terminal number is flexible from two to seven digits. However, the sum is always nine digits, yielding a total length of eleven digits including the 18.
The area code 0180 is used for service-oriented services, such as call centres, hotlines, etc. Prior to 1 March 2010, these numbers were known as shared cost services, a name that had been obsoleted by falling prices for national calls.
PrefixRaterate from landlinesrate from mobile phones
0180-1time-based rate 10.039 €/min.max. 0.42 €/min.
0180-2per-call rate 10.06 €/callmax. 0.42 €/min.
0180-3time-based rate 20.09 €/min.max. 0.42 €/min.
0180-4per-call rate 20.20 €/callmax. 0.42 €/min.
0180-5time-based rate 30.14 €/min.max. 0.42 €/min.
0180-6per-call rate 30.20 €/call.max. 0.60 €/call.
0180-7time-based rate 4, first 30 seconds free0.14 €/min. after 30smax. 0.42 €/min. after 30s
The area code 0181 is used for international virtual private networks (international user groups). The length of the IVPN block number is three or four digits; the terminal number may be up to seven digits.
Numbers from 0191 to 0194 are used for dial-up access to online services (e.g. to the Internet).
Numbers starting with 0198 and 0199 are reserved for routing of service numbers and network-internal use.
The numbers 031-0 and 031-1 are test numbers that will reach a recorded announcement indicating the selected carrier for long-distance and local calls, respectively.
National subscriber numbers have been allocated the area code 032. They are similar to geographic numbers but not tied to a specific location, allowing for nomadic use. Unlike personal numbers, national subscriber numbers are assigned to carriers in blocks, from which these carriers can make derivative assignments to subscribers. The total length is eleven digits (not counting the 0).
The area code 0700 is used for personal numbering. Unlike national subscriber numbers, the numbers are assigned individually, allowing for memorable numbers.
The area code 0800 is assigned to freephone numbers. The numbers are assigned individually, allowing for memorable numbers.
The area code 0900 is assigned to premium-rate services. The first digit following the area code indicates the service type:
PrefixService Type
0900-1Information services (no adult content)
0900-3Entertainment services (no adult content)
0900-5Other services (including those offering adult content)
The numbers are assigned individually, allowing for memorable numbers.
So-called "dialers", that is programmes that call a premium-rate service or modify a computer's configuration to call such a service must use numbers using the area code 09009. These programmes must also be registered with the Federal Network Agency.

Emergency and network services

Network services are not dialed with the trunk prefix 0. They resemble local numbers that start with 11 but usually cannot be dialed after an area code.

(Originally, the block 19 xxx was used for local numbers assigned uniformly in all or several geographic area codes. All other allocations have already been converted to ordinary geographic numbers.)

History

Before German reunification, West Germany (including West Berlin) used country code +49 and East Germany used country code +37, each with its separate area codes and telephone networks. In 1992, two years after reunification, the phone networks were merged under country code +49.

Geographic numbers in the New States were assigned area codes starting with 03, in some cases followed by the former East German area code (without the initial 0) or a code similar to it. Thus, Leipzig, for example, which had used East German domestic area code 041, was assigned the new area code 0341 in the unified telephone system. On the other hand, some area codes were changed: for example, the small town of Zossen used to have East German area code 0323, but the new area code is 03377. Area code 030, formerly used by West Berlin, was assigned to the entire reunified Berlin.

The released country code +37 was later reused as the initial digits of several new codes for European countries that became independent states at the time (e.g.: +370 for Lithuania, +374 for Armenia, +375 for Belarus, etc.), as well as some microstates whose telephone networks had formerly been integrated to those of surrounding larger countries (e.g. +376 for Andorra, +377 for Monaco and +378 for San Marino).

The German phone network became fully digitised in 1997, allowing more flexible use of the numbering space.

On 1 January 1998, the Federal Network Agency (named the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Postal Services at the time) became the numbering authority for phone numbers in Germany.

See also

Related Research Articles

This is a list of dialing codes in Greece. The first digit represents the type of service. 1 is used for short codes, 2 for geographical numbers, 5 is used for inter-network routing purposes and VPNs, 6 for mobile services, 7 is reserved for universal access numbers, 8 for reduced-fee services, 9 is used for premium rate services. All dialable numbers are ten digits, except for short codes, 807-XXXX used for calling card access codes, and numbers in the 5 range, used for routing purposes and not dialable by end-subscribers.

A toll-free telephone number or freephone number is a telephone number that is billed for all arriving calls instead of incurring charges to the originating telephone subscriber. For the calling party, a call to a toll-free number from a landline is free of charge.

A telephone numbering plan is a type of numbering scheme used in telecommunication to assign telephone numbers to subscriber telephones or other telephony endpoints. Telephone numbers are the addresses of participants in a telephone network, reachable by a system of destination code routing. Telephone numbering plans are defined in each of administrative regions of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and they are also present in private telephone networks. For public number systems, geographic location plays a role in the sequence of numbers assigned to each telephone subscriber.

Telephone numbers in the United Kingdom Wikipedia list article

Telephone numbers in the United Kingdom are administered by the UK government's Office of Communications (Ofcom). For this purpose, Ofcom established a telephone numbering plan, known as the National Telephone Numbering Plan, which is the system for assigning telephone numbers to subscriber stations.

Telephone numbers in Australia Wikipedia list article

The Australian telephone numbering plan describes the allocation of phone numbers in Australia. It has changed many times, the most recent major reorganisation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority taking place between 1994 and 1998.

Telephone numbers in France Wikipedia list article

The French telephone numbering plan is not only used for metropolitan France but also for the French overseas departments and some overseas collectivities.

Telephone numbers in Hong Kong Wikipedia list article

Telephone numbers in Hong Kong are mostly eight-digit. Fixed land line numbers start with 2 or 3, mobile (cellular) phone numbers with 5, 6, 7 or 9, pager numbers with 7 and forwarding service with 8. Since the end of 1989, there have been no area codes within Hong Kong.

Telephone numbers in the Republic of Ireland Wikipedia list article

Numbers on the Irish telephone numbering plan are regulated and assigned to operators by ComReg.

Telephone numbers in Singapore Wikipedia list article

Telephone numbers in Singapore, also known as the National Numbering Plan, are regulated by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). Due to the small geographical size of Singapore, there are no area or trunk codes; all numbers belong to one numbering area, and thus come in the same 8-digit format. Numbers are categorised based on the first digit, thus providing ten possible categories, of which six are currently in use and the remaining four reserved for future usage.

Widespread UK telephone code misconceptions, in particular brought on by the Big Number Change in 2000, have been reported by regulator Ofcom since publication of a report it commissioned in 2004.

Telephone numbers in Romania Wikipedia list article

The dialling plan for mobile networks and new landline operators is closed; all subscriber numbers must be dialled in full. For landline numbers starting with 02, the dialling plan used to be open; the trunk digit and area code could be omitted if the caller was in the same area code as the callee. However, starting May 3, 2008, all landline numbers must be dialled in full.

Visual

Telephone numbers in Malaysia Wikipedia list article

Telephone numbers in Malaysia are regulated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Former Australian dialling codes

The format of telephone numbers in Australia has changed over time to allow for the expansion of the subscriber base as technology has improved.

Telephone numbers in Israel Wikipedia list article

Telephone numbers in Israel consist of an area code and a subscriber number. The dial plan type in Israel is closed, and "0" is the internal Trunk prefix in Israel. Israel's country calling code is +972.

Telephone numbers in India Wikipedia list article

Telephone numbers in India are administered under the National Numbering Plan of 2003 by the Department of Telecommunications of the Government of India. The numbering plan was last updated in 2015. The country code "91" was assigned to India by the International Telecommunication Union in the 1960s.

Telephone numbers in Belgium Wikipedia list article

A telephone number in Belgium is a sequence of nine or ten digits dialed on a telephone to make a call on the Belgian telephone network. Belgium is under a closed telephone dialing plan, meaning that the full national number must be dialed for all calls, but it retains the trunk code, '0', for all national dialling.

The national conventions for writing telephone numbers vary by country. While international standards exist in the form of the International Telecommunication Union sector ITU-T issued recommendation E.123, national telephone numbering plans define the format and length of telephone numbers assigned to telephones.

Telephone numbers in Georgia (country) Wikipedia list article

There were changes to the telephone numbering plan in Georgia which were expected to be completed by the end of 2011. This article is being updated after all the major changes, also the dates of these changes are indicated.

References

  1. http://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/cln_1911/DE/Sachgebiete/Telekommunikation/Unternehmen_Institutionen/Nummerierung/Nummerierungskonzept/nummerierungskonzept_node.html
  2. 1 2 Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency). "Nummerierungskonzept 2011 (Numbering Concept of 2011)" (PDF) (in German). Retrieved 2019-10-24.