Telephone numbers in the Republic of Ireland

Last updated

Ireland telephone numbers
EU-Ireland.svg
Location of Ireland (dark green)
Location
Country Ireland
Continent Europe
Regulator ComReg
Type Open
NSN length7-9
Typical format0xx xxx xxxx
Access codes
Country calling code +353
International call prefix 00
Trunk prefix 0
List of Ireland dialing codes

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

Contents

Overview

Telephone numbers in Ireland are part of an open numbering plan that allows variations in number length. The Irish format is similar to systems used in many parts of Europe, notably the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Belgium and France, where geographical numbers are organised using a logic of large regional prefixes, which are then further subdivided into smaller regions. It differs from UK numbering, which originated as alphanumeric codes based on town names.

Irish Mobile and non–geographic number are fixed length and do not support local dialling.

The trunk prefix 0 is used to access numbers outside the local area and for all mobile calls. This is followed by an area code, referred to as a National Dialling Code (NDC), the first digit of which indicates the geographical area or type of service (e.g. mobile).

Calls made from mobile phones and some VoIP systems always require the full area code and phone number.

In common with most European countries, the trunk prefix 0 must be omitted when calling Irish numbers from abroad.

General structure of Irish numbering

Irish area codes vary in length, between one and three digits (excluding the leading 0), and subscribers' numbers are between five and seven digits.

As optional local dialling is facilitated, Irish geographic numbers cannot begin with 0 (trunk prefix), 1 (special number prefix) or 999 (emergency services). However, mobile numbers use the full range of digits, as local dialling is not supported on mobile networks, and the area code must always be dialled.

A migration to a standard format, 0xx xxx xxxx, is in progress; however, to avoid disruption, this process is only being carried out as needed, where existing area codes and local numbering systems have reached full capacity. There is currently no plan to move to a closed numbering system.

Geographical numbering

Irish geographical numbering is structured on a regional basis and follows a logical hierarchy.

These directory areas correspond approximately to the following geographical regions:

  • 01 – Greater Dublin Area
  • 02 – Cork
  • 04 – Northeast
  • 05 – Southeast
  • 06 – Midwest and Southwest
  • 07 – Northwest
  • 09 – West

The Midlands is covered by several regional codes.

Except for the 01 area, each area is further subdivided into smaller areas (NDCs). Usually, the main city or town in the area is 0x1 e.g. 021 (Cork), 061 (Limerick), 091 (Galway).

Regional overview

Directory areaNational Dialling Codes (NDCs)Region and cities / towns
0101 – single NDC for entire region Dublin area: extends to certain parts of Wicklow, Meath and Kildare.
02021 to 029Cork area:
040402, 0404, 041 to 047 and 049Northeast and Midlands:
050504, 0505, 051 to 053, 056 to 059Midlands and Southeast:
06061 to 069Midwest and Southwest:
07071 and 074Northwest
09090, 091, 093 to 099West and Midlands

ComReg maintains a map of area codes here.

Mobile services

Mobile phone numbers start with the prefix 08x and are part of a closed numbering plan, which means that a mobile phone number must have 10 digits. Calls to landlines and other mobiles require the area code on a mobile phone.

New numbers are assigned on prefixes and ranges managed by a specific operator. However, as full mobile number portability has been in operation since 2003, it is no longer possible to reliably identify which network a particular number is on. For example, a newly assigned Three number would begin with 083, but may have been ported to another operator in the meantime.

Mobile network operators (MNOs)

NDCNetworkNotes
083 and 086 Three Ireland 086 previously belonged to O2.
085 eir mobile previously known as Meteor and eMobile
087 Vodafone Ireland formerly Eircell

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs)

NDCNetworkNotes
083BlueFaceHosted on Three
085 GoMo Hosted on eir mobile
087 An Post Mobile Hosted on Vodafone
Clear Mobile Hosted on Vodafone
08948Hosted on Three. Numbers begin with 2 and 4
Tesco Mobile
Lycamobile Hosted on Three. Numbers begin with 9
Virgin Mobile Hosted on Three. Numbers begin with 60 and 61

M2M (Machine to Machine) Communication

NDCNetworkNotes
088All networksReserved for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, using the format 088 xxxxx xxxxx. This prefix was originally used for the Eircell TACS network active from 1985 to 2001.

Direct to voicemail number

Mobile phone numbers also have their own voicemail number. To access this, the number 5 should be put after the prefix. For example, the mobile number 08x xxx xxxx has the voicemail number 08x 5 xxx xxxx.

On some networks, when the direct to voicemail number is called, the voicemail greeting for that network is played (e.g. Vodafone, eir Mobile), while others request a phone number followed by the voicemail greeting for that number (e.g. Three). Users can press the hash key (#) to gain access to the voicemail box.

Calls to Northern Ireland

Although Northern Ireland is part of the UK numbering plan, a special arrangement exists for calling Northern Irish landlines from the Republic of Ireland.

Calls to Northern Ireland can be dialled using the 048 prefix or by dialling the number in the full international format. Most Irish operators treat calls to Northern Ireland at national or even local rates. Similar charging arrangements apply when calling the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland.

For example, to reach Belfast landline 90xx xxxx, subscribers can dial either 048 90xx xxxx or 00 44 28 90xx xxxx.

Northern Irish mobile phones use the same mobile numbering and networks as other parts of the UK – calls must be dialled using the 00 44 7xxx xxx xxx format.

International calls

In common with all EU countries, the international access code is 00.

Numbers should be dialled as follows: 00 – country code – area code – local number.

All mobile phones and some VoIP services also support the international E.164 number format, so a + may be optionally used instead of 00.

Reserved numbers

Special numbers

Speed dial short numbers to contact carriers

Operator services

General operator assistance no longer exists in Ireland.

Emergency services

The emergency number for Ireland is 112. This is harmonised across the EU.

To avoid confusion, the long–established 999 continues to be advertised alongside 112. Either number can be dialed.

Services provided

SMS emergency service

112 can also be contacted by SMS. While the service is open to all users, it is primarily aimed at the deaf community.

Pre-registration is required. Further information can be found at 112.ie.

Premium rate numbers

Premium rate voice

Irish premium rate telephone numbers start with 15 and are read in two-digit blocks e.g. 1550 is "fifteen fifty".

The rates given below are from ComReg and are indicative only. Please check with your specific telephone service provider for exact rates.

NDCMaximum price (ComReg)Notes
1512€0.50 per callPremium rate untimed
1513€0.70 per call
1514€0.90 per call
1515€1.20 per call
1516€1.80 per call
1517€2.50 per call
1518€3.50 per call
1520€0.30 per minutePremium rate timed
1530€0.50 per minute
1540€0.70 per minute
1550€1.20 per minute
1560€1.80 per minute
1570€2.50 per minute
1580€2.40 per minute
1590€3.50 per minute
1598Premium rate adult non–live
1599Premium rate adult live

Premium rate SMS

NDCMaximum price (ComReg)Notes
51XXX€0.16 per SMSPremium rate SMS
53XXX€0.30 per SMS
58XXXvariable price – see advertising
59XXX

A special 50XXX code is used for free–of–charge SMS.

Premium rate services in Ireland are regulated by ComReg. [1]

Special rate non–geographic numbers

NDCIndicative pricingNotessince 1 December 2019from 1 January 2022
1800freeNational freephone / toll freeas before
00800International freephone / toll free
0818variable timedvariablegeo–ratedgeo–rated
1850variableper call charge untimedwithdrawn
1890variable timedvariable
076variableVoIP only

Toll–free numbers are free to call from mobile handsets, however the recipient can elect not to accept mobile–originated calls, and/or to accept calls only from predefined geographical region(s).

NB: 1800, 1850 & 1890 can only be dialled from within Ireland. They should never be printed or presented in the international format +353 1800, +353 1850 or +353 1890 as these clash with working Dublin landline numbers in the 01 area +353 1 8xx xxxx

A recent review [2] of non–geographic numbers will lead to the withdrawal of the 1850, 1890 and 076 number ranges by 1 January 2022. During the transition period, these ranges are geo–rated (charged as if they are geographical numbers).

From August 2019, various telecoms providers announced price changes which took effect on, or just before, 1 December 2019, including Virgin Media Business, in2tel, Virgin Media, eir, Tesco Mobile, Three, Digiweb, Pure Telecom, 48 months and Sky.

Internet access numbers

Carrier selection (per call)

Carrier preselect is normally used where the exchange automatically uses the customer's preferred provider(s).

Network engineering codes

Line information codes

These services give you more information about your phone line (applicable only to lines provided using the OpenEir access network.)

Check phone number associated with line / automatic number announcement circuit (ANAC)

Check preset carrier

Check which carrier you are using for each category of call:

Voicemail

Call management services / supplementary service codes

Special short codes are used to control various supplementary services offered by digital local exchanges. These services were first introduced as PhonePlus in 1981, on the first generation of Alcatel E10 and Ericsson AXE digital exchanges used in Ireland, and were rolled out nationally throughout the 1980s.

These services are available on all Irish PSTN lines, regardless of operator. There is a more expansive range of services available, but these are the most commonly used. Different codes apply on cable telephony lines, such as those provided by Virgin Media Ireland and on VoIP providers.

PSTN lines and some ISDN services

Caller ID services

  • 141 – caller ID default override – withhold caller ID on this call
  • 142 – caller ID default override – present caller ID on this call
  • 1471 – check last missed call. The system will verbally announce details of the last missed call
  • #93# – delete missed call information from network memory

Call waiting

  • *43# – setup
  • *#43# – check status
  • #43# – cancel
Answering call waiting
  • R0 – reject call (or send to voicemail) and temporarily suspend call waiting service for this call.
  • R1 – answer waiting call and disconnect current call.
  • R2 – answer waiting call and place current call on hold/or swap between calls.
  • R3 – merge both calls into a three–way call.

Conference/three–way calling

  • While on a phone call, press the R key on your phone and dial the number you wish to add to the conversation.
  • Dial R3 to begin conference/three–way call.
  • R2 allows you to separate the calls and swap between them.

Call hold / transfer to another extension

  • R – places call on hold. Hang up and telephone will ring until call on hold is picked up again.

Call forwarding (unconditional)

  • *21*(phone number)# – forward all calls to (phone number)
  • *#21# – check status
  • #21# – deactivate

When this service is active, the dial tone changes to a two–frequency 'siren' tone.

Alarm / reminder call

  • *55*[time in 4–digit 24h format]# e.g. for 8:30am dial *55*0830#
  • *#55# – check status
  • #55# – cancel

Most exchanges confirm setup with a verbal announcement, however some exchanges may use a ringing tone to indicate successful service setup and a busy tone to indicate an error/invalid code.

Services on Virgin Media Ireland cable network

(Codes are unique to the network and do not follow ETSI guidelines)

Caller ID services

  • 141 – caller ID default override – withhold caller ID on this call
  • 142 – caller ID default override – present caller ID on this call

Call forwarding

Call forwarding (unconditional)
  • *70 (wait for prompt and enter phone number) – forward all calls to (phone number)
  • #70 – deactivate
Forwarding to voicemail
  • *75 – activate when busy
  • #75 – deactivate when busy
  • *77 – forward if unanswered
  • #77 – deactivate if unanswered

Call waiting

  • *72 – activate
  • #72 – deactivate
Answering call waiting
  • R1 – answer waiting call and disconnect current call.
  • R2 – answer waiting call and place current call on hold or swap between calls.

Anonymous call rejection

  • *90 – activate
  • #90 – deactivate

Redial last number called

  • ##

You will either hear a tone or a voice message to confirm services have been set up or deactivated.

Mobiles

Number changes

Several major number changes have occurred since 1990.

1998–2000

2002–2003

  1. In 2002 the Portumna MNA split from the area code 0509 and merged into the new area code 090.

2005–2007

2009–2010

Older changes

Possible future changes

All local numbers with the area code 01 are currently 7–digits, but may change to 8–digits in the future, although breaking the city into separate area codes would match the rest of the national system.

A review and public consultation on the future of Ireland's numbering plan was undertaken. [3]

Historical numbering

Defunct access codes

Defunct operator services

A range of numbers from 192, 193 and 194 were once used for various Telecom Éireann customer service and account service lines.

Defunct information services

Historical Northern Ireland access codes

Belfast could previously be reached by dialling 084 in place of the UK area code 0232. [6]

Historical Great Britain access codes

Until the early 1990s, the 03 numbering range was originally used for calls to Great Britain, [7] including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, with the Irish prefix 030 replacing the UK trunk code 0. [5]

Calls to British cities using the director telephone system were also possible using shorter codes:

031 was replaced with 03071 [10] and 03081 [11] when 01 was split into the area codes 071 and 081 in 1990.

Use of 03 for this purpose was discontinued in 1993, when the international access code changed from 16 to 00, with calls to Great Britain (but not Northern Ireland) requiring the country code +44 and the area code in full. [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. What are phone-paid/premium rate services?
  2. "Review of Non-Geographic Numbers". Commission for Communications Regulation. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  3. The Evolution of Geographic Telephone Numbering in Ireland, ComReg, 19 December 2013
  4. Birnbaum's Ireland, 1991, Stephen Birnbaum, Houghton Mifflin, 1990, page 151
  5. 1 2 Festivals in Great Britain, Northern Ireland & Eire: A List with Forecast Dates and Policies, Richard Gregson-Williams, John Offord Publications, 1986, page 108
  6. 1 2 Ireland: A Directory, Jim O'Donnell, Institute of Public Administration, 1984, page 247
  7. Multinational Executive Travel Companion, Guides to Multinational Business, 1992, page 244
  8. Ireland: A Directory, Jim O'Donnell, Institute of Public Administration, 1985, page 18
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Ireland, Administration Yearbook and Diary, Institute of Public Administration, 1980, page 333
  10. State Directory, Stationery Office, 1992, page 76
  11. Benn's Media Directory, Benn, 1992, page 292
  12. Ireland, Institute of Public Administration, 1994, page 14

Sources