South African phone number codes explained

Our international direct dial access code was 09 for the world, we had exceptions though for some neighbouring countries where you dialed them using a 06x access code where x changed based on the country. We switched to the 00 international access code in the 90's and the 06x also fell away. Many countries don't follow the 00 plan.



The ITU only set 911 as a standard in 2012 besides 112. 911 is only really used in the NANP numbering plan with 112 being more widely used. Strangely enough I dialed 911 from my cell a few weeks ago to see what would happen and it got routed to emergency services;) Many countries use their own codes, think uk still uses 999 for example.
The regional dialling codes progressively fell away as each country moved towards the international standard that the ITU had established years before.
The use of short dialling codes for local, national and regional areas got phased out gradually and replaced with the international standard.
Mobile comms pushed the process along and generally speeded up the migration.
Then number portability happened which finally pushed things along because NP completely compromises the concept of hardwired intelligence and number intelligence out of the window.
And we have not even discussed the effects of a system that was around for quite a long time called the "Director System".

And no the 911 argument was a proposal in the ITUB for a very long time just got finally accepted later. And yes some countries still have not implemented it.
I have all the numbering plan ITU docs here at home, plus the original SAPO spec and a full set of SAPO spec no 7 also.
 
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There was a time where within your exchange area, you did not have to dial the exchange digits either.
 
The article and the facts are accurate. The original allocations as per the plan remain valid, BUT number portability has meant the intelligence in the number may no longer be accurate.
Another factor we've forgotten to mention - like with cellular, Telkom landlines also have call-forward services, one set by them as requested for long term use and the other set oneself by entering exchange codes supplied.

Used to use the latter for forwarding to my cell. And when dialing those forwarded numbers it did/does reveal that it is being forwarded on a cellphone display.
 
As useful as it was back then (your number was physically connected to a rotary dialer and that dialers number was fixed by it's position in the rack, changing a number meant changing the line constitutions and choosing a different dialer for the wires going to your phone) - Even with the dawn of internet in SA in 1992 there will still plenty of rotary exchanges...actually they were still manual much later than that.

It's really a pointless exercise these days though, in fact the whole logic of GN numbers really should no longer exist (other than to levy a differential charge based on some contrived idea distance of call - that doesn't apply to cellphones)

I recall back in the day that calls to them 089 competition lines had to be restricted by exchange to a couple of trunks in order to stop the exchange busying out... these days it's data and the links can handle hundreds of thousands of calls.

D
Wow! What an insightful post. :)
 
Wow! What an insightful post. :)
Ja the intelligence was all hardwired, neatly in order, and the changes were done on the DFs Distribution Frames.
The MDF was where all the work happened with a jumper run between your physical line and the switch for your number.
It might not have been a rotary dialler only. There were a few variations.
You could find any number you wanted by simply physically going down the racks following the sequence.
Exchanges were built in pre-determined blocks as well. The standard was mostly 10 000 lines per block or exchange. It took years to build such an exchange with endless checks a double checks.
As appies we did the grunt work of running and laying the cables. Everything was dictated by the cable colour codes.
God help you if you screwed up a cable run. Everyone was pissed off with you! Things it taught us all were discipline, work quality, record keeping, neatness, adherence to standards and patience.
Vasco exchange in CT was the one where I learnt all about cable laying, lacing and wiring.
 
Ja the intelligence was all hardwired, neatly in order, and the changes were done on the DFs Distribution Frames.
The MDF was where all the work happened with a jumper run between your physical line and the switch for your number.
It might not have been a rotary dialler only. There were a few variations.
You could find any number you wanted by simply physically going down the racks following the sequence.
Exchanges were built in pre-determined blocks as well. The standard was mostly 10 000 lines per block or exchange. It took years to build such an exchange with endless checks a double checks.
As appies we did the grunt work of running and laying the cables. Everything was dictated by the cable colour codes.
God help you if you screwed up a cable run. Everyone was pissed off with you! Things it taught us all were discipline, work quality, record keeping, neatness, adherence to standards and patience.
Vasco exchange in CT was the one where I learnt all about cable laying, lacing and wiring.
The difference between now and then. Quality and work ethics. :)
 
Remember when you didn't have to dial the area code on local numbers, when that changed the alarm companies and dial up ISP's scrambled to change all their clients.

I used to see old adverts for 5 digit phone numbers, before my time though
we had four, I lived in Grahamstown, 1021... many many years ago...

D
 
We need an updated article.

There are more number ranges already in use nowadays ...
 
Oddly enough, its ancient knowledge and no longer common knowledge.

Hell you used to be able to figure out roughly where someone lived by the 3 digits at the start of their phone number after the area code. Most people are totally clueless about that as well.
I still remember my 1980s Mitchells Plain landline number. In those days it was only two digits, they then increase it to 3.
 
Many years ago the landline dialing code for Heidelberg Gauteng was (0151) and then 4 numbers like 0151- xxxx. Then it was changed to 0151- xxxxx (5 numbers).

Eventually they changed the dialing code to 016 to be the same as the Vaal Triangle code because some people got confused and thought that it is near Polokwane (Pietersburg) that has the 015 dialing code. The number format was also changed to be the same as the rest (016) xxx xxxx.
 
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