Thursday, October 26, 2006
International dialing codes to change!
Today is such a stunner – another early spring day without a breath of wind, blue skies, and it’s a Thursday – meaning the weekend is just around the corner! And we’re off camping in Swellendam again!
But this morning I want to get a little international, and provide some useful information that was passed on to me by Peter Metcalf who runs the Foundation for the Development of Africa that we are affiliated to.
STANDARDISATION WHEN LISTING TELEPHONE NUMBERS
You may be aware that the international code when dialing from one country to another has now been standardised as ‘00’ to meet international standards. You may recall the international code was prefixed as ‘+’ - to reach South Africa, you would have to dial ‘09’
When researching the way telephone numbers are written on business cards, we are faced with a zillion combinations - making it very difficult to select the right option. Surprisingly, some business-cards, circulated into the international market, fail to provide the full international codes required to connect.
Most of us who regularly deal throughout the African continent will identify with this issue. All too often we endeavor to call a number in a foreign country, and receive no response or an engaged signal and then we all too often blame the situation on the lack infrastructure. I am not insinuating that there is NO problem with telecommunication infrastructure - I am just trying to highlight the possibility of how the inclusion or exclusion of one digit could cause great frustration.
Therefore, when listing a number we should follow certain basics. A telephone number in Table View, Cape Town, South Africa should now be listed as follows:
00 27 (0)21 556 5132 (our office telephone number)
00 = The International Dialing Code
27 = This code designates the country - South Africa
(0) = This digit is only required when dialing the number locally e.g. in South Africa - therefore listed in brackets
21 = This is the code for a particular region or area – Cape Town
556 = This is the code that further defines the region or area – Table View
5132 = The dedicated number.
In South Africa the ‘+’ or ‘09’ codes will prevail parallel with the new ‘00’ code until 16 January 2007, thereafter ‘00’ for international access will be mandatory while dialing the area code ‘021’ as for Cape Town from within Cape Town will also be mandatory.
You have been warned!