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TUCoPS :: Phreaking Technical System Info :: cch.txt

Country Codes History





Country Codes History
6 June 1997
David Leibold (aa070@freenet.toronto.on.ca)

This is an attempt to trace the development of ITU's (formerly CCITT's)
country codes assignments. Information was gleaned from vintage
ITU/CCITT "Books" (i.e. the Recommendations which are the international
telecommunications standards), and whatever else was available.

There will be numerous details to be filled in (dates of changes,
introductions, circumstances etc). Additional, corrected or updated
information to this end would be welcome.

Document History...

10 December 1995 - inaugural edition
6 June 1996      - updates courtesy Geoff Capp, Ray Chow, Mark Cuccia,
                   Gary Novosielski, Dik Winter
                 - a few more details as they were found
6 June 1997      - corrections from Geoffrey Dyer
                 - changes due to ex-USSR and Czech/Slovak developments
                   with data adapted from an ex-USSR profile (those
                   details courtesy Toby Nixon, ITU, Stentor (Canada),
                   CRTC (Canada), Telecom Digest (including information
                   collected for the country code listings).
                 - Marc Zirnheld - detail on new Monaco country code.


---------
Format...
---------

This file is ordered first by time (when country codes were established,
changed, deleted, etc) then within each particular time by country code.
The initial list of 1964 is shown; only the changes are listed therafter.

-------
1 9 6 0
-------

The 1960 CCITT Red Book featured a list of country codes for Europe
that was the precursor for the international telephone country code
assignments.  Whether this was ever available for subscriber use is
unknown; this could have been intended for operator dialing rather
than customer dialing.

That list went as follows (* represents a code that remains in use in
today's country code plan):

00 to 19 - special codes - special routings, semi-automatic services,
           direct routes between countries, situations where digits
           of a destination number are not analysed, etc.
20 - Poland
21 - Algeria (Fr.) [* today is 213]
22 - Belgium
23 - Austria
24 - (unassigned)
25 - Finland
26 - Arabia
27 - Cyprus
28 - Bulgaria
29 - Gibraltar
30 - Greece *
31 - Egypt (U.A. Rep.)
32 - (unassigned)
33 - France *
34 - Israel
35 - Hungary
36 - Turkey
37 - Lebanon
38 - Norway
39 - Italy *
40 - Libya
41 - Jordan
42 - Portugal
43 - Malta
44 - Great Britain *
45 - (unassigned)
46 - Sweden *
47 - Rumania
48 - Morocco
49 - Germany * [presumably West Germany at that time]
50 - Spain
51 - (unassigned)
52 - Ireland
53 - (unassigned)
54 - Syria (U.A. Rep.)
55 - Netherlands
56 - (unassigned)
57 - Czechoslovakia
58 - (unassigned)
59 - Albania
60 - Luxembourg
61 - Denmark
62 - Tunisia
63 - Yugoslavia
64 - Iceland
65 - (unassigned)
66 - Switzerland
67 - (unassigned)
68, 69 - USSR
70 to 79 - European Republics / USSR
80 to 89 - spare codes
90 to 99 - intercontinental traffic

Note from Dik Winter regarding 60-Luxembourg:

"At least this country code has been used in the Netherlands (but at
the same time the country code used for Belgium was 32).  That must
have been in the early sixties indeed.  I do not have parts of a phone
book showing it, I have only parts of Amsterdam phone books and when
direct dialling from Amsterdam to Luxembourg was allowed much later
the country code was changed to 352 as it is now, but I have noted it
down from another Dutch phone book (presumably that of the province of
Zeeland)."

-------
1 9 6 4
-------

The 1964 CCITT Blue Book listed the initial country codes list for
international dialing, arranging the codes according to their world
zones. These corresponded to the initial digit of the one- to three-digit
country codes; Europe got two zones (3 & 4) due to a high number of
countries requiring two-digit country codes. The initial listing was
referred to as Recommendation E.29.

That initial country code list was as follows (country codes not listed
were spare at the time):

World Zone 1 (North America - country code 1 - note some of the
nations that were to be included, but were since assigned World Zone 5
country codes):

Bahamas, Bermuda, British Honduras, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador,
French Antilles, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands
Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, USA, US Virgin Islands.

World Zone 2 (Africa):

20  - United Arab Republic
21  - Maghreb (integrated numbering plan): Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia
220 - Gambia
221 - Senegal
222 - Mauritania
223 - Mali
224 - Guinea
225 - Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire)
226 - Upper Volta
227 - Niger
228 - Togolese Republic
229 - Dahomey
231 - Liberia
232 - Sierra Leone
233 - Ghana
234 - Nigeria
235 - Chad
236 - Central African Republic
237 - Cameroon
238 - Cape Verde Island
239 - St Thomas & Prince
241 - Gabon
242 - Congo (Brazzaville)
243 - Congo (Leopoldville)
244 - Angola
245 - Portuguese Guinea
249 - Sudan
250 - Rwanda
251 - Ethiopia
252 - Somalia
253 - French Somaliland
254 - Kenya
255 - Tanzania
256 - Uganda
257 - Burundi
258 - Mozambique
260 - Northern Rhodesia
261 - Malagasy Republic
262 - Reunion
263 - Southern Rhodesia
264 - Territory of SW Africa
265 - Malawi
266 - Basutoland
267 - Bechuanaland
268 - Swaziland
269 - Comores
27  - South Africa

World Zone 3 & 4 (Europe):

30  - Greece
31  - Netherlands
32  - Belgium
33  - France
34  - Spain
350 - Gibraltar
351 - Portugal
352 - Luxembourg
353 - Ireland
354 - Iceland
356 - Malta
357 - Cyprus
36  - Turkey
37 -  [Note: not assigned until 1966]
38  - Yugoslavia
39  - Italy
401 - Finland
402 - Hungary
403 - Bulgaria
404 - Romania
405 - Albania
41  - Switzerland
42  - Czechoslovakia
43  - Austria
44  - Great Britain
45  - Denmark
46  - Sweden
47  - Norway
48  - Poland
49  - Germany (West)


World Zone 5 (South America):

(50, 51, 52 - unassigned in 1964)
53  - Cuba
54  - Argentina
55  - Brazil
56  - Chile
57  - Colombia
58  - Venezuela
591 - Bolivia
592 - British Guiana
593 - Ecuador
594 - French Guiana
595 - Paraguay
596 - Peru
597 - Surinam (Netherlands)
598 - Uruguay

Zone 6 (Oceania, Australia, etc):

60  - Malaysia
61  - Australia
62  - Indonesia
63  - Philippines
64  - New Zealand
65  - (unassigned in 1964 - Singapore was part of Malaysia)
66  - Thailand
672 - Portuguese Timor
675 - Papua New Guinea
676 - Tonga
677 - British Solomon Isles
678 - New Hebrides
679 - Fiji
682 - Guam
683 - Western Samoa
684 - American Samoa
685 - Cook Islands
687 - New Caledonia
688 - Niue
689 - French Polynesia
69  - (unassigned in 1964)

World Zone 7 - USSR (only country code 7)

World Zone 8 - Eastern Asia

80  - (unassigned in 1964)
81  - Japan
82  - Korea
83  - (unassigned in 1964)
84  - Vietnam
852 - Hong Kong
853 - Macao
855 - Cambodia
856 - Laos
86  - China
87  - (unassigned in 1964)
88  - (unassigned in 1964)
89  - (unassigned in 1964)

World Zone 9 (Western Asia, Middle East):

90  - (unassigned in 1964)
91  - India
92  - Pakistan
93  - Afghanistan
94  - Ceylon
95  - Burma
961 - Lebanon
962 - Jordan
963 - Syria
964 - Iraq
965 - Kuwait
966 - Saudi Arabia
967 - Yemen
969 - Aden
972 - Israel
975 - Hadramut
977 - Nepal
98  - Iran

-------
1 9 6 8
-------

Changes in the 1968 CCITT White Book... the list was then titled
Recommendation E.161 / Q.11. Changes listed in order of country code:

  1   - Antigua (territory added)
      - Barbados (territory added)
      - British Virgin Islands (territory added)
      - Cayman Islands (territory added)
      - Dominica (territory added)
      - Grenada (territory added)
      - Montserrat (territory added)
      - St Kitts (territory added)
      - St Lucia (territory added)
      - St Pierre & Miquelon (territory added)
      - St Vincent (territory added)
      x Guatemala (CHANGED to country code 500)
      x Mexico (CHANGED to country code 52)
      x Netherlands Antilles (CHANGED to country code 599)
  240 - Equitorial Guinea (NEW)
  243 - Congo (Dem. Rep. of the) (Name change)
  259 - Zanzibar (NEW)
  260 - Zambia (Name Change)
  263 - Rhodesia (Name Change)
  266 - Lesotho (Name Change)
  267 - Botswana (Name Change)
  269 - Comoro Islands (Name Change)
  355 - Albania (NEW - changed from 405)
  358 - Finland (NEW - changed from 401)
  359 - Bulgaria (NEW - changed from 403)
  36  x Turkey (CHANGED to 90)
  36  - Hungary (NEW - changed from 402)
  37  - East Germany (added - announced in ITU Notification #980 of
        10 March 1966)
  40  - Romania (NEW - changed from 404)
  500 - Guatemala (NEW - changed from 1)
  52  - Mexico (NEW - changed from 1)
  599 - Netherlands Antilles (NEW - changed from 1)
  65  - Singapore (NEW - became independent of Malaysia 60 code)
  681 - Wallis and Futuna (NEW)
  686 - Gilbert & Ellice Islands (NEW)
  90  - Turkey (NEW - changed from 36)
  968 - Sultanate of Muscat & Oman (NEW)
  969 - Southern Yemen (Name Change)
  971 - Trucial States (NEW)
  973 - Bahrain (NEW)
  974 - Qatar (NEW)
  976 - Mongolia (NEW)

[Notes: ITU Notifications 992, 995 and 998 of 1967 announced the new
country codes 968 (Muscat & Oman), 971 (Trucial States), 974 (Qatar);
ITU Notification #984 of 10 July 1966 announced 973 (Bahrain). No
official reasons were found for the many country changes between
1964 and 1968 information.]

-------
1 9 7 2
-------

Changes in the 1972 Green Book for E.161/Q.11:

World Zone 1:

  1   x British Honduras (CHANGED to 501)
      x Costa Rica (CHANGED to 506)
      x El Salvador (CHANGED to 503)
      x Honduras (CHANGED to 504)
      x Nicaragua (CHANGED to 505)
      x Panama (CHANGED to 507)
  21  x "Maghreb" integrated numbering plan divided into separate country
         code assignments that follows ...
  210 - Morocco
  211 - Morocco
  212 - Morocco [only this country code used today for Morocco]
  213 - Algeria [only this country code used today for Algeria]
  214 - Algeria
  215 - Algeria
  216 - Tunisia [only this country code used today for Tunisia]
  217 - Tunisia
  218 - Libya [only this country code used today for Libya]
  219 - Libya
  243 - Zaire (Name Change)
  253 - Afars Alssas (Fr. Terr) (Name Change)
  500 x (CHANGED to 502)
  501 - British Honduras (NEW - was in 1)
  502 - Guatemala (NEW - changed from 500)
  503 - El Salvador (NEW - was in 1)
  504 - Honduras (NEW - was in 1)
  505 - Nicaragua (NEW - was in 1)
  506 - Costa Rica (NEW - was in 1)
  507 - Panama (NEW - was in 1)
  51  - Peru (NEW - changed from 596)
  596 x Peru (CHANGED to 51)
  671 - Guam (NEW - changed from 682)
  682 x Guam (CHANGED to 671)

-------
1 9 7 6
-------

>From 1976 Orange Book:

  248 - Seychelles (NEW)
  509 - Haiti (NEW)
  590 - Guadeloupe (NEW)
  596 - Martinique (NEW - originally assigned to Peru)
  673 - Brunei (NEW)
  674 - Nauru (NEW)
  87x - (NEW - reserved for mobile/maritime assignments)
  880 - Bangladesh (NEW)
  978 - Dubai (UAE) (NEW)
  979 - Abu Dhabi (UAE) (NEW)

-------
1 9 8 0
-------

>From Yellow Book 1980:

  253 - Djibouti (Name Change)
  672 x (Portugues Timor DELETED - presumably merged into +62)
  682 - Cook Islands (NEW - originally assigned to Guam)
  683 x Western Samoa (CHANGED to 685)
  683 - Niue (NEW - changed from 688)
  685 x Cook Islands (CHANGED to 682)
  685 - Western Samoa (NEW - changed from 683)
  686 - Gilbert Is. (Ellice withdrew from the single British colony of
        Gilbert & Ellice in 1975 - see also +688)
  688 x Niue (CHANGED to 683)
  688 - Tuvalu (NEW - Ellice Is. withdrew from Gilbert & Ellice in 1975,
        then became independent Tuvalu 1 Oct 1978 - see also +686)
  960 - Maldives (NEW)
  978 x (Dubai DELETED - presumably merged into +971)
  979 x (Abu Dhabi DELETED - presumably merged into +971)

[Notes: Few reasons were found for shuffling the 6xx series country
codes.  Regarding deletions of 978 (Dubai) and 979 (Abu Dhabi), these
probably became part of 971 (UAE, originally listed as "Trucial
States").

Note from Dik Winter regarding Dubai and Abu Dhabi:

"I have information from a British phone book of 1982, at that time
the UK still used 978 and 979 for Dubai and Abu Dhabi. And given the
area codes at that time (according to that information) integration
would have been impossible. Integration within 971 came later together
with area code changes."]


-------
1 9 8 4
-------

>From 1984 book:

  1   x St Pierre & Miquelon (CHANGED to 508)
  246 - Diego Garcia (NEW)
  298 - Faroe Islands (Denmark) (NEW)
  299 - Greenland (Denmark) (NEW)
  500 - Falkland Islands (NEW - originally assigned to Guatemala)
  508 - St Pierre and Miquelon (NEW - was in 1)
  670 - Marianna Islands, including Saipan (NEW)
  672 - Australian Territories (NEW - originally assigned to Portuguese Timor)
  680 - Palau (NEW)
  690 - Tokelau (NEW)
  691 - Federated States of Micronesia (NEW)
  692 - Marshall Islands (NEW)
  850 - North Korea (NEW - South Korea retains 82)


-------------------
A f t e r   1 9 8 4
-------------------

The following country codes were added, changed, had country names
changes, or were otherwise noteworthy since 1984. Dates were included
if they were available.

Currently, country codes are presently assigned under Recommendation
E.164 (formerly E.163, in turn E.161/Q.11, in turn E.29).

Note that some changes listed here took effect before the 1984
lists. This may be due to various factors such as UN recognition of
nations, official country name changes, the process of updating the
Recommendation, or perhaps overlooking a change listed in a CCITT book
prior to 1984.

  226 - Burkina Faso (Name Change on 4 Aug 1984)
  229 - Benin (Name Change from Dahomey upon 1975 independence from France)
  230 - Mauritius (NEW - year of introduction unknown - this has appeared
        in the late 1970s)
  239 - Sao Tome & Principe (Name Change or use of domestic language form)
  245 - Guinea-Bissau (Name Change as of 1974 independence)
  247 - Ascension (NEW - year of introduction unknown - ca. 1984-87)
  259 - Zanzibar (although assigned in 1968, routing via Tanzania
        country code 255 had been in effect for many years, and may
        still be in effect)
  261 - Madagascar (Name Change from Malagasy Rep.)
  263 - Zimbabwe (Name Change from Rhodesia as of 18 Apr 1980)
  264 - Namibia (Name Change from Territory of SW Africa as of 21 Mar 1990)
  269 - Comoros & Mayotte (Name Change - Geoff Capp noted that Mayotte is
        part of the Comoro island group. Mayotte alone chose to remain
        French when the other islands chose independence 1974-75. Mayotte was
        the first of the islands to become direct-dialable, and took +269.
        For Canada, at least, the other Comoros were assigned a 0XX Mark code
        until they became diallable in the late 1980s/early 1990s.)
  290 - St Helena (NEW - year of introduction unknown - late 1980s)
  291 - Eritrea (NEW - seceded from Ethiopia in 1993)
  295 - San Marino (NEW then CHANGED - was assigned, but became 378)
  296 - Trinidad/Tobago (apparently assigned then removed)
  297 - Aruba (NEW - became autonomous of Netherlands Antilles as of
        1 Jan 1986 - dates of country code assignment and implementation
        are unknown)
  37  - East Germany (DELETED - with German reunification, numbers are
        under country code 49 now as of mid-1991)
  370 - Lithuania (NEW - split from 7 announced Jan. 1993)
  371 - Latvia (NEW - split from 7 announced Jan. 1993)
  372 - Estonia (NEW - split from 7 announced Jan. 1993)
  373 - Moldova (NEW - split from 7 announced Jan. 1993)
  374 - Armenia (NEW - announced Jan. 1995, in effect 1 May 1995;
        this was split from country code 7)
  375 - Belarus (NEW - announced Jan. 1995, in effect 16 Apr 1995;
        this was split from country code 7)
  376 - Andorra (Principality of) (NEW - in effect Dec. 1994; formerly
        reached via France (33))
  377 - Monaco (Principality of) (NEW - in effect by 21 June 1996;
        formerly reached via France (33))
  378 - San Marino (NEW - split from Italy 39; formerly assigned 295)
  379 - Vatican City (NEW - implementation dates/details unknown;
        formerly reached via Italy (39))
  38  - Yugoslavia (DELETED - 1 Oct 1993, due to Yugoslav break-up)
  380 - Ukraine (NEW - announced Jan. 1995; in effect 16 Apr 1995;
        this was split from country code 7)
  381 - Serbia and Montenegro (former Yugoslav areas) (NEW - formed
        from old Yugoslav country code 38 - in effect 1 Oct. 1993)
  385 - Croatia (NEW - split from old Yugoslav country code 38 - in
        effect 1 Oct. 1993)
  386 - Slovenia (NEW - split from old Yugoslav country code 38 - in
        effect 1 Oct. 1993)
  387 - Bosnia (NEW - split from old Yugoslav country code 38 - in
        effect 1 Oct. 1993)
  389 - Macedonia (NEW - split from old Yugoslav country code 38 - in
        effect 1 Oct. 1993)
  41  - Liechtenstein (probably always was part of Switzerland system
        (country code 41). Liechtenstein posts and ports were handled
        by Austria until 1921.)
  42  - (Czech & Slovak Republics now separate - country code remains for now)
  501 - Belize (Name Change - was British Honduras until ca. 1972)
  592 - Guyana (Name Change - was British Guiana until 1966 independence)
  678 - Vanuatu (Name Change - was New Hebrides until 30 July 1980 indep.)
  686 - Kiribati (Name Change - was Gilbert Is. until 1979; not listed
        as such in ITU list until 1984 book)
  800 - International "freephone" services (NEW - as of 1995; service
        is becoming active internationally as of 1997)
  870 - Inmarsat "SNAC" service (NEW - as of 1995; no word on when this
        service will become active)
  871 - Inmarsat Atlantic East (NEW - originally assigned to all of Atlantic)
  872 - Inmarsat Pacific (NEW)
  873 - Inmarsat Indian (NEW)
  874 - Inmarsat Atlantic West (NEW - formed from split of 871 Atlantic)
  878 - Reserved for national mobile purposes (NEW)
  879 - Reserved for national mobile purposes (NEW)
  886 - Taiwan (Mainland China has reserved +86-6 for access to Taiwan;
        however Taiwan given +886 for access, while +86 routes to mainland)
  94  - Sri Lanka (Name Change - was Ceylon until 22 May 1972)
  95  - (Current regime refers to itself as Myanmar; some nations
        only recognise it as Burma.)
  967 - Yemen Arab Republic (Name Change?)
  968 - Oman (Name Change - shortened from Muscat & Oman as of July 1970)
  969 - Yemen Democratic Republic (DELETED? With Yemen unification, 967
        would be the single country code; this territory was formerly
        called Aden. The Aden capital was found to have country code
        967 ca. 1991)
  971 - United Arab Emirates (Name Change - Trucial States merged
        2 Dec 1971 to become U.A.E.)
  975 - Bhutan (NEW - was assigned to Hadramut which joined South Yemen)
  994 - Azerbaijan (NEW - split from former USSR (country code 7))
  995 - Georgia (NEW - split from former USSR (country code 7))
  996 - Kyrgyz Republic (NEW - split from former USSR (country code 7))

Note from Ray Chow regarding 975-Bhutan (formerly Hadramut):

"Hadramut (or Qu'aiti State in Hadhramaut as printed on its stamps)
was a state which later joined Aden to form South Yemen (the "People's
Democratic Republic of Yemen"). Bhutan is a small country between
India and Tibet (east of Nepal and Sikkim). Evidently it got country
code 975 some time after Hadramut became part of South Yemen."

Note from Ray Chow regarding former USSR territories (7, 3xx, 9xx):

"It's interesting that of the three Caucasus republics that split from
code 7, only Armenia got a "European" (3xx) code. Georgia and Azerbaijan
are also in Europe (at least according to my maps), but telephonically
are in Asia. For that matter, I see from your list that Turkey, a small
part of which is in Europe, started with a European code and ended up
with an Asian one."

Bob Goudreau's response to above:

"Actually, according to the geography texts and maps I've seen (e.g.,
the recent _National_Geographic_ map of Europe), the usual definition
of the boundary between Europe and Asia in the Caucasus is the
ridge-line of the northernmost range of mountains. Thus, almost
all of this area is geographically part of Asia. Georgia and
Azerbaijan have small bits that lie in Europe (as, surprisingly,
does Kazakstan (note new post-Soviet spelling)), but Armenia lies
entirely in Asia. It is thus ironic that it is the only one of the
three that received a European country code."


------
1996-7
------

  388 - European Telephony Numbering Space (expected to be officially
        assigned, if not already - in use by January 1999)
  42  x Czechoslovakia (DELETED - 28 February 1997; split to 420, 421
        reflecting the now-separate Czech and Slovak Republics)
  420 - Czech Republic (NEW - split from 42 on 28 February 1997)
  421 - Slovak Republic (NEW - split from 42 on 28 February 1997)
  878 - Universal Personal Telecommunications (NEW - replaces code
        that was reserved for national mobile purposes)
  881 - Global Mobile Satellite System (NEW - uncertain which specific
        GMSS project this refers to - Iridium?)
  888 - reported unavailable for assignment - reason not widely
        known although it is speculated that this reflects recent
        use of 888 for toll-free services in North America
  992 - Tajikistan (NEW - split from former USSR (country code 7).
        Assigned 1996-7?)
  993 - Turkmenistan (NEW - split from former USSR (country code 7),
        generally in service by 3 Jan 1997).
  998 - Uzbekistan (NEW - split from former USSR (country code 7),
        Assigned 1996?)


-------------------------------------
F u t u r e   D e v e l o p m e n t s
-------------------------------------

There were reports in the fall of 1995 that country code +388 was
sought by European interests for European-wide services. The ITU Study
Group 2 had approved this assignment during a meeting in San Francisco
in January 1996 (according to OFTEL Numbering Bulletin (UK)). As of
1997, European sources indicate that the European Telephony Numbering
Space (+388) is planned to be in service by January 1999.

Hong Kong will join China in 1997. When, or if, Hong Kong's telephone
network will adopt China's country code of 86 is unknown at this time.

Kazakstan is the only ex-USSR republic that does not have a known
separate country code assignment at this writing. Russia will likely
retain country code 7.


[end of document]



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