Use of periods in phone numbers

Subject: Use of periods in phone numbers
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 14:20:00 +0100


* Antwort auf eine Nachricht von "Wollt, Richard C RV" an All am 25.09.96

"R> I'm afraid this discussion seems very insular. The 3,3,4
"R> grouping is a U.S.
"R> usage, Europe uses something like 2,2,2,3. With business need
"R> for clear
"R> communication in the worldwide market, we must clearly identify
"R> these
"R> numbers, not rely on some understood (maybe) convention to
"R> permit our
"R> readers to use the information.

technically, there is an upper limit of digits. Therefore Vienna, Austria,
has a national prefix (0222) and an international prefix (+43-1).

I fear that about every European country has its own convention of grouping
the digits. Here in Germany, it is even more complicated:

- There is the international prefix for Germany (+49)
- Phone numbers are nearly exclusively shown with the local prefix,
which always starts with the digit 0. This local prefix can have
anything between 3 and 5 digits, is put in brackets and grouped
in pairs as below.
- Finally you have the local numbers that can be anything from 3 to
8 digits, followed by any private exchange number and are grouped
in pairs from the back. Within a local calling area there might
even be numbers with different digit counts. If there is a private
exchange, the phone book shows -0 or so for the manual exchange.


On my letter head my phone number is (09 11) 40 39 03. Internationally I use
+49-911-403903 (this is what my footer should show :-).

If you wish to call the City of Frankfurt with no extension number, you find
(0 69) 2 12-01. The City of Frankfurt library has the Fax number (0 69)
2 12-3 79 49.

OK, let's face it: The phone number format is something you have to localize
- like many other things. E.g. in the US a car goes some miles per gallon,
over here it consumes some liters per 100 km.

Greetings from Germany,

Alexander von Obert, Urbanstr. 2, 90480 Nuernberg, Germany
Free-lance Technical Writer (electronics, software)
Voice +49-911-403903, Fax +49-911-403904, BBS +49-911-403905 (FIDO 2:2490/1719)

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