Vietnam to begin first phase of area code standardisation

Friday, 2017-02-10 11:15:41
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NDO - New dialling codes for 13 provinces and centrally-governed cities are set to take effect from February 11 in the first phase of a national scheme to standardise phone numbers which will be implemented over seven months.

Localities in the first stage include Son La, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Da Nang, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh.

The area code renumbering plan is scheduled for completion in August when all area codes will be in the form of 2xx.

The exceptions are Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City whose respective area codes will be changed from 4 and 8 to 24 and 28.

During the transition period, which will last for about one month from the date the new codes take effect, users can dial landline numbers using either the old or new codes.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, telecommunications companies have completed internal testing and connections with other networks and are now ready for the change designed to fix inconsistency in legacy codes.

For years the division and merging of administrative units have made the length of area codes between provinces inconsistent, with the codes for some consisting of three digits and some consisting of only one or two digits.

Such a difference makes area codes hard to remember and causes confusion for users when making a landline call from one province to another.

The same situation is also seen in mobile numbers which have prefixes of different lengths.

Moreover, Vietnam’s telecommunications market has witnessed dramatic changes in recent years with a declining number of landline subscribers and an increasing number of mobile users.

At the end of 2014 Vietnam had 136 million mobile subscribers and only 10 million landline users.

According to VNPT, the largest provider of landline services holding 90% of the market, the changes will be carried out over two hours at night so that their users will be minimally affected.