Understanding The International Phone Number Formats - A Complete Guide

The phone showing the international numbers.

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In today’s globalized world, having friends or business across different parts of the globe is common. Phone calls are what keep us connected, even when we are miles away. However, to make these international calls, you must know the international phone number format. You can only reach your intended recipient when you use the right format. Otherwise, it leads to an incorrect connection or call fails.


What Is The International Phone Number Format?

The international phone number format, also known as the E.164 format, is a standardized way of writing phone numbers defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The unique structure of the international dialing number ensures that the calls made from one country to another are correctly routed.

Components of International Phone Numbers

International phone numbers consist of the 3 major components: the country code, the area code, and the local phone number. Each plays a unique role in connecting you internationally.
 

  • Country Code: The country code identifies a specific country or region and directs calls to the right country. For instance, the country code for the United States is 1; for the United Kingdom, it's 44; and for Australia, it's 61.
  • Area Code: The area code is a segment of the phone number that pinpoints a specific geographic region within a country. This code routes your call to the right locality or city. For example, 212 is the area code for Manhattan, New York, in the United States.
  • Local Phone Number: The local number is the final part of the international phone number format. It’s a unique number assigned to an individual or business within a specific area. 

How To Write International Phone Number In The Right Format?

To write international phone no. format correctly, start with the exit code followed by the country code, area code, and local phone number.

Here’s a step-by-step guideline to dial international phone numbers correctly:

Step 1: Dial the exit code for your country. For instance, if you are calling from Canada, dial ‘011’.


Step 2: Follow the exit code with the country code of the destination country. For example, if you are trying to reach the UK, then dial ‘44’.


Step 3: After the country code, dial the area code of the specific region within the country.


Step 4: Finally, enter the local phone number of your desired recipient

Why Does Writing International Phone Numbers In The Correct Format Matter?

Writing international phone numbers in the correct format is important so that your calls accurately connect across borders. Incorrectly written numbers can connect you to unintended recipients. And you certainly do not want that. It not only wastes your time but also costs you money. So, before dialing internationally, you must know the foreign telephone number format for the specific country.

Examples of International Phone Number Format

Let’s explore examples of international phone number formats of some of the popular countries:

United States International Phone Number Format

The international format for the US includes the country code (1), the area code (three digits), and the local phone number (seven digits). When dialing a mobile number, the format is the same as for landlines. However, toll-free numbers have specific prefixes like 800, 888, 877, etc.

Examples:
 

Type

Example

Explanation

Mobile

+1 212 555 1234
  • ‘1’ is the country code
  • ‘212’ is the area code
  • ‘555 1234’ is the local mobile number

Landline

+1 415 555 5678
  • ‘1’ is the country code
  • ‘212’ is the area code
  • ‘555 5678’ is the local mobile number

Toll-free

+1 800 123 4567
  • ‘1’ is the country code
  • ‘800’ is the toll-free prefix 
  • ‘1234567’ is the local mobile number

United Kingdom Phone Number Format

United Kingdom phone number includes the country code (44), an area code (usually two to five digits), and the local phone number. Mobile numbers typically start with a "7," while toll-free numbers start with "800" or "808."

Examples:
 

Type

Example

Explanation

Mobile

+44 7911 123456
  • ‘44' is the country code
  •  ‘7911’ is the mobile area code
  • ‘123456’ is the local number

Landline

+44 20 1234 5678
  • ‘44’ is the country code
  •  ‘20’ is the area code
  • ‘1234 5678’ is the local number

Toll-free

+44 800 123 4567
  • ‘44’ is the country code
  •  ‘800’ is the toll-free prefix
  • ‘123 4567’ is the local number

Canada Phone Number Format

Canada shares the same country code as the United States (1) and uses a similar format. Phone numbers include the country code (1), the area code (three digits), and the local phone number (seven digits). The format is consistent whether you dial a mobile or landline number. 

Examples:
 

Type

Example

Explanation

Mobile

+1 416 555 7890
  • ‘1’ is the country code
  • ‘416’ is the area code
  • ‘555 7890’ is the local number

Landline

+1 604 555 1234
  • ‘1’ is the country code, 
  •  ‘604’ is the area code
  •  ‘555 1234’ is the local number

Toll-free

+1 800 987 6543
  • ‘1’ is the country code
  •  ‘800’ is the toll-free prefix
  •  ‘987 6543’ is the local number

Australia Phone Number Format

Australian phone numbers include the country code (61), an area code (one digit for landlines), and the local phone number. Mobile numbers start with a ‘4,’ and toll-free numbers start with ‘1800’ or ‘1300.’ When looking at an Australian phone number example typically follows this format.

Example:
 

Type

Example

Explanation

Mobile

+61 412 345 678
  • ‘61’ is the country code
  • ‘4’ indicates a mobile number
  • ‘412 345 678’ is the local mobile number
     

Landline

+61 2 1234 5678
  • ‘61’ is the country code
  • ‘2’ is the area code
  •  ‘1234 5678’ is the local landline number

Toll-free

+61 1800 654 321
  • ‘61’ is the country code
  • ‘1800’ is the toll-free prefix
  • ‘654 321’ is the local number

Conclusion

Mastering the international phone number format is crucial for connecting across borders and reaching the right audience. Different countries use various prefixes, which can make it challenging. However, by applying the correct format - exit code, country code, area code, and local number - you can overcome these differences effectively.

Frequently Answer Questions

How many digits are in an international phone number?

An international phone number typically ranges from 8 to 15 digits. They include the country code, area code, and local number.

How to get an international phone number?

You can get an international phone number from Calilio. It offers a virtual phone number from more than 100 countries. 

How do I write my phone number in an international format?

To write your phone number in international format, start with the exit code, followed by the country code, area code, and then your local number. For example, +1 212 555 1234 for a number in the United States.


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