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Telephone numbers in Singapore

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Telephone numbers in Singapore, also known as the National Numbering Plan, are regulated by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). Due to the small geographical size of Singapore, there are no area or trunk codes (Previously before 1995, trunk code '0' were used due to Malaysian telephone numbering plan), with the Public Switched Telephone Network, Radio Network and IP Telephony all belonging to one numbering area, and thus comes in the same 8-digit numbering format. Numbers are categorised based on the first digit, thus providing ten possible categories, of which six are currently in use and the remaining four reserved for future usage.[1]

Singapore telephone numbers
Singapore in its region (zoom).svg
Location of Singapore
Location
Country Singapore
Continent Asia
Regulator Info-communications Media Development Authority
Type Closed
NSN length 8
Typical format

+65 XXXX XXXX

+60 2 XXXX XXXX (Previously before July 2017)
Access codes
Country calling code +65 (+60 2 via Malaysia until July 2017)
International call prefix 000, 001, 002, 008, 011, 013, 018, 019, 020, and 021
Trunk prefix none (Previously 0 via Malaysia until 1995)

Contents

HistoryEdit

Until 1985, subscribers' telephone numbers in Singapore were five and six digits. Five digits were introduced in 1960s, whereas 5-digit and 6-digit phone numbers were introduced in 1960s as fixed lines grew, but in that year, these changed to seven digits as the introduction of new towns arose (Tampines, Jurong East, Bukit Batok, Yishun and Hougang) and a large number of new numbers were required. Rationalisation was based on geographical locale over the 12 years.

In 1995, the digit '9' was added to the front of mobile phone and pager numbers, making numbers eight digits, and on 1 March 2002, the digit '6' was added to the front of existing fixed line telephone numbers. The migration to the 8-digit numbering plan was planned to be on 2002, ahead of 2004 deadline. Full telecommunication liberalisation in April 2000 has led to rapid growth in the market, resulting in increased demand in numbers. The implementation of 8-digit numbering plan, ensures that there will be a sufficient number resource pool to cater to the expanded telecommunication services. Preparation work started in 1999, as an effective approach had to be worked out for the implementation, with minimum service disruption and inconvenience to customers. The public telecommunication service providers - SingTel and StarHub, will implement the 8-digit numbering plan and ensure smooth service continuity for their customers after the migration. There will be a parallel run of 7-digit and 8-digit numbers from 1 March 2002 to 31 March 2002. From 1 April 2002 to 30 June 2002, the 7-digit numbers will hear the change number announcement and after which calls will be disconnected, before re-dialing "6" again. Callers will be disconnected with service unavailable after the conversion.

In March 2004, in response to the growing mobile phone numbering in Singapore, 8-digit mobile phone numbers with the number starting from "8" is introduced.

Calls to Malaysia and Indonesian border townsEdit

Until 1995, calls to Malaysia from Singapore were direct and similar to domestic phone calls, with only the area code for fixed line or Malaysian mobile phone code and number being required, hence 03 for Kuala Lumpur fixed line or 019 for Celcom mobile phone were dialled instead of +60 3 and +60 19. In 1995, owing to the divergence of the two countries' numbering plans, the Subscriber Trunk Dialling prefix 020 was adopted. For example, in order to call a number in Kuala Lumpur, 020 is dialled first, followed by the area code 3 (excluding the leading zero), then the subscriber number.

Similarly, calls to Batam, Samarinda, Pekanbaru and Tanjung Pinang in Indonesia require only the code 011, followed by the area code (minus '0') and the subscriber's number, hence to call a number in Batam from Singapore, a subscriber would dial 011 778 xxx xxx, instead of the international code +62 778. Calls to the rest of Indonesia, including those to mobile phones, require international dialling.

Following the liberalization of the telecommunications industry, new carriers are assigned new carrier-specific codes for international and regional trunk call services. The codes 020 and 011 are assigned to the incumbent carrier SingTel. The other two major carriers, M1 and StarHub, do not offer any special dialling arrangements for calling to Malaysia and Indonesia, instead requiring full international dialling, the same as calling other countries.

Numbering scheme and formatEdit

Number rangesEdit

3xxx xxxx - Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services[2]

6xxx xxxx - Fixed line services inclusive of fixed line voice-over-IP services (e.g., StarHub Digital Voice and SingTel mio Voice)

8zxx xxxx - Mobile phone services

9yxx xxxx - Mobile phone services (inclusive of pager services until May 2012)

Special service numbersEdit

800 xxx xxxx - Toll-free international services

1800 xxx xxxx - Toll-free line services

1900 xxx xxxx - Premium service

Short codesEdit

0xx - International access code

13xx - Voicemails

1711 (SingTel)/171* (M1) - Speaking clock

1777 - Non-emergency ambulance

16xx - Service providers' customer services

18xx - International calling card access numbers

993 - Ministry of Health's special ambulance service - previously used for suspected cases of H1N1 and SARS

995 - Singapore Civil Defence Force - Fire or Emergency Ambulance

999 - Police

  • x denotes 0 to 9
  • y denotes 0 to 8 only
  • z denotes 1 to 9 only

Telephone exchangesEdit

This is the list of telephone exchanges in Singapore. They also share the telephone exchanges with OpenNet locations, cable TV and '6'-regoed phone lines (each from SingTel and StarHub).

Satellite stationsEdit

Former telephone exchangesEdit

  • Changi (Upper Changi Road)
    Built in October 1958
  • City (George Street)
    Built in July 1959
  • Clementi (Clementi)
  • Fort Canning
  • Lim Chu Kang (Lorong Tukol)
  • Nee Soon (Upper Thomson Road)
  • Old Central (built in 1917)
  • Sembawang (Jalan Ulu Sembawang, demolished in 2005)
  • Tiong Bahru

International direct dialing and VoIP servicesEdit

The generic international call prefix when making an international call is 000, which all telecommunications service providers are required to share.[3] However, the code is not well known as carrier-specific access codes are generally used, such as 001 for SingTel, 002 for M1 and 008 for StarHub. On a mobile phone, a plus sign (+) can be keyed in as a substitute for the prefix.

VoIP services, such as Zone 1511, use prefixes in the 15xx range. For example, to call a number in London using Zone 1511, a subscriber would dial 1511 44 20 xxxx xxxx. hhAccess codes in the 0xx range (for example, 018 - StarHub's VoIP services or 019 - SingTel's VoIP services) indicate a Tier 1 VoIP provider. Access codes like 1xxx (for example, 1511) are indicative of a Tier 2 VoIP provider.

ReferencesEdit