Basic principles of the New Numbering Plan

/ Updated on 24.01.2002

The new Numbering Plan is perfectly simple. It is based on the following principles:

1. Telephone numbers will now have 9 digits. This applies to all telecommunications services - fixed, mobile, data, audiotext, freephone and pagers. The only exceptions are the short emergency numbers such as 112 (emergency) and 117 (forest fire alert).

2. Area codes are always dialled, regardless of where the caller is. As in other European countries, the new numbering plan is a closed plan. This means that from now on the number always includes the area code (which is why the area code must always be dialled, even if the caller is "inside" the network or geographic zone to which it refers). This principle applies to all telecommunications services.

3. The zeros which are currently the first digit of all area codes will disappear to be replaced by a digit between 2 and 9. A "2" indicates a fixed network number; a "6" indicates data and audiotext services, a "7", private voice networks and others, an "8" free calls, free calls from payphones and shared-cost calls, and a "9" mobile calls. International calls undergo no change.

But there are exceptions. For the mobile networks, it's not just the zero that disappears. The "3" which follows the "9" is also dropped. Thus 0931 becomes 91, 0933 becomes 93 and 0936 becomes 96.

For paging, only the zero disappears. So 0941 becomes 941, 0943 becomes 943 and 0944 becomes 944.

The same applies to trunking and the mobile maritime service, which lose only the zero which starts their area codes.

Numbers for access to data transmission services, ISPs included, lose the initial zero and gain three zeros at the end, to end up with the regulatory nine digits.

4. International calls are unchanged: the present dialling procedure remains the same. Incoming international calls, however, will have to follow the new numbering plan. After dialling the international and country codes, callers then have to dial the new area code, just as they would if they were calling from within Portugal.

5. The new Numbering Plan does not entail any alterations to prices.