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Landline and Mobile Phone Numbers in Kolkata
In Kolkata / Bombay, landline and mobile phones have similar, but different numbering formats that affect dialing for inbound international calls. You must use the proper phone number format for each type of phone or your call will not complete.
For inbound international callers (and domestic long distance callers), all India phone numbers, both landline and mobile, are ultimately 10-digits long - but how you get those 10-digits isn't the same. [Note: In 2009 / 2010, India mobile phone numbers are expected to change to 11-digits on account of rapid mobile phone growth. Details are still to be announced. Read more]
These differences affect how you dial an inbound international call (or a domestic long distance call) - especially with respect to whether you do or do not include the Kolkata area code.
Read below for further information, including how to tell a mobile from a fixed line number.
To make an international telephone call to Kolkata, you need to dial a phone number formatted correctly for either a landline or mobile phone. Each is a 10-digit number, but the format is slightly different for landline numbers vs. mobile numbers. The proper phone number formats are as shown below.
Format to Dial a Kolkata Landline Phone
Format to Dial a Kolkata Mobile Phone
[Note: In 2009 / 2010, India mobile phone numbers are expected to change to 11-digits on account of rapid mobile phone growth. Details are still to be announced. Read more]
When making an international (or domestic long distance) call to a Kolkata landline phone, you need to dial a 10-digit phone number that consists of a 2-digit area code PLUS an 8-digit subscriber number.
2-Digit Kolkata Area Code
Despite it's large population, Kolkata proper currently has only one area code / city code and that is: ' 33 '.
You need to dial this 2-digit area code, along with an 8-digit local subscriber number, for all inbound international calls to Kolkata landline phones.
Note that while Kolkata proper has only one area code, some areas nearby to Kolkata do use different areas codes.
8-Digit Kolkata Subscriber Numbers
All subscriber numbers for landline phones in Kolkata are 8-digits long. They are typically written as a solid string, as in 'xxxxxxxx'.
You need to dial this 8-digit subscriber code, along with the 2-digit area code, for all inbound international calls to Kolkata landline phones.
Note that landline subscriber numbers are generally assigned in blocks to specific carriers, so if you are curious, you can generally tell what carrier services any given number.
Here are the starting digits for the leading fixed line carriers:
If your Kolkata number is a 8-digit number starting with any of the above, you can be sure it is a landline number and that you need to add ' 33 ' before it for inbound international calling.
Kolkata mobile phone numbers are much simpler than landline numbers - they are always 10-digits long and no area code is required.
To reach a Kolkata mobile number, you simply dial the given 10-digit phone number.
Note that all India mobile numbers start with a '9' and have 10-digits - regardless of the carrier. So if you have a 10-digit Kolkata phone number that starts with a '9', you can be certain that it is a mobile number.
Beginning in 2009 or possibly 2010, mobile phone numbers may become 11-digits long to accommodate growing demand for more mobile phones. This change is expect to be accomplished by adding an extra '9' to the start of all existing mobile numbers. Read more
Click here for more information on mobile phone numbering in India.
You probably have a Kolkata landline phone number if you have any of the following:
You probably have a Kolkata mobile phone number if you have any of the following:
In either case, if you have an 11-digit number starting with a '0', you need to drop the '0' when making inbound international calls. The '0' is used only for domestic long distance dialing.
Beginning in 2009 or possibly 2010, mobile phone numbers are expected to become 11-digits long. This is due to exceptional growth in demand for mobile phones in India.
As of this writing (Jan '09), details of this transition have not yet been finalized or announced - and there appears to be some disagreement among the players as to whether 11-digit numbers are, in fact, necessary. Apparently the need may be negated (or at least delayed) by making some other changes to India's numbering scheme.
However if the plan goes through, preliminary indications are that this change will be accomplished by adding an extra '9' to the start of all existing 10-digit mobile numbers. As a result, after the change all mobile numbers will continue to start with a '9' and many will start with '99'.
While authoritative information on the potential change is scant, you may refer to these sources for additional information.
We will post additional information as it becomes available. Or you can check directly with the sites shown at India telecom sources.
Note that in the above discussion, we have spared you most of the arcane and complicated details, but if you want to learn more about subscriber numbers, national destination codes, PLMN access codes, mobile switching center (MSC) codes, etc., please read India's official National Numbering Plan [large pdf].
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