Jamaica Gets Additional Area Code With Ten-Digit Local Dialling To Start May 2018

Come May 31, 2018 Jamaica will have an additional area code: 658 that will see the introduction of mandatory ten-digit dialing.

This will require persons to dial 658 prior to the previous seven-digit number for all local calls in Jamaica.

The OUR says the additional area code will ensure that there are sufficient numbers to meet the demand over the next 25 years.

“This new code will be used in addition to and not as a replacement for the existing 876 area code, said OUR Director General Ansord E. Hewitt.

“It will be used once the existing telephone numbers under the 876 area code are exhausted. However, the most immediate change will be the introduction of 10-digit dialling, for local telephone calls, come May 31.”

Under the Telecommunications Act, the OUR has full responsibility for the allocation, assignment (to service providers) and usage of telecommunication numbers in Jamaica.

Come May 31, 2018, there will be an adjustment period known as the permissive dialling period. During this time, which will last at least five months, customers will reach numbers in the current area code by dialling ten digits or, if in error or unknowingly they dial seven digits.

If only the seven-digit telephone number is dialled, the caller will hear a recording reminding him/her to dial the number using the area code plus the seven-digit number. However, the call will be completed to the called number.

After the permissive dialling period is ended, all local calls will require ten-digit dialling to be completed. For example, to call the OUR, persons will have to dial 876-968-6053.

The OUR expects that telecommunications service providers will ensure that their customers are fully informed about the upcoming changes over the next several months.

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