Telephone Numbers in Brazil - Mobile Telephony

Mobile Telephony

Mobile phone numbers in Brazil are assigned the same geographic area codes as fixed lines, according to the subscriber's place or residence or most frequent use. Mobile phone numbers start with the digits 6, 7, 8 or 9. These initial digits are known to the public, so one always knows beforehand if one is calling a fixed or a mobile line.

First digit 7 was reserved at first exclusively for radiophone use (iDEN technology), but soaring demand for new mobile numbers eventually forced unused number ranges starting with 7 to be released for general mobile use.

Historically, the higher ranges of the 9 initial digit (96-99) were originally assigned to the old state monopolies before the privatization of Brazil's telephony system, and later to their privatized direct successors. In order to create a competitive market, later the Brazilian government auctioned further mobile service licenses, filling the available number ranges backwards - first with the lower ranges of 9 (91-95), then 8, and so on.

As a consequence, in the beginning 9 was more commonly assigned to mobile operators that used older technologies such as AMPS (analog), TDMA and CDMA, while for some time 8 was specifically reserved for all new GSM licenses. Now GSM is almost universally adopted by Brazilian mobile operators and this distinction is no longer meaningful.

Mobile phone numbers always have eight or nine digits now, but seven digits were usual in the first years. The last area code to convert fully to eight digits was 61 (comprising the national capital, Brasília, and neighbouring areas), in 2005.

Read more about this topic:  Telephone Numbers In Brazil

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