New phone area codes announced

The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has announced final plans to change the current 9-digit landline telephone number to 10-digit system by adding the digit 1 to the six geographical zone codes.
“All landline numbers in the Kingdom will be modified by adding the digit 1 after zero in the current zone codes,” said Sultan Al-Malik, a CITC spokesman.

He said this change would be carried out in phases rather than all at once. “On Monday, May 13, 2013, the Riyadh geographic area will be the first stage of the conversion,” said Al-Malik.
On Aug. 18, the change will be applied to all other areas of the Kingdom, said the spokesman, adding that the new digit will be added when dialing from mobiles to fixed lines.
Spelling out the features of the new system, he pointed out the new digit will be inserted after zero.
“Zone codes 01, 02, 03, 04, 06 and 07 of Saudi Arabia will become 011, 012, 013, 014, 016 and 017,” said a CITC statement posted on its website. Adding this digit will change only the method of dialing to numbers outside the local calling area.
This change will not include the way of dialing among fixed lines within the same city which will remain as it is now, said the statement. But the digit will have to be added when calling from outside Saudi Arabia into the Kingdom.
The new code for Makkah will be 012, for Madinah 014, for Eastern Region 013, for Qassim 016 and for the Southern Region 017.
The statement said the most important reasons for this change is the need to increase the range of numbers available for public mobile communications services, as well as for fixed services, and to contribute to the ability to introduce new services.
In addition, this change will enhance the ability of the National Numbering Plan to accommodate new developments in services and growth in the number of subscriptions and users. The new area code, in fact, will save some 500 million new numbers.

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