ITU prefix

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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) allocates call sign prefixes for radio and television stations of all types. They also form the basis for, but do not exactly match, aircraft registration identifiers. These prefixes are agreed upon internationally, and are a form of country code. A call sign can be any number of letters and numerals but each country must only use call signs that begin with the characters allocated for use in that country.

A few countries do not fully comply with these rules. Australian broadcast stations officially have—but do not use—the VL prefix, and Canada uses Chile's CB for its own Canadian Broadcasting Corporation stations. This is through a special agreement[citation needed] with the government of Chile, which is officially assigned the CB prefix.

With regard to the second and/or third letters in the prefixes in the list below, if the country in question is allocated all callsigns with A to Z in that position, then that country can also use call signs with the digits 0 to 9 in that position. For example, the United States is assigned KA–KZ, and therefore can also use prefixes like KW0 or K1.

Many large countries in turn have internal rules on how and where specific subsets of their callsigns can be used (such as Mexico's XE for AM and XH for FM radio and television broadcasting), which are not covered here.

Unallocated and unavailable call sign prefixes[edit]

Unallocated: The following call sign prefixes are available for future allocation by the ITU. (x represents any letter; n represents any digit from 2–9.)

  • E8, E9, H5, J9, On, S4, T9*, Un, V9, Xn, YZ*, Z4–Z7, Z9, 4N*.

(* Indicates a prefix that has recently been returned to the ITU.)

Unavailable: Under present ITU guidelines the following call sign prefixes shall not be allocated .[1] They are sometimes used unofficially - such as amateur radio operators operating in a disputed territory or in a nation state that has no official prefix (e.g. S0 in Western Sahara or station 1A0 at Knights of Malta headquarters in Rome). (x represents any letter; n represents any digit from 2–9.)

  • nn, x0, x1, 0x, 1x, Qx.
  • no prefixes beginning with Q are used—they may be confused with Q codes.
  • no prefixes with the digits 1 or 0 are used—they may be confused with the letters I or O.
  • two digit prefixes (nn) are not as yet considered by the ITU.

Table of Allocation of International Call Sign Series[edit]

Linked country codes are from ISO 3166-1.

       Series allocated to an international organization.
       Provisional allocation in accordance with No. S19.33: "Between radiocommunication conferences, the Secretary-General is authorized to deal with questions relating to changes in the allocation of series of call signs, on a provisional basis, and subject to confirmation by the following conference."
       Half series allocation. The first country listed uses all callsigns beginning with the listed prefix followed by A-M, and the second country listed uses N-Z.

Organization Call signs allocated
International Civil Aviation Organization 4Y
United Nations 4U
World Meteorological Organization C7


Call Sign Series Allocated to
A
AA–AL United States
AM–AO Spain
AP–AS Pakistan
AT–AW India
AX Australia
AY–AZ Argentina
A2 Botswana
A3 Tonga
A4 Oman
A5 Bhutan
A6 United Arab Emirates
A7 Qatar
A8 Liberia
A9 Bahrain
B
B People's Republic of China
B (BM-BO, BP, BQ, BU, BV, BW, BX) Republic of China (Taiwan)
C
CA–CE Chile
CF–CK Canada
CL–CM Cuba
CN Morocco
CO Cuba
CP Bolivia
CQ–CU Portugal
CV–CX Uruguay
CY–CZ Canada
C2 Nauru
C3 Andorra
C4 Cyprus
C5 The Gambia
C6 Bahamas
C7 World Meteorological Organization[Note 1]
C8–C9 Mozambique
D
DA–DR Germany
DS–DT South Korea
DU–DZ Philippines
D2–D3 Angola
D4 Cape Verde
D5 Liberia
D6 Comoros
D7–D9 South Korea
E
EA–EH Spain
EI–EJ Ireland
EK Armenia
EL Liberia
EM–EO Ukraine
EP–EQ Iran
ER Moldova
ES Estonia
ET Ethiopia
EU–EW Belarus
EX Kyrgyzstan
EY Tajikistan
EZ Turkmenistan
E2 Thailand
E3 Eritrea
E4 Palestinian Authority
E5 Cook Islands[Note 2]
E6 Niue
E7 Bosnia and Herzegovina[Note 2]
F
F France (and its Overseas departments/territories)
G
G United Kingdom (and its overseas territories/Crown dependencies)
H
HA Hungary
HB Switzerland
HB (HB0, HB3Y, HBL) Liechtenstein (uses prefixes allocated to Switzerland)
HC–HD Ecuador
HE Switzerland
HF Poland
HG Hungary
HH Haiti
HI Dominican Republic
HJ–HK Colombia
HL South Korea
HM North Korea
HN Iraq
HO–HP Panama
HQ–HR Honduras
HS Thailand
HT Nicaragua
HU El Salvador
HV Vatican City
HW–HY France (and its Overseas departments/territories)
HZ Saudi Arabia
H2 Cyprus
H3 Panama
H4 Solomon Islands
H6–H7 Nicaragua
H8–H9 Panama
I
I Italy
J
JA–JS Japan
JT–JV Mongolia
JW–JX Norway
JY Jordan
JZ Indonesia
J2 Djibouti
J3 Grenada
J4 Greece
J5 Guinea-Bissau
J6 Saint Lucia
J7 Dominica
J8 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
K
K United States
L
LA–LN Norway
LO–LW Argentina
LX Luxembourg
LY Lithuania
LZ Bulgaria
L2–L9 Argentina
M
M United Kingdom (and its overseas territories/Crown dependencies)
N
N United States
O
OA–OC Peru
OD Lebanon
OE Austria
OF–OJ Finland
OK–OL Czech Republic
OM Slovakia
ON–OT Belgium
OU–OZ Denmark
P
PA–PI Netherlands
PJ NetherlandsFormer Netherlands Antilles
PK–PO Indonesia
PP–PY Brazil
PZ Suriname
P2 Papua New Guinea
P3 Cyprus
P4 Aruba
P5–P9 North Korea
Q
There are no prefixes beginning with Q[Note 3]
R
R Russia
S
SA–SM Sweden
SN–SR Poland
SSA–SSM Egypt[Note 4]
SSN–STZ Sudan[Note 4]
SU Egypt
SV–SZ Greece
S2–S3 Bangladesh
S5 Slovenia
S6 Singapore
S7 Seychelles
S8 South Africa
S9 São Tomé and Príncipe
T
TA–TC Turkey
TD Guatemala
TE Costa Rica
TF Iceland
TG Guatemala
TH France (and its Overseas departments/territories)
TI Costa Rica
TJ Cameroon
TK France (and its Overseas departments/territories)
TL Central African Republic
TM France (and its Overseas departments/territories)
TN Congo
TO–TQ France (and its Overseas departments/territories)
TR Gabon
TS Tunisia
TT Chad
TU Côte d'Ivoire
TV–TX France (and its Overseas departments/territories)
TY Benin
TZ Mali
T2 Tuvalu
T3 Kiribati
T4 Cuba
T5 Somalia
T6 Afghanistan
T7 San Marino
T8 Palau
T9 (T9 returned to the ITU on 7 August 2007. Bosnia and Herzegovina is now E7)
U
UA–UI Russia
UJ–UM Uzbekistan
UN–UQ Kazakhstan
UR–UZ Ukraine
V
VA–VG Canada
VH–VN Australia
VO Canada (formerly Dominion of Newfoundland)
VP–VQ United Kingdom (and its overseas territories/Crown dependencies)
VR Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China)
VS United Kingdom
VT–VW India
VX–VY Canada
VZ Australia
V2 Antigua and Barbuda
V3 Belize
V4 Saint Kitts and Nevis
V5 Namibia
V6 Micronesia, Federated States of
V7 Marshall Islands
V8 Brunei
W
W United States
X
XA–XI Mexico
XJ–XO Canada
XP Denmark
XQ–XR Chile
XS People's Republic of China
XT Burkina Faso
XU Cambodia
XV Vietnam
XW Laos
XX Macao (Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China) [Note 2]
XY–XZ Burma
Y
YA Afghanistan
YB–YH Indonesia
YI Iraq
YJ Vanuatu
YK Syria
YL Latvia
YM Turkey
YN Nicaragua
YO–YR Romania
YS El Salvador
YT–YU Serbia[Note 2]
YV–YY Venezuela (Republic of)
Y2–Y9 Germany
Z
ZA Albania
ZB–ZJ United Kingdom (and its overseas territories/Crown dependencies)
ZK–ZM New Zealand
ZN–ZO United Kingdom (and its overseas territories/Crown dependencies)
ZP Paraguay
ZQ United Kingdom (and its overseas territories/Crown dependencies)
ZR–ZU South Africa
ZV–ZZ Brazil
Z2 Zimbabwe
Z3 Republic of Macedonia
Z8 South Sudan
2
2 United Kingdom (and its overseas territories/Crown dependencies)
3
3A Monaco
3B Mauritius
3C Equatorial Guinea
3D-A–3D-M Swaziland[Note 4]
3D-N–3D-Z Fiji[Note 4]
3E–3F Panama
3G Chile
3H–3U People's Republic of China
3V Tunisia
3W Vietnam
3X Guinea
3Y Norway
3Z Poland
4
4A–4C Mexico
4D–4I Philippines
4J–4K Azerbaijan
4L Georgia
4M Venezuela
4O Montenegro[Note 2]
4P–4S Sri Lanka
4T Peru
4U United Nations[Note 1]
4V Haiti
4W East Timor
4X Israel
4Y International Civil Aviation Organization[Note 1]
4Z Israel
5
5A Libya
5B Cyprus
5C–5G Morocco
5H–5I Tanzania
5J–5K Colombia
5L–5M Liberia
5N–5O Nigeria
5P–5Q Denmark
5R–5S Madagascar
5T Mauritania
5U Niger
5V Togo
5W Western Samoa
5X Uganda
5Y–5Z Kenya
6
6A–6B Egypt
6C Syria
6D–6J Mexico
6K–6N South Korea
6O Somalia
6P–6S Pakistan
6T–6U Sudan
6V–6W Senegal
6X Madagascar
6Y Jamaica
6Z Liberia
7
7A–7I Indonesia
7J–7N Japan
7O Yemen
7P Lesotho
7Q Malawi
7R Algeria
7S Sweden
7T–7Y Algeria
7Z Saudi Arabia
8
8A–8I Indonesia
8J–8N Japan
8O Botswana
8P Barbados
8Q Maldives
8R Guyana
8S Sweden
8T–8Y India
8Z Saudi Arabia
9
9A Croatia
9B–9D Iran
9E–9F Ethiopia
9G Ghana
9H Malta
9I–9J Zambia
9K Kuwait
9L Sierra Leone
9M Malaysia
9N Nepal
9O–9T Democratic Republic of the Congo
9U Burundi
9V Singapore
9W Malaysia
9X Rwanda
9Y–9Z Trinidad and Tobago

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Series allocated to an international organization.
  2. ^ a b c d e Provisional allocation in accordance with No. S19.33: (Between radiocommunication conferences, the Secretary-General is authorized to deal with questions relating to changes in the allocation of series of call signs, on a provisional basis, and subject to confirmation by the following conference.)
  3. ^ Three letter codes beginning with Q are for communication abbreviations, the Q codes and not used as callsign prefixes.
  4. ^ a b c d Half-series allocation.

References[edit]

External links[edit]