Telephone numbers in Argentina
|Codes and access phone numbers|
|Country code: 54|
|International access code: 00|
|Trunk code: 0|
|International phone calls operator phone number: 000|
|Local and national calls operator phone number: 19|
In Argentina, area codes are two, three, or four digits long (after the initial zero). Local customer numbers are six to eight figures long. The total number of digits is ten, for example, phone number (11) 1234-5678 for Buenos Aires is made up of a 2-digit area code number and an 8-digit subscriber's number, while (383) 123-4567 would be an example of a Catamarca number.
Local landline phone numbers in Argentina can have 6, 7 or 8 digits, depending on where they are located:
- The Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area uses 8 digits
- Second-tier cities use 7 digits
- Remaining towns and cities use 6 digits
Local numbers usually begin with a 4, although in recent times numbers having 2, 3, 5, 6, or even 7 as the first digit are not uncommon.
Thus, for example to call a local number within Buenos Aires, one should dial 1234-5678; within Mar del Plata, 123-4567 and within Villa Carlos Paz, 12-3456. For mobile phone dialing, see the corresponding section below.
In March 2011, the CNC (National Communications Commission, the telecommunications regulatory agency in Argentina) announced changes to be carried out in 21 local areas throughout the country. The reason being the soaring demand in mobile lines causing lines to be nearly depleted in many areas. The changes will take place in three stages, starting in November 2011 with the final cities having their numbering plan changed in April 2012. Users in these areas will have an extra 4 added in front of their subscriber's numbers as well as having the area code shortened. Thus, they will go from a (xxxx) xx-xxxx format to a more resourceful (xxx) xxx-xxxx. On 1 April, seven cities had their numbering changed as described above, thus completing the update process.
Long distance dialing
To dial a long-distance number in Argentina (whether landline or mobile), the area code must be dialed before the subscriber's number.
As explained before, area codes can have 2, 3 or 4 digits and must be dialed before the local subscriber's phone number.
In addition, to place a domestic long distance call, trunk code 0 must be dialed as well.
Thus, for example, in order to call a landline phone in Ushuaia from Salta, one should dial: 0 + 2901 + xx-xxxx, where 0 is the trunk code, 2901 is the Ushuaia area code, and xx-xxxx is the local phone number.
The same rule applies to mobile phone numbers, with the addition of the mobile prefix 15 right in front of the local subscriber's number. Using the same example above, to reach a Ushuaia mobile from Córdoba, one should dial: 0 + 2901 + 15 + xx-xxxx
Although trunk code 0 is not part of the long distance area code, it is normally represented as if it were part of the long distance prefix. Thus, when given a long distance number already including a 0 in front of it, no additional 0 is to be added in order to call domestically.
Mobile phone numbers
Mobile phone numbers in Argentina are assigned the same geographic area codes as fixed lines, according to the subscriber's choice or residence, and can be 6, 7 or 8 digits long, just as landline numbers are. The difference with landline numbers is that a prefix 15 must be dialed in order to complete the call. This prefix tells the caller that the call is being routed to a mobile line and will be charged a differential rate (considerably more expensive than a landline call).
Thus, calling a mobile phone locally involves dialing 15 + the subscriber’s number.
To call a mobile phone in a different area code, the area code must be dialed, followed by the mobile prefix 15 and then the 6, 7 or 8-digit number.
For example, to call a Mar del Plata mobile from Buenos Aires, the following dialing pattern must be used: 0 223 15 xxx-xxxx, where 0 is the trunk code, 223 is the Mar del Plata area code, 15 is the mobile prefix, followed by the seven-digit subscriber number.
Here are some examples of mobile phone numbers in Argentina:
A common mistake among locals is to think of the prefix 15 as part of the number, to the extent of giving or reading numbers out with 15 together with the first subscriber's number digits. Although this is not a problem when dialing, it may cause some confusion when the mobile prefix must be left out (such as on IVR menus or when writing the number to be dialed from outside Argentina).
Mobile prefix 15 and trunk code 0 can be omitted altogether only when calling a mobile from another mobile within Argentina. In this way, the mobile user can be reached by dialing the ten-digit number.
There is a different dialing pattern to access mobile numbers from outside the country. Please see Inbound international below.
In 2000, then President Fernando De La Rúa signed a decree deregulating the telephone service in Argentina, thus allowing number portability to be implemented. In December 2011, Argentine authorities postponed number portability once again -allegedly due to lobbying from operators- until March 2012.
If that date is honoured, telephone users in Argentina -both mobile and landline- will be able to switch providers while keeping their phone number, provided they don't change the subscriber local area.
Number portability is expected to bring lower rates and better service quality, since operators will have to carry out additional efforts, both to keep their existing customers from leaving and to attract other operators' users to their networks.
Inbound international calls to landline numbers obey the same rules as calls within the country. International access code +54 must be used in order to call Argentina, followed by the area code and then the local phone number. This must be preceded by an international call prefix specific to the country where the call is being placed from.
For example, to call the number (351) 123-4567 in the city of Córdoba from the United States, the dialing sequence is as follows: 011 54 351 123-4567.
Mobile phone numbers need some extra attention in order to be reached from outside Argentina. The prefix 9 must be added before the area code, leaving out the prefix 15, which is only used when calling domestically. The inbound dialing pattern for mobiles is then: +54 +9 +area code +mobile subscriber's number.
For example: If we want to reach mobile number (223) 15 123-4567 in Mar del Plata from outside Argentina, the following sequence must be dialed: +54 9 223 123-4567. If the call is placed from the United Kingdom, the complete sequence would be: 00 54 9 223 123-4567; where 00 is the international call prefix for the United Kingdom, 54 is the international code for Argentina, 9 is the prefix used to call mobile numbers from outside the country, 223 the area code, and 123-4567 the mobile phone number.
Non-geographic numbers (such as 0800 or 0810) are not accessible from outside Argentina and the standard geographic number must be dialed instead. Some companies do not have their standard number available and only provide the public with a non-geographic, usually vanity number. In this case, the organization should be contacted in order obtain the standard geographic number to be accessed from overseas.
To send an SMS (text message) to an Argentine cell phone from outside of Argentina, you should omit the 9 used when dialing that cell phone for a voice call. For example, if the mobile number in Argentina is (11) 15 1234-5678, a voice call from abroad would be: +54 9 11 1234 5678. However, for a text message to go through, you should text: +54 11 1234 5678. A text message to +54 9 11 1234 5678 may not go through. Both formats should be tested if one of them is not working. The best advice is to reply to the text using the same number showing on the display (either with or without the 9). In addition, not all mobile providers in Argentina have SMS agreements with every carrier in the world, so SMS compatibility should also be checked beforehand.
Outbound international calls use a trunk prefix 00 followed by the international code for the country being called, and then the area code (if any) and local phone number.
For example, to call the number (9) 123-4567 in Auckland, New Zealand, the dialing sequence will be: 00 64 9 123-4567; where 00 is the international trunk code, 64 is the country code for New Zealand, 9 is the Auckland area code, and 123-4567 is the local number.
Domestic collect calls are placed by dialing 19 from any landline or payphone. Then, the caller is supposed to say his/her name which will be inserted and played in a pre-recorded message once the person being called answers the phone. If the latter accepts the collect call by pressing a certain key, the two parties are connected.
International collect calls are placed via the international operator dialing 000. This number also provides international assistance, such as country and area codes, rates, etc.
Non-geographic numbers have a three-digit prefix and a seven-digit number. They are usually represented as if the leading 0 prefix were part of the three-digit prefix (like with long-distance numbers), resulting in the format 0ppp-nnn-nnnn.
The currently allocated prefixes are, but not limited to:
- 0800: toll-free telephone numbers
- 0810: local rate calls
- 0822: toll-free numbers used for calling card access
- 0600: premium-rate telephone numbers
- 0609: premium, fixed-rate gaming numbers
- 0610: dial-up Internet access numbers, usually with a rate lower than a normal local call
- 0605: premium-rate telephone numbers for charity donations
0810 numbers differ from 0800 toll-free numbers in that the former numbers are used by large but cost-conscious companies that do not wish to bear the full cost of a nationwide toll-free system, yet still do not want their customers to be put away by having to pay long-distance rates.
0610 numbers, used as a cheaper alternative to standard local numbers for dial-up Internet access, are nowadays rare due to the widespread use of broadband Internet access.
Public utility numbers
The format for public utility service phone numbers is mostly 1xx. They can be accessed from any landline, mobile or pay phone within the country.
- 100: Firefighters
- 101: Police
- 102: Child services
- 103: Civil defense
- 106: Coast Guard
- 107: Ambulance
- 110: Phone directory
- 112: Customer service
- 113: Official time
- 114: Phone repair service 
- 115: Ring test
- 121: Phone usage info (subject to availability)
- 125: Assistance service for the hearing-impaired
- 911: Emergency (only in cities where 100, 101 and 107 have been merged into one emergency number, such as the Buenos Aires Metro Area and Buenos Aires Province)