Telephone numbers in Bulgaria

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Bulgaria telephone numbers
Location
Country Bulgaria
Continent Europe
Access codes
Country calling code +359
International call prefix 00
Trunk prefix 0

Telephone numbers in Bulgaria are under an open dialing plan, similar to those of Germany and Austria. Area codes should only be dialed when necessary. Area codes are prefixed with a trunk code of 0 when dialled domestically.

Fixed-line numbers[edit]

Domestic numbers are limited to eight digits in length. Area codes vary in length from one to five digits. Subscriber number lengths vary accordingly, from seven digits down to three digits. Sofia lines on digital switches have seven-digit numbers, those on analog switches have six; in Plovdiv, Varna and Ruse both are six digits; and in most other province capitals lines on digital switches have six-digit numbers and analog have five.

For a very long time, the state-owned Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) had a monopoly on fixed telephone networks. However, this ended when a special law was adopted. BTC was privatized in 2004 and competing operators appeared.

Larger areas, such as Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas, are subdivided into zones. Although one cannot further reduce the number of dialed digits, the number itself shows which zone it is located in. For example, in Sofia, numbers starting with 2, 82, 92 are located in the Western suburbs, 7, 87, 97 in the Eastern suburbs, and 98 in the central area.

In the recent decade[when?] there has been an intensive process of replacing the old analog switches with modern digital ones. In areas where both analog and digital switchers are operating, a subscriber number shows by its first digit if it is connected to an analog or a digital switch. In some areas it is even possible to guess if a subscriber number was changed from analog to digital during its existence or was subscribed as digital initially. For example, in Blagoevgrad a number starting with 88 was subscribed as digital, and a number starting with a single 8 was analog before.

The first digit also shows if a particular subscriber number is operated by BTC or another operator.

The area codes are always cited with the trunk code. However, within the area, or when the Sofia code of (0)2 can be guessed from the context, it is omitted. As of 2012, "old" numbers in Sofia (i.e. ones beginning with an 8 or a 9) could still be dialed from within the capital without the city code; however, "new" numbers (ones beginning with a 4) invariably require the 02 city code.

Mobile numbers[edit]

Until 20 July 2003 GSM networks used six-digit subscriber numbers in accordance with the limit of eight digits for the domestic part of a number. With the increase of subscribers (and an international requirement), all (except Vivacom, which started operations in 2006) acquired new access codes. On 20 July 2003, Mobiltel used three codes ((0)87, (0)88, (0)89) and Telenor used two ((0)98 and (0)99). When these limits were also to be overwhelmed, seven-digit subscriber numbers and single access codes per operator were introduced, hence M-tel reverted to 088 (+7 digits) only, while Telenor took the old M-tel code 089 (+7 digits), and the rest were freed up. (Mobikom had gone through a similar change in the mid-90s – from (0)799 to (0)48).

This change provokes an error in citing mobile numbers, quite similar to that of erroneous UK telephone codes. The first digit of the subscriber number is most often cited as part of the access code, e.g. (0)887 XXXXXX, instead of the correct (0)88 7XXXXXX. This error remains for new subscriber numbers even for Vivacom (which entered the market with the 087 (+7 digits) code and has always remained so). However, unlike the situation in UK, this error has no effect since a mobile number must always be dialled with the access code.

Dialing to a mobile network requires the access code together with the 0. Dialing from a mobile network requires either an area or access code with the trunk or international format ((0)YY YXXXXXX or +359 YY YXXXXXX). The latter becomes a normal practice, since most people use number lists of their handsets, more people use their phones in roaming and all four operators show the caller ID in international format.

Area codes[edit]

As in many countries, an area code is often written with the dialling code 0 prepended as if it were part of the area code itself.

Code Area or service
17x Paging services (six digits, not active: 177: Link Paging, 178: Varna Page, 179: Mobipage)
2 Sofia
30x Smolyan Province codes (301: Smolyan, 309: Pamporovo)
30xx
30xxx
31x Plovdiv Province codes
31xx
31xxx
32 Plovdiv
33x Plovdiv Province codes (331: Asenovgrad)
33xx
34 Pazardzhik
35x Pazardzhik Province codes (350: Peshtera, 359: Velingrad)
35xx
35xxx
36x Kardzhali Province codes (361: Kardzhali)
36xx
36xxx
37x Haskovo Province codes (373: Harmanli, 379: Svilengrad)
37xx
37xxx
38 Haskovo
39x Haskovo Province codes (391: Dimitrovgrad)
39xx
41x Stara Zagora Province codes (316: Chirpan)
41xx
41xxx
42 Stara Zagora
430 Tetra mobile network
43x Stara Zagora Province codes (431: Kazanlak)
43xx
43xxx
44 Silven
45x Sliven Province codes (453: Kotel, 457: Nova Zagora, 454: Tvarditza)
45xx
46 Yambol
47x Yambol and Haskovo Provinces codes (470: Topolovgrad, 478: Elhovo)
47xx
47xxx
48 NMT mobile network Mobikom (six digits), disused
51x Varna Province codes (518: Provadiya, 519: Devnya)
51xx
51xxx
52 Varna
53x Shumen Province codes (537: Novi Pazar, 538: Veliki Preslav)
53xx
53xxx
54 Shumen
55x Burgas Province codes (550: South coast zone 1, 554: Nesebar)
55xx
55xxx
56 Burgas
57x Dobrich Province codes (570: Kavarna, 579: Balchik)
57xx
57xxx
58 Dobrich
59x Burgas Province codes (590: South coast zone 2, 596: Pomorie)
59xx
59xxx
60x Targovishte Province codes (601: Targovishte, 608: Popovo)
60xx
60xxx
61x Veliko Tarnovo Province codes (610: Pavlikeni, 618 Gorna Oryahovitza)
61xx
61xxx
62 Veliko Tarnovo
63x Veliko Tarnovo and Pleven Provinces codes (631: Svishtov)
63xx
63xxx
64 Pleven
65x Pleven Province codes (650: Levski, 658: Belene)
65xx
65xxx
66 Gabrovo
67x Gabrovo and Lovech Provinces codes (670: Troyan, 675: Sevlievo)
67xx
67xxx
68 Lovech
69x Lovech Province codes (697: Lukovit)
69xx
69xxx
700 Local rate numbers (five digits)
70x Kyustendil Province codes (701: Dupnitsa)
70xx
71xx Sofia Province codes (720: Etropole, 721: Kostinbrod, 722: Samokov)
71xx
72x
73 Blagoevgrad
74x Blagoevgrad Province codes (745: Petrich, 746: Sandanski, 747: Razlog, 749: Bansko)
74xx
75xxx
75x Blagoevgrad and Sofia Provinces codes (750: Borovets, 751: Gotse Delchev)
75xx
75xxx
76 Pernik
77x Pernik Province codes (777: Radomir)
77xx
77xxx
78 Kyustendil
79xx Kyustendil Province codes
799 NMT mobile network Mobikom, disused, replaced by 048
800 Toll free numbers (five digits)
81x Ruse Province codes (817: Byala)
81xx
81xxx
82 Ruse
83x Razgrad Province codes (838: Kubrat)
83xx
83xxx
84 Razgrad
85x Silistra Province codes (855: Dulovo, 857: Tutrakan)
85xx
85xxx
86 Silistra
87 GSM/UMTS mobile network Vivacom (seven digits) *
88 GSM/UMTS mobile network MTel (seven digits)
89 GSM/UMTS mobile network Telenor (seven digits) *
900 Value added services (five digits)
91x Vratsa Province codes (910: Mezdra, 915: Byala Slatina)
91xx
91xxx
92 Vratsa
93x Vidin Province codes (936: Belogradchik, 938: Kula)
93xx
93xxx
94 Vidin
95x Montana Province codes (953: Berkovitsa)
95xx
95xxx
96 Montana
97x Vratsa and Montana Province codes (971: Lom, 973: Kozloduy)
97xx
97xxx
98 MVNOs on GSM/UMTS mobile network MTel (seven digits) †
999 WiMAX network MAX Telecom

* Until 2003, the codes 089 and 087 were used by M-TelUntil 2003, the codes 098 and 099 were used by Telenor – see above.

Short codes[edit]

Code Service
112 emergency
120 wake up call
121 operator for long-distance calls within Bulgaria
123 operator for international calls
124 operator for international calls
125 operator for international calls
130 phone lines problems
143 emergency road service & road assistance
144 telephone information service
146 emergency road service & road assistance
147 area codes within Bulgaria
148 area codes within Bulgaria
149 area codes within Bulgaria
152 BTC local calls rates
153 BTC long-distance within Bulgaria calls rates
154 BTC international calls rates
157 BTC international calls rates
159 cultural events guide
164 shipping information (in Bourgas and Varna)
167 horoscope
168 National Radio schedule
169 horoscope
170 BTC assistance
171 theater schedule (by city)
172 currency exchange rates
173 tales for kids
174 trains time-table (by city)
175 weather forecast
176 BTC information
177 tales for kids
178 pharmacy information
179 currency exchange rates
180 time service
181 TV programs
182 tramp shipping information (in Bourgas and Varna)
183 ocean shipping information (in Bourgas and Varna)
184 tanker shipping information (in Bourgas and Varna)
185 line shipping information (in Bourgas and Varna)
186 BTC digital services information
187 send a telegram
188 TV programs
190 BTC rates guide
191 cinema schedule (by city)
192 TV programs
193 TV programs
194 TV programs
195 sport news
196 sport lottery results
197 international dialing codes
198 BTC terms of payment
199 automatic telephone information guide