Telephone numbers in Costa Rica

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Country Code: +506
International Call Prefix: 00

As of 2010 the government body in charge of allocations is the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones SUTEL (In Spanish)

History of Allocations[edit]

Prefix 00 was reserved for international calls, while prefix 9 was assigned to special numbers, such as 9-1-1. Toll-free numbers start with 800 followed by 7 digits while premium-rate numbers start with 900 followed by 7 digits.

Before 1994, all phone numbers in Costa Rica were six digits long. The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, which at that time had the monopoly on telecommunications, introduced a system in which the telephone numbers in every province were assigned a prefix to make them 7 digits long. This numbering system was effective for some time. However, the boom of mobile phone customers since the introduction of GSM around 2000 and the expansion of metropolitan areas caused a serious shortage of available numbers. Thus many GSM-based customers used numbers starting with 3 and many residents of San Jose province had telephone numbers starting with prefixes other than 2.

Since March 20, 2008, a renewed numbering system added the prefix 2 for all landlines and 8 for all mobile phone numbers. This system was implemented in order to face the introduction of 1,5 million 3G W-CDMA customers in Q1 2009. The transition to 8-digit numbers was heavily publicized in Costa Rican media. However, the change caused considerable confusion among foreigners. Also, all calls dialed using the old 7-digit version of the phone number are automatically redirected to a voice message with information about the change.

In 2010, after the end of the government monopoly in telecommunications, prefixes 3,4,5,6 and 7 were assigned to private operators.

8-digit numbers are commonly written two ways: "xxxxxxxx" or "xxxx-xxxx"

Current Costa Rica Number Plan[edit]

Number Range Type of Service Province Provider
22XX-XXXX Fixed San Jose and Heredia GrupoICE
24XX-XXXX Fixed Alajuela GrupoICE
25XX-XXXX Fixed Cartago, San Jose and Heredia GrupoICE
2511-XXXX Fixed Reserved to Universidad de Costa Rica GrupoICE
26XX-XXXX Fixed Guanacaste, Central and North Puntarenas GrupoICE
27XX-XXXX Fixed Limon and South Puntarenas Province GrupoICE
3XXX-XXXX Reserved for private mobile services Countrywide Unallocated
4XXX-XXXX VoIP Countrywide (cannot receive international calls) Multiple private operators
4070-XXXX VoIP Countrywide InterPhone
500X-XXXX to 504X-XXXX Mobile GSM Countrywide Virtualis
570X-XXXX to 571X-XXXX Mobile GSM Countrywide Tuyo
6XXX-XXXX Mobile GSM Countrywide Telefónica - Movistar
7XXX-XXXX Mobile GSM Countrywide Claro
8XXX-XXXX Mobile GSM Countrywide GrupoICE - Kölbi

Special Costa Rica Numbers[edit]

Class Length or Range Type Example
Special Services 1XXX Service Provider, Government and Services 1110, 1113, 1115, 1118, 1119, 1124, 1134, 1155, 1187, 1193, 1197, 1199,1719,1720
Special Services 18XX,19XX Outbound call operator selection 1901, 1902, 1903,1908
SMS Services 4 Digit 3rd Party SMS Content Providers 7777
800 Toll Free Numbers 10 Digits 3rd Party Company or Organization 800-286-0101
900 and 905 Premium-Toll Numbers 10 Digits 3rd Party Company or Organization 900-365-4632

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]