Area codes 704 and 980

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North Carolina area codes.

Area codes 704 and 980 cover Charlotte and all or part of 12 surrounding counties in south-central North Carolina. Other major cities in the service area are Gastonia, Kannapolis, Concord, Mooresville, Salisbury, Statesville and Shelby. The South Carolina side of the Charlotte metropolitan area is part of area code 803.

The main area code, 704, is one of the original 86 Numbering Plan Areas assigned in 1947. At that time it covered the entire state of North Carolina. In 1954, Winston-Salem and points east were split off to create area code 919, leaving 704 to cover the western third of the state from Charlotte to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This configuration remained in place for the next 44 years. Despite explosive growth in Charlotte, the state's largest city, the western third of the state was not as densely populated as the eastern two-thirds. By the mid-1990s, however, the proliferation of cell phones and pagers made a split inevitable. In 1998, most of the western portion of the old 704 territory, including the Foothills and Blue Ridge, were split off to create area code 828, leaving 704 to cover the Charlotte area.

Within two years, however, 704 was close to exhaustion once again due to the proliferation of cell phones and pagers. The supply of available numbers was further limited because the Charlotte LATA spills into York and Lancaster counties in South Carolina, meaning several numbers in South Carolina's 803 weren't available for use. For this reason, 980 was created as the state's first overlay. Ten-digit dialing became mandatory on March 1, 2001; it is not known whether this was implemented as a flash-cut or as permissive dialing that allowed seven-digit calls for a time before that time.

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North Carolina area codes: 252, 336/743, 704/980, 828, 910, 919/984
North: 336 / 743
West: 828 704 / 980 East: 910
South: 803, 843
South Carolina area codes: 803, 843/854, 864