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The Telecommunications Alliance has announced that starting July 29, 2012, residents of Manitoba will be required to dial 10 digits - the area code followed by the seven-digit phone number- for all local calls.

The introduction of 10-digit dialing is the result of a decision by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and will pave the way for the addition of a new area code, 431, in November 2012, as the 204 area code reaches capacity.

Customers with area code 204 numbers will retain their numbers. Numbers with the new 431 area code will only be assigned to customers for additional services on an as needed basis starting in November 2012.
 

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If you want to start converting your stored numbers to the new 10 digit format it appears that MTS (at least in Winnipeg) is able to accept them when you dial.

I have had converted all the numbers in my memory buttons on my home phones and in my cell directory about 2 months ago to 10 digits and have had no problems with the calls going through.
 

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I find it odd they are running out. I wonder if there was some other way they could have converted the "delinked" lines (people with dry dsl) to some other area code or exchange number not in use so that they could free up all those numbers tied up for no other reason than to identify the circuit for records and install/repair people like myself.

I'd like to find out roughly how many delinked numbers there are in use. It's probably HUGE!

Oh well, change is inevitable. I see that before my time, telephone numbers were shorter and shorter.
 

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Manitoba Just Playing Catch Up, but could have been Innovative!?

I am just wondering aloud, but why didn't Manitoba just add a single digit to the end of phone numbers rather than a three digit area code. The 3 digit area code effectively doubles the available numbers, but a single digit would effectively give 10 times more numbers.

Manitoba is just playing catch up with other areas of Canada, but I think they could have used the eight numbers like other countries do, rather than the new area code and it would have allowed people to reserve sequences of numbers for home or office.

For example, XXX-XXXX would become XXX-XXXX-1 and it would leave the 9 other numbers to be used by that customer for kids lines, cell phone and what ever they wish. Kids XXX-XXXX-2.

Like I said, Manitoba is just playing catch up, as less that 20 years ago party lines were prevalent, and you only had to dial the last 4 digits unless you were going outside of your exchange, this may still be the case in some areas. I think adding one digit would have allowed them to be a little more innovative.

The way it is going to be, your next door neighbour can have a different area code from you, and someone who lives 1400 kilometers away can have the same area code. The only difference between calling next door, or north of Churchill Manitoba will be dialing a 1 first.:rolleyes:
 

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I find it odd they are running out. I wonder if there was some other way they could have converted the "delinked" lines
What makes you think dry loops are the cause of this? The phone number is assigned to a port on the phone switch, not a pair of wires. This was the case even back in the step by step relay days, when a phone number was assigned to a physical connection on the switch. Between the phone switch and the cables going to customers, there's a cross connect frame, where any line can be connected to any port on the switch (or elsewhere). Also, with the electronic switches that have been in use for years, there's no longer a direct relationship between phone number and physical switch connection. Instead, numbers are mapped to the physical connection via software configuration. It is also possible to have more phone numbers than lines, where you have different rings for different phones at a subscriber.

I am just wondering aloud, but why didn't Manitoba just add a single digit to the end of phone numbers rather than a three digit area code. The 3 digit area code effectively doubles the available numbers, but a single digit would effectively give 10 times more numbers.
That would throw out the long standing xxx-yyy-zzzz phone numbering systems that's used in North America. Other parts of the world use variable length numbers and it can cause a lot of problems for dial plans etc. If there is a shift to 4 digit area or exchange codes, it will likely be done all at once, with a lengthy conversion period.
 

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James, I understand that it's not the pair, I just meant that with MTS, they still assign a dummy number to a customer who has dry dsl or tv, and though I now realize that it's probably a relatively insignificant number, maybe it could have still made a difference...? It still means that there's a bunch of numbers are tied up and can't be used to call someone. :)
 

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Dirtroad: They cannot do what your asking(add another number at the end), because they have to follow the North American numbering plan. All of North America, must use the same system of ten digits,that how ever may change when they run out of available area codes,which likely wont be for many years.
Manitoba is not playing catch up, but simply reflects a growing population,and the more devices being used.
 

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I wonder if the 8 digits was considered for use in Canada at all. Mexico which is part of North America uses 8 digits. Better than the routing codes that have to be used for some countries. It also has the added benefit beyond not having to add a new area code for the province, it that it expands each regional exchange by 10 times as well for the growing communities.

I posted this to see how others felt, not that I feel it is the answer. My understanding was that 7 numbers was used for phone numbers because that was thought to be all people can remember. It just seems that logically by adding the one digit would open up many more possible numbers than the addition of the new area code.

I ask this question to anyone who may know, how are emergency services summoned ,:confused:
  • like the traditional 911, will the area code have to dialed first? (Winnipeg was the first to have 999)
  • or in non-emergency like Winnipeg's 311 service?
  • or any of the City's 986-XXXX or Province's 945-XXXX numbers?
 

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^^^^
While people find it easier to remember small groups of digits, there's also a bit of history here. Back when numbers were introduced, the operator only had to worry about the numbers on the exchange in from of them and early exchanges came in a variey of sizes. Other exchanges went by name and often a number (as in the song "PEnnsylvania 6-5000) and it was not possible for subscribers to dial long distance calls to other exchanges. Long distance calls had to be handled by the operator. Then with the introduction of direct distance dialing (DDD), exchanges were given 3 digit numeric IDs and area codes were introduced, also with 3 digits. Then a caller would dial, for a long distance call, 1 then area code, if destination was in another area code, then the exchange and phone numbers. Back in those days, it was still often possible to dial fewer than 7 digits (When I was a kid, we only had to dial 5 digits for local calls, with the first digit either 4 or 5). Also, back in those days, the middle digit of area codes was always 0 or 1 and exchange codes, 2-9 to make it easier for the exchange to determine where the call was going. When that scheme started to run out of numbers, it was changed so that any numeral could be used for the middle digit of the area and exchange codes and also local calling areas were given multiple area codes, requiring 10 digit dialing. As for 911 etc, area codes are never used with them, so 911 will always work. There are also some 7 digit numbers that work across area codes, but within the local calling area. Those 3 and 7 digit numbers are special numbers that get mapped to a real phone number, in the same manner as "800" numbers do. So, if you dial 911, the exchange will look up the real number and connect to it.
 

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N11 numbers (there are 8 of them) are recognized in the telephone switch as being special and do not need an area code. Canada and the US treat 811 differently the other 7 are the same in both systems.

There is a lot of intelligence programmed into the switching system for these types of calls.

For example if you live outside the city of Winnipeg (lets say West St. Paul) but have a Winnipeg number the switch sends you to the Provincial 911 dispatcher in Brandon and not the Winnipeg 911 dispatch. This is based on the address where the service is located and comes from a service location database.

The other numbers you mentioned are called Centrex service and will need an area code to connect. As far as the switching system is concerned they are no different than any other telephone number regarding the need to dial a area code to connect.
 

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If you want to start converting your stored numbers to the new 10 digit format it appears that MTS (at least in Winnipeg) is able to accept them when you dial.

I have had converted all the numbers in my memory buttons on my home phones and in my cell directory about 2 months ago to 10 digits and have had no problems with the calls going through.
Yes .. that is correct

I often used 10 digits in Winnipeg for several years already...
My Local Phone Provider was Primus for several years.. - and as far back as few years ago by now .. when someone called me (when i was with Primus) - Call Display Showed - (204) XXX-XXXX

So when i stored that number into Memory it stored there as 10 digits also.. - so when dialing it just dials 10 digits ( no long distance charges applied ..cuz it's a local phone call and 1 isn't dialed in front of the 10 digit number :) )

Same with Callers .. - when look at Callers and see someone you want to Call Back .. - Just press "Call" / "Talk" (or whatever button phone might have to dial) . .and it dials those 10 numbers shown on call display for that particular caller

Still a pain the way i see it.. - one province .. 2 area codes :(

It's small Manitoba after all .. and NOT large (aka populated) Ontario :D
 

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Canadian Number Administrator

Here is something I found from the CNA Canadian Number Administrator that answers a lot of questions. See http://www.cnac.ca/about/mandate.htm#top
I was surprised to discover, Mexico is not a member of the NANP (North American Numbering Plan).
 

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On a related issue, why are Mobile Phone numbers in North America geographically tied too? In the UK Mobile Phone numbers are nationally tied premium numbers slightly more expensive to call than regular wireline long distance.
 

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One of the major reasons that many provinces/states are running out of area codes, is because of mobile devices. Whereas 10-20 years ago, there was typically only one phone number per household, these days it's more on the order of 1+ phone numbers per person. Some people will have a home phone (landline), cell phone/iPhone, Blackberry, a mobile internet stick, and cellular backup for their home alarm.

In addition, every competing wireless or landline carrier in an area typically gets its own central office code (204-NXX group), and that causes additional waste, especially when there's competing phone carriers in a smaller community. For example, there's 12000 people in Portage La Prairie, but there's 12 CO codes (120,000 phone numbers) assigned to the area, split among 7-8 carriers. Each area code has close to 800 CO codes, and once the CO codes are exhausted, a new area code is needed.

FYI, Saskatchewan is also in the same boat as us, their 306 area code is running out, and will likely be exhausted in 2013.
 

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Working in the opposite direction is that the number of landlines is falling since some people used to get additional lines at home for (1) dial-up internet and (2) fax machines.

It also appears that 3G wireless device have a "phone" number even when they aren't phones and don't have phone functionality. For example, my 3G iPad has a 647 area code phone number.
 

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Anyone see or hear of any 431 numbers out yet? I haven't heard a thing. MTS must still have a huge bank of unused 204 numbers, as all my installs without voice still haven't started using 431. Quite surprised. Not that I'm complaining. Still don't have to say 431 when calling for support during an install.

:)
 
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