Why is there always +7 at the beginning of a Russian number and who invented it?


Every Russian telephone number starts with “+7”. There is undoubtedly some logic in this. But who and why decided that Russian numbers must necessarily have a seven at the beginning? But why do they sometimes write an eight at the beginning?

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What is a telephone numbering plan?

Under this not easy-to-understand phrase hides the system of assigning telephone numbers for their subsequent use. The dial plan allows the network to accurately identify the subscriber so as not to be confused with one another. There is also an International Numbering Plan, defined by a special international organization for telephony and telegraphy. According to the established norms, each country received its own code so that the phone numbers of people from different countries do not overlap and are unique.

The International Advisory Committee has divided the entire world into 9 large zones, assigning a number to each of them. If there were several countries within this area, then each of them had one or two digits added to the number. Since the division took place in the days of the Soviet Union, our country got almost the entire region at number 7. After the collapse of the Union, most countries, including Belarus and Ukraine, changed their regional code. But Kazakhstan kept +7. Ukraine moved to European zone 3, having received the prefix +380, Belarus has it +375.

Country phone codes (click to enlarge)

Why is there always +7 at the beginning of a Russian number and who invented it?

With the figure for the country, everything is clear, but where did this plus come from? In fact, the explanation is simple – the presence of the icon “+” indicates that the number can be used in international communication. This is also set by the numbering plan standards. But the presence of “+” at the beginning of the number does not mean that the calls will be international and you will have to pay more for them. If the call is made to a number with the same prefix, then the call is charged at local rates, no roaming is implied.

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Why then does the number sometimes start with 8?

Some people write their number starting with the number 8, and it is freely used when making calls, for example, in Russia and Belarus. It turns out that there is not only an international telephone plan, but also national ones. In Russia, the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications is engaged in its development. There is still an open telephone plan in the country – within your region you do not need to dial the local prefix and code, but use a short five-six-seven-digit number. But if you need to call another city, you will have to use the long-distance prefix, that is, this eight, and then enter the area code.

But no one bothers to use the international code to call your city. The call will not become more expensive, nothing bad will happen. But this approach to recruiting is not required. Usually, the eight is used for calls within the country, but even with the number 8, you can make an international call. To do this, dial: 8 – 10 – (country code) – (operator code) – (phone number). As you can see, this is not so convenient. That is why it is recommended to write down numbers in the phone book in the generally accepted standard, via +7.

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