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Telephone numbers in Costa Rica

Country Code: 506

Before 1994, all phone numbers in Costa Rica were six digits long, but increasing demand of lines impelled the national electricity and telecommunications monopoly, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, to introduce a system in which the telephone numbers in every province were assigned a prefix as follows:

Province/City - Prefix
San José and Heredia - 2
Alajuela - 4
Cartago - 5
Puntarenas and Guanacaste - 6
Limón , South of Puntarenas Province and Pérez Zeledón Canton - 7
Plus, two other prefixes for mobile phone numbers

Mobile Phone Standard - Prefix
TDMA - 3
GSM - 8
Prefix 00 was reserved for international calls, while prefix 9 was assigned to special numbers, such as 9-1-1. Toll-free numbers starts with 800 followed by 7 digits while premium rate numbers starts with 900 followed by 7 digits.

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 have to use a number starting with 3 and many residents of San Jose province have 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 due to Q1 2009. The transition to 8-digit based was heavily publicized on Costa Rican media. However, the change caused some confusion among many foreigners. Also, all calls dialed using the old 7-digit version of the phone number are automatically redirected to a voice message informing about the change.

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

[ Current Costa Rican Numeration Plan

Country Code - Number Prefix - Fixed or Mobile - Province - Provider
- 22XX - Fixed - San Jose and Heredia - GrupoICE
- 23XX - Unallocated - Unallocated - GrupoICE
- 24XX - Fixed - Alajuela - GrupoICE
- 25XX - Fixed - Cartago - GrupoICE
- 2511 - Fixed - Reserved to Universidad de Costa Rica - GrupoICE
- 26XX - Fixed - Guanacaste, Central and North Puntarenas - GrupoICE
- 27XX - Fixed - Limon and South Puntarenas Province - GrupoICE
- 29XX - Unallocated - Unallocated - GrupoICE
- 3XXX to 7XXX and 9XXX - Unallocated Mobile or Fixed - Unallocated - Unallocated
- 83XX - Mobile GSM and TDMA - Countrywide - GrupoICE - ICECelular
- 88XX - Mobile GSM - Countrywide - GrupoICE - ICECelular
- 89XX - Mobile GSM - Countrywide - GrupoICE - ICECelular
  • NOTE:

    The Numbers with Prefix 25XX Might be seen also in San Jose and Heredia since all numbers with 22XX has been almost depleted.

    Special Costa Rica Numbers

    Class - Length - Type - Example
    Special - 3 Digits - Service Provider, Government and Services - 110, 113, 115, 118, 119, 124, 134, 155, 187, 193, 197, 199
    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
    http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-t/oth/02/02/T02020000300001MSWS.doc (In Spanish)
    http://www.minae.go.cr/acerca/viceministro/DE-%2035187-MINAET%20Plan%20de%20Numeracion.pdf (In Spanish)


    References from: Telephone_numbers_in_Costa_Rica
    How can I find people in Costa Rica? Use the list of telephones services to search phone numbers in Costa Rica. -
    Where to search mobile phone numbers in Costa Rica? - Use the list of mobile services to locate the phone operator and special dial codes for Costa Rica.
    Where to find the area codes for the cities in Costa Rica? List of City Dial Codes of Costa Rica. Use the Costa Rica Phone Services. Find phones in the cities in Costa Rica.
    Where can I find people in Costa Rica? Use the white pages section to find free information about phone numbers, address, names and other information very helpful to locate people.
    Where to search business in Costa Rica? The list of yellow pages in Costa Rica can be used to find more information to locate for business and other professional services. Phone Numbers, Address and more. List with telephone numbers search services to find phone information about people or business.
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