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Costa Rica Phone Numbers to Change

As of March 20, 2008, all phone number in Costa Rica will be 8 digits long instead of 7. This change will include both land lines and cell phones. the only numbers that will be unaffected by this change are 911 and 800 numbers.

The following changes will be taking place:

  • Land line numbers starting with a 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 will be given an extra ‘2’ at the beginning of their number.
  • Mobile phone numbers starting with 3, 8 and 9 will be given an extra ‘8’ at the beginning of their number.

ICE, the Costa Rica Electrical Institute has been working hard over the last few months to get the word out. There has been everything from flyer’s on the street to nation wide TV commercials. Thanks to such a strong marketing effort by ICE, there should only be a small period of hassle and confusion surrounding this change.

ICE has also been contacting major phone companies about the change. Hopefully these announcements will make the transition for international calls to Costa Rica a bit easier. If you live in Costa Rica, you may want to start alerting friends and family abroad of the changes as soon as possible.

If you ask me, this is a very strange way to do things. Phone numbers in Costa Rica already have “area codes”, so why not follow many other major US areas by simply making callers dial the area code in addition to the phone number. If anyone knows the reasoning behind this, I would sure be interested in hearing it.

I guess thats just Costa Rica for you. 🙂