Monday, June 01, 2009

Wierd Phone dialing rules

Ok, so it occurred to me today again how silly and wrong the numbering scheme for phone numbers is.

It's especially confusing when you're abroad. Country codes are not all the same number of digits, like area codes. Very Silly way to run a numbering scheme.

My opinion: Country codes should all be the same length, say 3 digits. There's only 211 countries, that should be enough. From anywhere then, dial 999, then the country code, etc. Everyone knows the same rules, everywhere it's the same idea. If you don't dial 999 first, you're dialing inside your country. Every country has a different number of digits in their numbering scheme, too! It's confusing and yucky!

So how hard would it be to have a 10 digit number (area + 7) for every person in every country? that's enough, isn't it?

(123) 456-7890 = 1,234,567,890 == 1.2 billion phone numbers per country. Ug. Doesn't work for China or India if everyone has a phone number there.

Ok, so we decide on an 11 digit number (4 digit area code) and we get 12 billion numbers per country. That's enough.

Better yet, your phone number could be yours for life, and you could register it with a phone handset or location, like we do with cell phones.

I guess the only change here would be adding a digit to the area codes. But, the international dialing scheme would change so no matter where you went, you'd easily understand how to dial in that country, and between countries.

This is sounding a lot like the domain name scheme for the internet. I know, too idealistic to work. Maybe in 100 years when we need the flexibility. Or, it's utterly silly because in 100 years, there won't be phone numbers, there'll be phone 'codes' like domain names you register, and it will stick with you for as long as you want, and any computer/phone (like there's a difference) can find you.

Rant mode off...
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