Sunday, August 24, 2008

A change in calling Costa Rica

When we first moved here we had a seven-digit phone number. We learned that all phone numbers beginning with three, eight, or nine were cell phone numbers; anything else was a landline.

A few months ago, ICE (the government-owned phone company that has yet to install a landline in our house) announced that there was an insufficient number of phone lines to accommodate the country’s population of about 4.5 million people, and that instead of adding additional area codes (there is only one serving the nation), all phone numbers would go to eight digits. Rumor has it that this change will increase Costa Rica’s phone number capacity to 20 million phone lines, so the change oughta last a while.

To call a cell phone, one must now dial an eight first; all landline numbers are preceded by a two.

I had to edit all the numbers stored in my cell phone, which really wasn't that big of a deal, especially compared what those with commercial numbers likely had to change. I’ve seen instances where companies have squeezed in that eighth number on business cards, stationery, billboards, and signs. It’s kinda funny seeing it painted, penciled, and pasted in front of the other seven numbers.

The conversion seemed rather smooth. Now if I could just get my landline, I’d be happy to share my new eight-digit number with everyone!


Lisa said...

I cannot believe you are still waiting for a landline! Guess they dont do area codes like in the US?

aimee said...

So how much longer will you have to wait for a landline now?

Shelli said...

Just have them go ahead and install your landline over here, so it will be ready for you by the time you get back.

Four in Costa Rica said...

There is one area code for the entire country, but remember that Costa Rica isn't that big (about the size of West Virginia).

Dan and I have doubts as to whether we will ever get a landline. I have heard stories of people waiting years for them. Years! Yikes!

Shelli, your comment really made me laugh. :)