Mexico (Dial 1)

****************************** PAT: PLEASE DO NOT display my email address anywhere in this post! Thnx ******************************

Pat Towns> ... why was Canada arbitrarily included as part of the 'USA numbering

scheme' while Mexico was deliberatly excluded? The system back in the > 1950's was deliberatly designed, IMO, to include all (mostly) English > speakers and with certain other politics in mind, which was > unfortunate.

The topic of Mexico has been brought up numerous times in the past in this group.

Canada and the US have had close relations politically and with respect to business, culture, and telephone service. AT&T and GT&E had both been quite active in the development of Canada's telephone network.

As for Mexico, AT&T had desired that Mexico become part of the North American Numbering Plan, and there was a period of time when a small part of Mexico was actually part of the NANP (country code +1) while the rest of Mexico was its own country code +52.

It was actually *MEXICO* that chose NOT to be a part of the US/Canada telephone network. The northwestern Mexican border was really the only area in Mexico that truly was a part of the NANP DDD network, and their local and toll offices "homed" on AT&T toll offices based in the US, well into the 1970s (and possibly early 1980s). This northwestern Mexican border area was not Telefonos de Mexico but rather Telefonica Fronteriza, which was partially held by AT&T and Pacific Bell, and was reached by area code 903. Shortly before 1980, the Mexican Federal Government (which owned Tel Mex as a government monopoly) seized the partially US-held Telefonica Fronteriza in northwestern Mexico, and began to re-number the codes and re-home the switches to Mexico's numbering/dialing plan (under country code +52) and toll switching/routing network.

AT&T removed 903 for access to the northwestern border, changing it temporarily to 70-6 based on the city codes beginning with '6' under country code +52, for those who did not have International Dialing (011+), so that they could be able to continue to dial to Mexico. Mexico City (which had always been Tel Mex) was temporarily accessible from the US (and Canada) as a pseudo area code 90-5, based on the fact that Mexico's city code was '5' under country code

+52. But this "pseudo" access to northwestern Mexico (70-6) and Mexico City (90-5) from the US and Canada was discontinued by AT&T, MCI, Sprint (co-ordinated by Bellcore) in 1991, with 706 and 905 being reassigned within the US and Canada. (903 had already been taken back and subsequently reassigned to the split of 214 in northeastern Texas in 1990). With 1991, all calls to Mexico had to be dialed from the US and Canada as an International call, 011+ country code +52 and then the domestic number in Mexico.

It wasn't AT&T that tried to keep Mexico out of the plan. AT&T had made numerous overtures to Mexico since the late 1950s and continuing forward for Mexico to join the North Aemrican DDD Network. When the ITU Country Code format was finalized in 1963, Mexico already had already decided that they wanted to be their own country code +52. And any previous attempt for any part of Mexico to be part of the US/Canada network (such as area code 903 for the northwestern border) was fought against by *MEXICO* themselves.

About fifteen years ago, in the early 1990s, Mexico did think about the possibility of joining the North American Numbering Plan. Mexico and the North American (US and Canadian) telephone industry did look at this, to see if it could be feasible at the present time. However, both sides realized that the present capacity of numbering in the NANP wouldn't be able to satisfy Mexico's current and future numbering needs, as well as continue to satisfy the development of numbering in the original base of the US and Canada. Mexico decided that expansion of their *own* numbering and dialing plan (under country code +52) would be in both the US/Canada and Mexico's best interests and that is what has happened.

It is probably better that way -- the vast bulk of traffic is between the US and Canada. While there is considerable traffic between the US and Mexico, it just isn't nearly as much as has always been between the US and Canada (even before customer dial capability).

In the Caribbean, again, AT&T had hoped to include ALL of the Caribbean within area code 809 when that was "created" in 1958, created on paper, at least (as it would take YEARS before various parts of the Caribbean would eventually become customer dialable from the US and Canada). This "creation" of 809 took effect five years BEFORE the ITU came out with their country code format in 1963.

But the French and Dutch held islands in the Caribbean also decided that they would prefer to be masters of their own numbering/dialing destiny, and chose to get their own ITU country codes rather than be part of area code 809 in Country Code +1.

But there are some Spanish-speaking parts of the Caribbean that have been part of Area Code 809, or now their own unique area codes, within the NANP, Country Code +1. Puerto Rico (now area code 787 overlaid with area code 939), and the Dominican Republic (which retained 809, and is now overlaid with area code 829). Of course, Puerto Rico is politically and jurisdictionally a part of the US (although not a state), and the Dominican Republic has had GT&E's involvement there for many decades now. GTE's Codetel in the Dominican Republic is now part of Verizon. Even Puerto Rico Telephone Company has had involvement from GTE since the late

1990s, and is now associated with Verizon.

Had Cuba not had Castro, it is quite possible that they too would have been part of Country Code +1, area code 809 (though now possibly split to a unique area code or area codes of its own). Prior to Castro, Cuba had close relations with the US as far as business and culture, and its telephone network was managed by ITT. But that all changed with Castro. When the ITU's first country code list was announced in 1963, Cuba was assigned its own country code +53.

On the one hand, it might have been "nice" to have more countries to be included within Country Code +1. But some might argue that those countries would have to "cow-tow" to some degree to the US FCC and the Canadian CRTC, and not truly be their own masters of their own telephone numbering/dialing destiny. Also, while the cost and rates of calls between the US and Canada are mostly comparable to the rates for calls within each country (as long as one is on a good "discount" plan), the same is NOT true for calls from the US or Canada to the (non US) Caribbean islands which are still a part of the NANP. This is a regular complaint about the (so called) "809 scams". Unfortunately, the FCC (and CRTC) can't do too much about *THAT* except for informing the general public about being careful about dialing calls to certain area codes.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: One thing they _could_ do now to alleviate any need for number (length) expansion forever would be to eliminate '1' as a country code and put this side of the globe on a somewhat more equal footing with everyone else by assigning (as an example) '14' to USA, '15' to Canada, '16' to Pacific Islands (fomerly in '1'), etc. Then everyone's (no longer needed because out of the new country code) area codes could be reassigned forever. Obviously they would never run out. That would at least even the score a little where the America-centric numbering system was concerned, IMO. Oh, I know there would have to be major reprogramming of some switches along the way, but what the hell, AT&T was always foisting off that reprogramming on the other countries for years and years was it not? PAT]
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Anthony Bellanga
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