NEW/MORE Info re Sint Maarten and the NANP [telecom]

NeuStar-NANPA issued a new/updated Planning Letter today, Wednesday

27-July-2011, regarding the upcoming migration of Sint Maarten from the (former) Netherlands Antilles country code +599, to the NANP Country Code +1 as Area Code 721.

Planning Letter #423, Wednesday 27-July-2011,

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This PL replaces all previous PLs, as this new one contains all necessary information as it is currently known.

The start-date for permissive dialing of the new +1-721 for Sint Maarten, alongside existing (soon obsolete) +599, is still to be Friday 30-September-2011. (There WAS to have been an earlier date for permissive dialing, announced back in Fall 2009, which WOULD have been Monday 31-May-2010).

The mandatory dialing date for the new +1-721 for Sint Maarten, when use of +599 will (supposedly) NO LONGER work for reaching Sint Maarten is NOW to be Sunday 30-September-2012. (Initially, the mandatory date was to have been Tuesday 30-November-2010, back when initially announced and the permissive date would have been at the end of May

2010; when the permissive date was first changed to Friday 30-September-2011, announced in Dec.2010/Jan.2011, the mandatory date was to have been Saturday 31-March-2012)

Note that while AT&T-LL, VZ-B/MCI, Sprint, will likely eliminate the

+599-5xx office codes for Sint Maarten on the mandatory dial date for +1-721-5xx, and the larger Canadian telcos will likely do the same as well, this doesn't necessarily mean that "the rest of the world", or even smaller/mid-size carriers/etc. in the US/Canada will necessarily block +599-5xx Sint Maarten office codes on the mandatory dial date.

I remember when Guam and the Mariana Islands both changed from +671 and +670, to +1-670 and +1-671 respectively, back in 1997/98, on the mandatory dial date for NANP dialing (01-July-1998), MCI still allowed

011+670/671 dialing for several more months, maybe even an entire year. However, AT&T-LL actually eliminated 011+670/671 dialing on the PERMISSIVE date of 01-July-1997, only allowing NANP dialing from the US, as 1+/0+ 670/671.

When American Samoa migrated from +684 to +1-684, the permissive dial date where both dialing methods would work, was officially in October 2004. Mandatory dialing of +1-684 began (officially) in April 2005. AT&T-LL, MCI, and Sprint did allow +1-684 dialing alongside old 011+684 dialing in October 2004, but AT&T-LL actually did NOT remove 011+684 dialing from the 4ESS translations until around May 2006, over a year AFTER the official mandatory NANP dial date of April 2005!

Also note that the other (former) entities of the Netherlands Antilles will retain +599 as their country code, at least for the present time. It is always "possible" that the other islands might in the future choose to join the NANP, but there's nothing yet official at the present time for this.

Note that the (former) members of the Netherlands Antilles are all still associated with Holland. This includes Curacao, Sint Eustatius, Saba, and Bonaire. It also even includes Aruba, which broke from the Netherlands Antilles political entity in the early/mid-1980s, but has always maintained ties to Holland. At that time, Aruba changed from being a part of telephone country code +599 to its own +297 country code.

This most recent Planning Letter also states that dialing from the Dutch side, Sint Maarten, to the French side of Saint Martin, and also note that both Holland and France each share separate sides of the island (similar to Haiti and the Dominican Republic share separate sides of the island of Hispanola), is "international".

Landlines in French Saint Martin dialed from Dutch Sint Maarten will be dialed in the NANP international method, as 011+590+590+seven-d. (Note the use of "repeating" the country code digits '590'). Wireless phones in French Saint Martin dialed from Dutch Sint Maarten will be dialed in the NANP international method as 011+590+690+seven-d note that '690' follows the '590' country code.

Dialing to Sint Eustatius and Saba from (NANP-based) Sint Maarten will follow NANP "IDDD" rules, 011+599+, shown in the latest PL as:

Saba (BES)

011-599-416 + 4-Digits

Statia (BES) (which is really Sint Eustatius)

011-599-318 + 4-Digits

At this time,

416 is the only "office code" for Saba, and 318 is the only "office code" for Sint Eustatius.

NANP IDDD dialing to Bonaire is not referenced in this latest PL, but it will be 011+599+seven-digits. There are several office codes in Bonaire, of the form 7xx.

NANP IDDD dialing to Curacao is not referenced in this latest PL. There are even more office codes in Curacao than there are in Bonarie, and the dialing will be 011+599+9+seven-digits. Note the additional single-digit "area" code of '9' before the seven-digit "local number" in Curacao. The office codes in Curacao are of the form 4xx, 5xx, 6xx,

7xx, 8xx, 9xx.

NANP IDDD dialing to Aruba is also not referenced in this latest PL. Prior to joining the NANP, Sint Maarten (and the rest of the former Netherlands Antilles except Aruba) dial to Aruba with their 1980s country code, as 00+297+seven-digits. Sint Maarten will dial Aruba in the NANP IDDD format as 011+297+seven-digits. Since Aruba broke into their own country code in the 1980s, they have their own "office code" assignments, which do not "conform" to any other office code ranges in other (former) Netherlands Antilles islands.

_IF_ Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Bonaire choose to join the NANP, as long as they remain in their current c.o.code ranges, and same for Sint Maarten with their +1-721-5xx format, these other islands "could" easily migrate to the NANP under +1-721 without any other changes (except dialing prefix changes to NANP format).

However, _if_ Curacao or Aruba ever chooses to join the NANP, there would have to be significant changes in their office codes so as to NOTE conflict with existing office codes in +1-721, if they were to join as +1-721 -- OR, they could get their own new unique +1-NPA area codes.

NONE of this -- other (former) islands of the Netherlands Antilles joining the NANP -- has been officially announced or mentioned, but this is always "possible" as some future date.

Not mentioned in the latest PL is the dialing codes for special services. Sint Maarten has used formats that other (former) islands of the Netherlands Antilles has used, but I understand that St.Maarten will change to the NANP format of "N11" (411 for Directory, 611 for Repair, 911 for Emergencies, etc).

There had been a +599-555 office code for the legacy wireless provider TelCell. (TelCell is "associated" with the incumbent landline provider Telem). This +599-555 code is NOT going to become +1-721-555 for TelCell -- +1-721-555 is to be used for Directory access for the US/Canada (and other countries in the world which might allow access to directory in NANP countries/geographic NPAs as +1-NPA-555), and it could also be used for other "555" services (which has never really been properly defined or even implemented).

But I have not been able to determine what HAS happened to the TelCell wireless numbers/customers who might have had +599-555-xxxx numbers!

There does NOT seem to be a "brand new" +1-721-5xx office code for TelCell wireless to takeover former +599-555-xxxx TelCell wireless customers... at least nothing that I've seen.

It "could" be that TelCell is going to "farm out" +599-555-xxxx wireless customers to "other" pre-existing TelCell +599-5xx wireless office codes, which will become +1-721-5xx codes, however, it would also be very likely that these customers also had to have LINE-NUMBER (xxxx) changes as well!

OR... it "could" be that while TelCell wireless was assigned +599-555, TelCell never really ever assigned any customers yet to that office code, thus its elimination with the change form +599-5xx to +1-721-5xx is "moot".

But I have never been able to get a clear indication of WHAT is going to happen to +599-555, or what has happened to it....

ALSO NOTE that the TEST-numbers for Sint Maarten are FINALLY announced (officially) in this most recent NANPA Planning Letter 423:

Telem (incumbent landline telco)


TelCell (wireless, associated with Telem)


UTS/Radcomm (wireless, new entrant)


NOTE that Telem's landline test number, +1-721=622-7836, "spells out"


Also, the +1-721-622 office code for the test-number(s) does _NOT_ "pre-exist" as +599-622. If telcos/carriers in the NANP (or elsewhere in the world) do FULL translation of +599-NXX codes down to the

+599-NXX level, anyone "trying" to dial +599-622-xxxx to reach the test-numbers would get "blocked" in the country they are calling from (or maybe somewhere else along the way). I don't know how routing to +599 is handled "within" the former Netherlands Antilles, since it covers various islands -- i.e., do all calls route "first" to Curacao on +599, or do "most" countries' carriers route to the +599-NXX level to determine "which" island to route to? I don't know if "some" countries might actually route +599-622-7836/7/8 to the Sint Maarten test-numbers though.

HOPEFULLY, Telem, TelCell, and UTS/Radcomm will _NOT_ return billing supervision on these test-numbers, but I'm not holding my breath on that! If they actually do provide recorded test/greeting announcements (rather than a 1-Kc tone), I expect that the recordings will be multi-lingual -- English and Dutch, and maybe even French and Spanish.

NOTE ALSO, that the list of 5xx office codes as shown in the latest NANPA Planning Letter is NOT complete, and even inconsistent in a few spots. I think that Telcordia-TRA's databases/products (BIRRDS, LERG, NNAG/NNACL, etc) have a more correct/comprehensive list of Sint Maarten 5xx codes.

The World Telephone Numbering Guide might also have a more correct/ comprehensive list, as they exist under +599 (i.e., +599-555 is included), which comes from ITU lists as well:

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this is still missing a few of the latest assignments:

+599 / +1-721 - 510 Radcomm (mobile) +599 / +1-721 - 587 Radcomm (mobile) +599 / +1-721 - 588 Radcomm (mobile)

Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina

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Mark J. Cuccia
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