How to Understand a Telephone Number

4 septembrie 2007
Someone, at some point, gives you a telephone number. How to understand it?

There are two kinds of telephone numbers in Romania , known as "fix" (landline) and "mobil" (cell/mobile). The prices for calling these are different with the rule of thumb being that calling a "fix" number from another "fix" number is cheaper, a "mobil" from a "mobil", etc. And usually international calls to "fix" numbers are cheaper.

Note: ALL incoming calls in Romania are free to the recipient.

There are two kinds of "fix" numbers and 4 kinds of "mobil" numbers. First the most basic thing though: understanding the number itself. A "complete" Romanian number will look like this:

40 264 555 123

If you are calling from outside of Romania, the above number is perfectly valid. But if you are INSIDE Romania, the number you dial is:

0264 555 123

Every single Romanian number (dialed internally) begins with a zero. Everyone knows this and yet by god they will strike you down with lightning if you fail to SAY the zero when giving the number. Again the number:

40 264 555 123

The 40 is simply the country code for Romania (40).

0264 555 123

Any number that starts with a "2" or "3" means a "fix" line. The ones that start with a "2" are usually Romtelecom, the former government monopoly . The ones with a "3" are "fix" lines from another company, most often RDS.

0264 555 123

The two digit code, in this case "64", indicates the city of the "fix" line, in this case Cluj-Napoca. Right now every single "fix" number in Cluj is "64" so if you see a six digit number without a prefix in Cluj, the "0264" is assumed. If it’s a "0364" number, the RDS prefix will be written.

0264 555 123

This is the actual "number". All Romanian numbers, "fix" or "mobil" are six digits in length.

"Mobil" numbers are slightly different in the sense that they do not reflect which city the subscriber or user lives in. Instead they are based by prefixes. ALL mobile/cell numbers begin with "07". Therefore if it begins with:

072, 073 = Vodafone
074, 075 = Orange
076 = Cosmote
078 = Zapp

So let’s look at another number:

0740 555 123

The first part "0740" tells us that it’s an Orange number. The "555 123" is of course just the subscriber number. The reason why it can be important to know the name of the provider is because calls within the same network are often cheaper, i.e. Orange to Orange calls are cheaper than Orange to Vodafone.

Note: A long time ago, Orange was called "Dialog" and some people still refer to it like that. Vodafone likewise used to be called "Connex".

But wait, it gets trickier. Romanians use a specific style to write their phone number. Usually it goes like this:

(07 40) 55 51 23

This is important to remember because if YOU ever give out your phone number, they’re going to want it like that, in pairs of two. Sometimes the first four are grouped together (0740) but the rest, never.

Again, god help you if you forget to say the "zero" at the beginning. The Romanian you are speaking to is likely to have a cerebral hemorrhage.

Never ever give out your number in terms of three’s (555) (123). Don’t do it!

That leading "zero" is very important and screws up a lot of people when it comes to understanding how to dial a Romanian number from inside the country versus outside. This is the number as dialed from OUTSIDE of Romania:

40 264 555 123

This is the number dialed from INSIDE of Romania:

0264 555 123

The only different is the leading "4" is removed. Got it?

By the way, even if you are inside Romania and wish to dial it "40 264 555 123" it will go through just fine.

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