International phone numbers (was Re: AOL Non-Lameness)

Joe Abley jabley at
Tue Oct 3 12:53:57 UTC 2006

On 3-Oct-2006, at 00:37, Rick Kunkel wrote:

> Boy, this is certainly OT.

Yeah. Apologies for contributing to the noise, but since someone  
mentioned it earlier...

> I had a suspicion it might be standard somewhere.

The ITU recommendation is E.123 (02/01), ITU article number E20897 in  
English. That document recommends that a hyphen, space or period be  
used to provide visual separation between groups of numbers;  
parentheses are to be used for sections of the number which are  
sometimes not dialled, but not in the full international notation  
which includes an E.164 country-code.

E.123 also tells us how to write our e-mail addresses and URLs on  
business cards, except that it calls URLs "web addresses". At least,  
this is what I can glean from the many E.123 summaries I could find,  
since the actual document isn't available for free download. We're  
certainly lucky to have the ITU.


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