European Telephony Numbering Space

European Telephony Numbering Space

In the interest in forming a trans-Europe numbering plan as an option (or future movement) for anyone needing multi-national European telephone presence, the ITU allocated country calling code +388 as a subdivided, catch-all container for such services. This is designated the European Telephony Numbering Space or ETNS.

It is not yet in operation.

See also list of country calling codes.

Allocation area

Geographically the +388 "country" code is an overlay on top of all the pre-existing, state-bounded country codes of the countries in Europe. Among "special" country codes, +388 is unique in that it is both supranational yet geographically bounded (other special codes, such as +881 and freephone +800, are completely international).

Instead of being subdivided geographically as in a typical numbering plan, the ETNS is subdivided by type of service or customer. It is therefore not possible to reverse engineer the location of an owner of an ETNS number based on the characteristics of the phone number. The numbers are also not allocated in blocks to individual carrier companies and are therefore intended to be portable. However, carriers need to have ETNS translation capability, or routing agreement with a carrier that does, in order for its customers to successfully call ETNS numbers.


Country Groups

Specifically, ETNS is only one of a potentially larger set of European "country groups" participating in a shared regional overlay numbering plan. The current country group that comprises the ETNS is given an identification code of 3, which comes after the +388 country code.


After the country group identification code, the number space is divided according to service, indicated by a European Service Identity code. The current table lists the service designations (country code, identification code, and ESI code) available under ETNS as of this writing:

European Service Identity codes

*Public service application: 3883 1
*Customer service application: 3883 3
*Corporate networks: 3883 5
*Personal numbering: 3883 7

External links/sources

* [ ETNS Registrar]
* [ European Radiocommunications Office]
* [ ARCOME presentation: "ETNS project and corresponding field trial description"]
* [ World Telephone Numbering Guide] 's information about European regional numbering

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