ICASA have announced that, from October, South Africans will have to use the dialling code in all calls. No more 7-digit local calls from your fixed-line phone - you will need 10 digits to dial the neighbours. Among other things, this will allow for the introduction of the new 010 dialling code in the Johannesburg area. At the same time, the international prefix will be changed from 09 to the European style 00. Now, if - instead of a local number - I get a local number in the US (which is routed through the Internet to my home in Pretoria), people will have to dial 13 digits to reach me instead of 10. It doesn't seem like a big difference to me - why 010-456-7890 ('Gauteng') and not 001-345-789-2345 ('North America') to reach me in Pretoria?
For Skype and other VOIP users as well as from abroad it will be 80% cheaper to phone me on the 001 number (where I can get services like voicemail to e-mail for free). In the worst case, South African users pay less than to call a local cellphone to reach my 001 number. The North American number has much lower monthly rental and provides very cheap calls all over the world, including to SA. Huh? Who wants 010?
Incidentally, if you want the convenience of 7-digit dialling, get yourself and your friends and family all numbers in the same US dialling code...
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