Mobile and landline telephone numbers in Germany

How to tell which is which from the dialing code


_Muppetry_
Hello all,

How do you recognise a mobile number versus a landline number in Germany?
Do all mobile numbers start 01 and all landlines start with 0 and then another number that isn't 1?
Like, I think my new landline is 06151 blah blah, and my new mobile 01767 blah blah.
Are all mobile numbers generally start with 017, or can the third digit be any number?

Very inconvenient that they have it the opposite way around to the UK ;-)

And, as an amusing aside, if you text a landline in Germany, does the answerphone verbally speak the words...?

Ta.
bluebell16
All mobile numbers do not generally start with 17.. Depending on how long ago it was that the number was issued, it could be 16, 15 etc. I haven't seen anything less than 014 for a mobile phone, though. Then again, my exposure is limited.
I'm sure someone can give you a better answer.
Expaticus
Hello all,

How do you recognise a mobile number versus a landline number in Germany?
Do all mobile numbers start 01 and all landlines start with 0 and then another number that isn't 1?
Like, I think my new landline is 06151 blah blah, and my new mobile 01767 blah blah.
Are all mobile numbers generally start with 017, or can the third digit be any number?

Very inconvenient that they have it the opposite way around to the UK ;-)

And, as an amusing aside, if you text a landline in Germany, does the answerphone verbally speak the words...?

Ta.
They've started with 170 and 171 (DT, methinks) and moved up and down the line from there. All mobile numbers, including those europe, use the US-style (XXX) XXX-XXXX ten digit number

Because they were dumb enough to invent the telephone, Canada and the US screwed up by having (XXX) XXX-XXXX numbers for everything. That's why they're running out of numbers. Trivia question: Why were the big cities, regardless of geographic location, assigned low-number area codes (NYC 212, LA 213, etc.?) while podunk areas got 717, 909, etc.? Answer: Because these required the shortest-length dial pulls on the part of the human switchboard operators who had to put through the call in the era before direct-dial long-distance and touch-tone (shortest pulls on the rotary dial ... which, statistically, would be most requested).

Similarly but not quite, the Germans have a pretty logical system ... the bigger the town, the smaller the area code. Berlin's (30), Frankfurt's (69), but out in the boonies you can have (XXXX). this is pretty future-proof. The only problem is that you never know how many local numbers to expect ... it could be anything from XXX to infinity. The Japanese have an even better system ... they went to 8-digit XXXX-XXXX local numbers to give many, many more permutations.

In London, they've moved to the Japanese system, but no one seems to know it. (20) is the city code for London, but they always give their numbers as "+44 (207) XXX-XXXX. and then they start all that "double 2, treble 3" nonesense that makes it impossible to write down their number correctly. Then you snap on UK TV and the prices in adverts are "two-nine-nine" instead of 'two-ninety-nine" ... go figure. Don't even get me started on the "drei mal die zwei, funfundzwanzig zwei mal die zwo" or two-digit endless machine gun ("NULL - funfundsiebsich-zweiundfunfzich dreiundzwanzich-einunddreisich-etc." stuff one gets here It has to shave a full point off of German annual GDP growth because the person on the other end has a 50-50 shot of getting it wrong every time!

P.S. I'm convinced that all of europe (including the UK) could lower their carbon footprint by eliminating the unnecessary "0" in front of telephone numbers painted on the sides of commercial vehicles that only a moron wouldn't be able to assume is as necessary as a '1' is in front of a US number for an out-of-exchange number
</tirade>
ChussKeDweele
All mobile numbers, including those europe, use the US-style (XXX) XXX-XXXX ten digit number
Wrong. I have an 11-digit mobile number. E-plus.
Expaticus
Are you counting the "0" at the front?
Guy
Counting the 0 at the front (which is sensible, since it is what you dial from a landline within Germany, and can dial from a mobile) mine is 017x xxxx xxxx from O2, so 12 digits (11 if you want to ignore the 0) and that's four years old already. My previous two (even older) ones with D2 (now vodafone) and E-Plus had a digit less. Mrs Guy's O2 number has a digit less than mine.

Edit: And yes, texting a landline number (at least on Telekom) results in a voice message. Last time I got one it didn't cope with English and tried the nearest German word. Horrible, horrible system.
YorkshireLad6
All German mobiles begin with 015, 016, or 017 and can be 11 or 12 digits (including the 0). It used to be possible to determine the operator from the fourth digit, but since number portability (moving an existing number to a different network) was introduced this is no longer possible. If you get a new number then the allocations are:
T-Mobile: 0151, 0160, 0170, 0171, 0175
Vodafone: 0152, 0162, 0172, 0173, 0174
E-Plus : 0157, 0163, 0177, 0178
o2: 0176, 0179 (and 0159 but none issued yet)

You can check the provider network of any mobile number by dialling 4387 (if your mobile is T-mobile), 12313 (Vodafone) or 10667 (E-Plus) and entering the number over the keypad. If you are using O2 you need to send an SMS with the text "NETZ phonenumber" to 4636. All these services are free. You can also check number validity and provider at mobile-status.de
YorkshireLad6
Similarly but not quite, the Germans have a pretty logical system ... the bigger the town, the smaller the area code. Berlin's (30), Frankfurt's (69), but out in the boonies you can have (XXXX). this is pretty future-proof.
There was no logic to this, apart from the major cities were the first to get area codes at all, so they were shorter. There was originally a relationship between PLZ (post/zip code) and area code (Munich/089 was 8..., Frankfurt/069 was 6... and Berlin/030 was 3...) but that's long gone. The technology Germany implemented at the outset allowed for (within reason) unlimited digits, so has been easy to expand, which made implentation of ISDN (each customer has up to 10 number) and expansion into East Germany easy, as well as VoIP implementation. This was simply a lucky break.
Chocky
Because they were dumb enough to invent the telephone, Canada and the US screwed up by having (XXX) XXX-XXXX numbers for everything. That's why
Alexander Graham Bell was British (just thought i'd mention that)..
YorkshireLad6
Let's be a little more specific here - he was Scottish.
bluebell16
Hmm.. and we always thought that because he lived and died in Canada, we got to claim him...
YorkshireLad6
Scotland, Canada and the USA all "claim" him. In fact he was born Scottish, died a naturalised American and lived a lot of his life in Canada, where he died
Janx Spirit
And did not invent the telephone, Antonio Meucci did
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