Reminder: Vietnam’s Area Codes Change

Daily News - Saigon/HCMC: Feb. 15, 2017

Many have probably forgotten last year’s news about an extensive area code change to be conducted in Vietnam in February, 2017. However, February 2017 is now, so we feel we should remind you of this major but rather clandestinely communicated news.

As early as 1 March 2015, the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communication published Circular No. 22, a decree announcing the change of landline phone area codes in 59 of the 63 cities and provinces across the country. The plan will change codes in three phases, taking place in February, April and June. Take a look at the chart below to see which area codes will change when.

Area code change vietnam

The first phase took place on 11 February 2017, and 13 cities and provinces got their new area codes. Hanoi and HCMC will only follow in June. Mobile numbers will not be affected.

During the first month after the change, you will still be able to reach your friends, colleagues and business partners using the old area code. In the subsequent 30 days, however, callers will hear an announcement informing them of the changes made. For the cities in the first phase, as of 11 April 2017, callers will not be able to reach anyone using the old area code.

This is especially important for all those who run businesses. Don’t forget to update your business cards as well the contact section on your website!

Why the Change?

As to the reasons of the area code change, the Ministry of Information and Communication stated that the separation and merging of cities and provinces caused fixed-line area codes to be of inconsistent length. Currently, there are one-, two- and three-digit codes.

“The full phone numbers therefore range from ten to 11 digits, which are confusing and hard to remember, going against international practice,” the ministry said. From this year on, they will systematically be changed to three digits, with the exception of Hanoi and HCMC, which will have the two-digit codes 24 and 28, respectively.

The changes will be completed on August 31, 2017.

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