How Many Phone Numbers Are There Across the World

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There will be more than 11.2 billion phone numbers worldwide in 2023, GSMA Intelligence explains. 

Everyday life is easier with our phones. Phone numbers are an essential part of using mobile phones. 

Phone numbers are unique. Depending on the country, there are a certain number of digits to create different phone numbers. No two contact numbers are the same. 

In this article, you will discover how many phone numbers there are worldwide and fascinating facts about them. 

Fascinating Statistics About Phone Numbers

On GSMA Intelligence and in the latest mobile phone usage statistics, they show the following data:

  • There are more than 5.5 billion mobile subscribers in the world. 
  • 67% of the world’s population connects through mobile networks. 
  • There are more than 5 billion cell phone or smartphone users worldwide.
  • 70% of internet traffic is from mobile devices. It is because internet access is possible through phone number registration.
  • Users open 42% of all emails on their mobile devices.
  • 3.6 billion people use their mobile devices to access social media.
  • Mobile users consume an average of 9.67GB monthly. 

Mobile devices and their allocated numbers made communication readily available. You can instantly call or text anywhere in the world with a signal. 

Phone Number Count in the USA

According to Statista, there are over 361.66 Million cellular subscribers in the USA. With a population of 336 million, the figure shows that phone owners use more than one phone number. 

Mobile phone numbers in the USA consist of ten digits. Three digits are for the area codes, and seven are a unique combination of numbers. The area codes refer to the geographic area where the phone number belongs.

Because “1” indicates that you are about to dial an area code, the area codes cannot start with it. The system reserves specific off-limits area codes. These refer to 611 for companies and 911 for emergency calls.

The American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (AT&T) called this numbering plan the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). 

The USA, Bermuda, Canada, and most Caribbean regions use this system. It includes Caribbean Dutch Territories and British Overseas Territories, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

This system aimed to lessen the manual labor of telephone operators and the toll call costs. Over the years, direct dial and long-distance calls became possible. 

As technology grows, the introduction of Wireless Local Number Portability (WLNP) changes phone number usage. You can switch to wireless service and keep the number as long as they’re within the geographic area. 

You have legal agreements involving fees. It means you should end existing contracts before using a number from a new carrier. 

You need to update phone number records when you start a new contract. Otherwise, your phone number may become unallocated.

Unallocated Numbers in the USA

An unallocated number is a number that the system did not assign to a specific consumer. 

It may also happen when:

  • You enter the wrong number
  • You have unpaid phone bills.
  • There are temporary network issues. 
  • You dialed a spoofed number.

Checking twice or thrice can help avoid unallocated numbers. Besides, some mobile phone users have or will have many phone numbers. Some do this to prevent cell phone identity theft 

It poses the question: Will America ever run out of mobile phone numbers? 

America Running Out of Mobile Phone Numbers

The USA can run out of mobile phone numbers. Because the ordered combination for phone numbers is finite, users may have used all available combinations.

There are two possibilities when phone numbers are running out:

Changing Area Codes

On WJCT News, northeast Florida needs more phone numbers. It’s why the Florida Public Service Commission received a proposal to create new area codes. It came from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), who manages NANP. 

Adding More Digits 

In the 1990s, America started to add secondary area codes to cater to the rising need for phone numbers. FCC noted that America needed 10-digit dialing. Following the trend, adding more digits to phone numbers can happen. 

Those are the workable options that America can do when it uses all mobile phone numbers. 

Bottom Line

The USA has one of the highest counts of phone numbers, placing fourth worldwide. As personal and business demands grow, so as the number of digits. 

When America runs out of phone numbers, changing area codes or adding more digits can happen. After all, the system and the people can transform when needed. 

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