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Country Code – what is a country code?


What is the country code?

Country code or ISO-3166-1 alpha-2 standard represents the numeric geographic code or short alphabetic names for countries and their dependent areas. This standard is typically helpful for programming, communication, and data processing fields. These codes are also helpful in the aviation domain. Different standards represent the countries and their dependent areas, including two-digit representation using the ISO-3166-1 alpha-2 representation, for three-digit representation ISO-3166-1 alpha-3 standard is used, and for numeric representation ISO-3166-1 numeric representation is used. The ISO-3166-1 alpha-2 is the most commonly used standard for communication and data processing purposes.

What is ISO-3166-1 alpha-2?

In ISO-3166-1 standard, the two-letter country code definition is alpha-2, representing two-digit countries and their territories. This standard was defined under ISO standard in 1974 for the first time, including the special areas of geographical interests, and is a more commonly used standard compared to ISO alpha-3 and ISO numeric standards. In addition, ISO-3166-1 alpha-2 is more prominently used for the internet’s country code top-level domain, extending their value to postal codes for countries identifiers used for international postal communication systems.

Why do we need a country code?

Country code is the most used standard in today’s communication, in international or national calls, internet usage, and/or WhatsApp chatting and calling. For example, we use the country code to add our numbers. The two-digit numeric country codes are helpful in this type of communication. However, the alpha-2 country code representation is highly helpful for written communication and data representation. Country code importance was even emphasized with the arrival of the internet when domain names services were allotted based on country codes to identify the web traffic from different countries. Now country code is equally important in communication as well as on the web.

How to use country code?

For communication purposes over the call, we can use the country code by entering the country code of the respective country followed by the communication network provider code and lastly by dialing the number of the receiving party. The syntax will be as follows:

  1. Country code for Telephone Communication

When using international telephone, however this method is getting obsolete due to mobile phones and other ways of communication, but still many countries and its users are using this method. The country code is entered after dialing the (011) international standard followed by the country code of the country one is calling in, followed by the area code, followed by the phone number of the receiver end.

For example: (011)-44(country code)-12(area/service provider code)-XXXX (receiver end code)

  1. Country code for Mobile communication

Mobile communication has brought global communication closer than ever in history resulting in massive use of country code. We are communicating over mobile using country code especially when we are using social media apps like WhatsApp calls. Here the international code of (011) is replaced by + sign which is followed by a country code, service provider code and receiver code. for example: +44(country code)-466(service provider/area code)- XXXX (receiver code).

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