On 31 December, under an agreement with the governing body of country codes, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Inmarsat handed back the four ocean region codes used for its services since operations began in 1982.
These codes – 871, 872, 873 and 874 – should no longer be used when calling an Inmarsat terminal from a terrestrial phone.
The change affects all Inmarsat telephone services – including Inmarsat B, mini-M and Fleet – except for the new broadband services such as FleetBroadband, BGAN and SwiftBroadband and satellite phone services, which already use the +870 code.
“This change was at the request of the ITU, but it will make life easier for anyone wishing to contact an Inmarsat terminal,” said Chris Wortham, who managed the ‘one world, one number’ switchover project for Inmarsat.
“If you call an Inmarsat terminal onboard a vessel, for instance, you no longer need to know in which ocean region it is sailing. Across all our services, +870 is the standard Inmarsat dialling code.”
Inmarsat has been working with Land Earth Station Operators (LESOs) and distribution partners for several years to ensure a smooth transition, and details of the change have been posted in International Mobile Satellite Organisation (IMSO) briefings and ITU operational bulletins, as well as on Inmarsat’s website, e-newsletters and Via Inmarsat magazine.
“Some service providers have seen a significant increase in the use of the +870 code,” said Chris. “Anyone who makes calls to an Inmarsat terminal should ensure that they and their contacts use the +870 code from now on.”
Callers who experience problems using the +870 dialling code can contact Inmarsat’s customer care helpline on +44 (0)20 7728 1030 or visit the website.