Challenges persist with St. Maarten’s new country dialing code implementation

POSTED: 01/17/12 12:27 PM

St. Maarten – Nearly three and a half months after the dialing code (+1-721) was launched on September 30 there are still international providers that have not programmed it into their switches. This means that people calling from abroad will still have to use (599) in order to reach people living on or visiting the island.

Public Relations Officer at the Bureau Telecommunications and Post Ryan Wijngaarde was unable to say how many international providers have made the change thus far, but he did assert that all the major carriers, in especially the United States, have already made the switch.
“We’re dealing with at least 10,000 carriers around the world in a top down approach. Most of them have made the change already but there are hundreds of carriers and sub-carriers in the United States alone. We’ve informed all our roaming partners and we’ve also sent notifications to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and notified fellow regulators. So now we’re relying on the countries to make the switch,” Wijngaarde said.
Even if a company has made the switch people calling from outside from St. Maarten can still use 599 as the area code because the one year permissive dialing period won’t end until later this year.

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