Phone System Changes Kill 2 of Mexico's Area Codes

On Friday, Mexico will lose its two area codes, 706 and 905, and will only be reachable through direct international calling or with operator assistance, a PacBell spokesman said.

Area code 706 serves northwestern Mexico, including Mazatlan and all of Baja California, said Tom McNaughten, spokesman at PacBell's regional office in San Diego.

Area code 905 covers Mexico City. In order to reach these areas, callers should dial 011 to invoke the international calling system, then the country code, which is 52 for Mexico, then the city code and local number.

Rates will be unchanged, he said.

Callers who continue to use the area codes will get a recording in Spanish and English with instructions on how to place international calls, McNaughten said.

Mexico was assigned the area codes in 1980 to field a high volume of calls from the United States, McNaughten said. Many of those calls came from areas lacking telephone equipment needed to place international calls and required operator assistance. The area codes allowed the calls to be placed directly.

There were several reasons for revoking the area codes.

Mexico is revamping its phone system, and the area codes are restricting its ability to develop a uniform dialing system, said Bruce Bennett, planning engineer for PacBell.

Changes in area codes are also scheduled to take place in Southern California. By November, 1992, parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties will be serviced by a new 909 area code, instead of the current 714 area code, McNaughten said.

Parts of the San Francisco Bay area will get a 510 area code by this September, and parts of Los Angeles will get a 310 area code by November, McNaughten said.

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