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New Jamaica Area Code (s)
Here's What You Need To Know

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Jamaica Area Code(s)
by Deon Clarke

You've heard the chatter, but what's with the current and new Jamaica area codes? I'll share with you the full (and vital) information you require to ensure you are not adversely impacted.

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The Current State

Jamaica currently has two area (country) codes:

  1. 876, which is the primary area code
  2. And 658, which became effective May 31, 2018. 

The introduction of this new area code was critical as the 876 code was nearing exhaustion. 

As a result, the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) took the necessary steps to ensure that we have enough numbers are available for at least another 25 years to satisfy the growing demand. 

The two main mobile and landline service providers, FLOW and DIGICEL utilize these two area codes.

The Prior State

Prior to October 29, 2018, to make local calls in Jamaica you could use the regular 7-digit phone number. 

However, it is now mandatory that you place the country area code before this 7-digit number in order for the call to connect.

If you fail to do this, you will get a message from the network service provider that 10 digit dialing is now in effect and that you should hang up and redial using the area code PLUS the seven digit number.

Important points to Note About The New Jamaica Area Code

The 658 area code (like 876) are not toll-free numbers and you will most certainly be billed at international long distance calling rates if you use any other area code.

  • The 658 area code is not a replacement to the 876 code, but rather, an addition.
  • 10-digit dialing does not affect your telephone charges or current telephone number in any way.
  • The 658 area code will be used once the 876 code has been depleted.
  • You can make calls between each of these area codes without additional charge.

How to make a LOCAL phone call IN Jamaica, using 10-digit dialing

So you just bought a new phone and not quite sure how to make a call, or you’re just not sure about all these changes, simply dial the three Jamaica area code (eg. 876) plus the 7 digit phone number you are calling.  

For example: 876-xxx-xxxx or 658-xxx-xxxx. 

Always make sure you verify the correct area code with the person you are calling. 

It is quite possible you might just get the wrong person on the other end as they might have the same 7 digit phone number.  You certainly don’t want to do that! 

As you can see, using the right area code would make a huge difference!


Calling Toll-Free Numbers in Jamaica

The toll-free area code in Jamaica is 888.  Prior to this new 10-digit dialing, you would have called dialed a toll-free number in Jamaica with a 1 before the number such as 1-888-xxx-xxxx. 

Now you have one less number to dial. The 1 is no loner required. You just simply dial 888-xxx-xxxx.  If you happen to forget and dial the 1, you will just get a recording asking you to redial without the 1.

Calling Jamaica From OUTSIDE Jamaica

Whether a potential visitor, in the diaspora, family or for business, at some point, you'll need to call back into Jamaica while outside, simply dial:


  1. The number 1,
  2. Plus the three digit area code (876 or 658)
  3. Plus the 7-digit code and you’re connecting to.
    For example 1-876-123-4567 OR 1-658-123-4567

Its that simple.

This format can always be used as long as the country is a part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP).   

For more details on countries and states using this plan, please visit this wikipedia.org article.

The Future

Phone and phone calls are not just a convenience today, its a necessity! Who’s to tell, maybe in another 25 years we’ll have another one or two additional area codes in Jamaica. 

Until then…. stay connected. I hope to hear from you via one of these local areas in Jamaica soon :-)

Regards,
DC

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References:

  • 876 and 658: All You Need To Know About Jamaica’s New Area Code, http://digjamaica.com/m/blog/876-and-658-all-you-need-to-know-about-jamaicas-new-area-code/
  • Jamaica gets additional area code — 658, http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Jamaica_gets_additional_area_code_658
  • Jamaica Gets Additional Area Code, https://jis.gov.jm/jamaica-gets-additional-area-code/
  • Area codes 876 and 658, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_codes_876_and_658

Other Pages Related To Jamaica Area Code(s)

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