Numbering principles

The purpose of telephone numbers is to identify the equipment linked to the network. They follow the structure of the national numbering plan, which in Belgium is managed by BIPT. The number has to be dialled on the caller’s device to reach the person called. 

Just like other national numbering plans the Belgian plan fits into an international numbering plan managed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 

Phone numbers can contain information about the type of service (for example, in Belgium numbers of the 046xxxxxxx, 047xxxxxxx, 048xxxxxxx, 049xxxxxxx type are reserved for GSM services), the location of the person called (02 for the Brussels area, 03 for Antwerp or 04 for Liège, for instance), the operator used (provided the number has not been ported to another operator) or the costs (calls to an 0800 number are free for the caller while there is a premium charge for the numbers of the 0900 type).

From Belgium you can access the international services by dialling 00 followed by the prefix of the country involved, which for example is 33 for France or 32 for Belgium if you are abroad. The international prefix is not always 00 and is often indicated by + in numbers. BIPT’s international number for instance is as follows: 00 32 2 226 88 88 or + 32 2 226 88 88. (When a number is given in its international form the 0 prefix is not indicated.) Within Belgium the BIPT number is written as 02 226 88 88.