The 262 area code is the code assigned to the North American region and covers the areas of Wisconsin. It was created in September 1999. Previously there was the code called 414 area code covering much of the areas in the suburbs of Milwaukee except for the Milwaukee County.
Earlier the parts of Wisconsin on the eastern side were operated by the code 414. This continued for about 50 years. Later Fox River Valley and the Green Bay were both separated in 1997 by giving the 920 area code. The splitting of these areas was considered to be a long term solution which will help in managing the phone system in the region. This turned out to be wrong because the number of pagers and cell phones started increasing in the coming times. So only after two years 414 area code was brought back. This also turned out to be a temporary solution because area code 414 was also filled with numbers now. This paved way for bringing 262 area code. This was an over lay for south eastern Wisconsin. In this way people have to use a new procedure of dialling numbers around. This was the reason people had resisted it in the beginning. The area code and the new dialling procedure made the authorities to review the decision again. This led to a further revision in which turned 262 area code to be the dialling code for regions outside the Milwaukee County which earlier had 414 area code. However Washington and Waukesha still stayed with the same code of 414.
This seems to be a permanent solution because authorities say that the 262 area code will not be needing any other alterations within 30 years. This sounds surprising although the number of telecommunication devices is ever increasing.
Which counties come under the 262 area code?
Waukesha and Washington with area codes shared with 414, Walworth, Racine, Ozaukee and Kenosha.
Villages, cities and town that come in 262 area code
Zenda, Wilmot, Williams Bay, Whitewater, West Bend, Waukesha, Waterford, Walworth, Wales, Vernon, Union Grove, Twin Lakes, Trevor, Theinsville, Sussex, Sullivan, Sturtevant, Stone Bank, Springfield, Somers, Slinger, Silver Lake, Sharon, Saukville, Salem, Rochester, Richfield, Racine, Powers Lake, Port Washington, Pleasant Prairie, Pewaukee, Pell Lake, Paddock Lake, Okauchee, Oconomowoc, North Prairie, North Lake, Newburg, New Munster, New Berlin, Nashotah, Muskego, Mukwonago, Merton, Mequon, Menomonee Falls, Lyons, Lannon, Lake Geneva, Kewaskum, Kenosha, Kansasville, Jackson, Hubertus, Honey Creek, Hartland, Grafton, Germantown, Genoa City, Genesee Depot, Fredonia, Franksville, Fontana, Erin, Elm Grove, Elkhorn, East Troy, Eagle, Dousman, Delavan, Delafield, Darien, Colgate, Cedarburg, Camp Lake, Butler, Burlington, Brookfield, Bristol, Big Bend, Benet Lake, Belgium, Bassett, Auburn and Allenton.
What are area codes?
Area codes are the arrangements and allocation of the telephone numbers related to particular areas. It is not the complete number but part of the sequence. The numbers consists of different combinations with prefixes and then the actual number of the subscribers.
In United States, its nearby territories, the Caribbeans and Canada this system of assigning numbers and arranging them come under the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA). They assign the prefixes and codes to the regions and make all the alterations if there is much traffic of numbers in a particular region.
They follow a basic format in which the numbers are arranged something like this.
NPA-NXX-XXXX or (NPA) NXX-XXXX. The alphabets in this sequence are different codings.
This represents the area codes. The system of area codes came into existence in 1940. These codes were developed by AT&T with this the Bell System had divided the areas into “Number Plan Area” or NPA. They are also called area codes among which 262 area code is one. This system although was developed in the 40s but it came full into practice till the 50s. Some of the area codes are used to serve special purposes. For example, 800 is the area code reserved for free calls. According to this system the caller is not paying the charges rather the one who is called is the charge bearer. It can also be said that all some area codes are in use while others are not.
After the area code comes the exchange number or the prefix. These are the cellphones or landline numbers. These are booked by different telephone carriers in an area code. It is not necessary that all exchanges or prefixes are in use.
This last part of the phone number are the ones used by the subscriber or the number holder. Thus can said the personal number of the cellphones or the landline. It may also include the wireless calling system, internet or fax machines. The subscriber numbers for each of the area code, NPA or prefix, NXX can have up to 10000 numbers estimated. Currently the total numbers are 1,699,140,000. Each person can have at maximum four numbers. This is stated according to census conducted in the United States and Canada and World Bank. A person now is not necessarily limited to just one number but different numbers for different types of telecommunication system.
Why was there a need of area codes?
In the past the system of calling long distance was to get an operator in between. It was in 1947 that AT&T created a nation-wide system of introducing area codes which would help in making long distance calls directly. In this way there was no operator needed.
The numbering system needed some protocols. To spare the confusion with the operator the first digit cannot be a zero neither a 1 because if technical issues.
If the area code was for a province or state then the second digit should be 0. If it is for a part of the province or state then it should be 1.
The strategy for issuance of area codes was different back then. There were areas where the population was heavy and so was the calling traffic. At that time there were rotary phone with dial in round shape and in order to make a call the dial had to be rotated all around. The lower numbers were close to the dial so they were easy to dial. Such area codes with lower numbers were given to areas with higher population to ease the dialing. For example New York had area code 212 (2+1+2 equalled 5 pulses), likewise Los Angeles 213, Chicago 312. These were all highly populated regions. Rural areas were given higher numbers South Dakota 605.
What was done when the demand of numbers increased?
In 1990 the usage of cell phones was gaining popularity and with that there was an ever increasing demand of new numbers all of a sudden. With this need to be fulfilled the companies now needed new and more prefixes. With more usage of internet, DSL and dial up and other services like cable, internet providers all demanded for their own prefixes. At that time for less dense population splits were applied and for more populated areas overlays were a resolve.
Splits and overlays
The more the area was populated there was a need for more than one area codes. This required the region’s area codes to be ‘split’ to cater for the demands of the consumers. This thus led to confusion because the consumers in the populated area were using the old numbers assigned to them. Less populated area had new area code assigned which was an attempt to free more of the numbers. People couldn’t really catch up with the changes and their updated versions of business cards, directories, personal cards and letterheads were still creating problems for people were dialling wring numbers.
Overlays were introduced in 1992 with 917 area code. It increases the account of numbers of an area and serves only one geographic location. With this system introduced people had to dial 7-digits for local calls and for long distance calls the area code was to be dialled with the 7- digit making it a 10-digit number. With area code 301 introduction in 1997 the procedure of dialling for even local calls was 10-digits and this had faced public resistance. However currently in both the countries Canada and United States overlays are working and there are no more splits except for few regions. These are Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Memphis, Louisville, Jacksonville, El Paso and Detroit. The seven digit is not functional in major cities.
Difference between split and overlays
Split is an area code that deals with one geographical location while overlays are more than one codes for a geographical location
Rate centre (related to billing) is important in split that consumer can have different codes according to their rate centre or billing. In overlays the consumers will receive different area codes for different numbers. In a building the area codes can be different for varying locations.
With splits there is 7-digit dialling for local calls. In overlays the area codes are for local and long distance calls both.
In splits when there is a new area code assigned then the number has to be changed on all the business cards or stationery etc. Everyone has to be notified for the new area code. With overlays the entire dialling procedure is changed which requires reprogramming the automatic dialling to 10-digit not the previous 7-digits.
Splits are able to shrink the volume of geographical location which overlays cannot do.
Why are overlays so confusing?
Splits have a simple phenomenon in which a network is split into two to support the burden of information. Overlays render confusion because they are a network which is built over the existing network. So the two of the networks working and then trying to operate which then puzzles the users. In the same way in telecommunication when there was a burden of so many numbers then overlays were introduced in the highly populated areas. The existing area codes were not abolished rather new area codes were assigned. A single area would have more than one area codes due to which the ten digit dialling has to be done. It will be common to see that two adjacent houses will have different numbers. A single workplace can even have separate numbers for fax, landline or cell phone.
Advantages of overlays
Overlays are advantageous that they help in moving the virtual machines without any physical boundaries. Data can be routed from one pathway to multiple with flexibility. File sharing, data routing, putting protocols and developing them all comes easy on the overlay system. Overlays had brought a revolution in the telephonic system with a solution. Many people had resisted this system because of the complexity of having to handle different numbers for different codes in a same region or single office. This was the a resolution had brought cost efficiency as well.
Disadvantages of overlays
The networks are much complicated because there are multiple tasks going on in the process. This is attributed to the multiple software layers and processes. Much of power is utilized in making the procedures undergo. In addition if there are any changes in the virtual networks then the physical networks are not very good at adapting to it.
Special numbers for special purposes
The special and standardised number for emergency situations is 911. It can be used for the services like ambulance, police and fire. This number is totally free of cost and not even coins are required for and can dialled from mobile phones or pay phones.
If there is an assistance required regarding the telephone directories the 411 is the number. This number can also be used for advertisements where a caller receives the recorded advertisement first and then the number is given.
800 is a toll free number in which the caller is not liable to pay any charges for the call but actually the one who is called has to pay. Some of the hotels and motels charge for the call but consumers should be aware that this number prefix is free of cost
The 900 number is the one which is charged per minute. Company providing information regarding travel or weather prior inform the consumer of the charges with option of hanging up the call before it starts charging for the call.
While the stays in the hotel, they charge for toll free numbers, long distance calls and local calls. The card in the hotel has list of all the charges which should be gone through thoroughly before making a call. If such card is not present then the front desk and reception should be approached so you do not get any additional unknown charges.
Cellular services are widely used around the United States. This service is readily available in the suburban and urban areas, motorways and highways. These may not be very efficient service in remote areas, rural areas, natural attractions or national parks.
Currently there are four major companies that are operating in the country. Namely Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint/Nextel and AT&T. Apart from them there are local service providers as well. These services can be prepaid in which the company would sell this service to a consumer as per their region or country. The charges have to be paid in advance based monthly or per minute. Sometimes the prepaid service can be limited to their or few regions so before travelling to other regions it should be made sure that the particular service is available in the travelled region as well.
The cellphones provider in United Stated is divided in two Verizon and Sprint/Nextel use CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access). T-Mobile and AT&T use GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) or simply the use of SIM chips. The bands used in United States are different from that of Europe. The frequency used in US, Mexico and Canada is 800/850 and 1900 MHz. Europe uses the bands 900 and 1800 MHz.
When purchasing a cellphone GSM from any retailer in United States the customer should make sure that the phone is unlocked. Some companies sell their phones in cheap or discounted prices. These phones are locked and can only be functioning with their particular network.
These locked phones have coded segments in the cellphone’s firmware. Softwares can be used to disable these locks. It is not necessary that a single software may help rather a special cable, hardware or combination of softwares. These well need special trained person or additional expense.
For cost efficient purchase of SIM card then getting them online. There will be some Simple Calling SIM cards which may offer apparently that they are cost efficient but they are actually costing connection fee for calls. Consumer should be aware that these companies are offering cheap rates but have hidden charges for calls or services. The calls incoming or outgoing all have charges in United States. The calls from cellphones or landlines cost the same. However few of the companies have limited calls on which charges start applying on calls after a minute.
Residential phones, cell phones or hotels may charge more for making long distance and international calls. Making them cheap is possible with calling cards. Gas stations, liquor stores, drug stores or mini markets readily sell these cards. They are also available at airports, convention centres and some hotels but they may only be functional at these spots only. It should be confirmed first. There are also calling cards which would offer discount to specific countries. Maybe some stores from specific ethnicity will be selling this card. The card comes with a list of numbers which can be the 800 number as we’ll. It comes with a PIN number which is concealed with a covering. After rubbing it off the number will reveal and it can be used for further process.
History of area codes
Area codes became a requirement when there was increase in number of users. In 1940s AT&T took the responsibility to establish the area codes which came to effect in 1947. This came under the North America Numbering Plan designed for the United States and Canada.
There were stars which had a single code and they were then reassigned with three digit code with 0 in the middle. For example Florida had code 305, Connecticut 203. 86 area codes were designated at that time. Another numbering system was for the states and the provinces which had more than one area code and the digit in the middle was 1. For example for sections of California the code was 916 and 213. New York had two codes as well 518 and 212.
Third digit in the code was according to the population. With denser population lower numbers were given while with lesser population the number were of higher order. New York City had code 212 while the areas adjacent to it had 914. The reason is already mentioned was due tithe rotary dial phone sets. So lower numbers were quickly dialled with heavier call traffic and vice versa.
What is number exhaustion?
North America is the second biggest continent of the world. That obviously brings much of the population as well. America being the land of opportunity has it cities now flooding and with technology spreading the wings of telecommunication as well the perspective has changed. People having access to cell phones, landline, fax machines and internet their demands towards the telecommunication authorities are ever increasing. This has put a pressure on the authorities equally and they are bringing changes frequently to cater.
Making a phone call is not simple anymore. The reason can be attributed to number exhaustion. This is a technical term used for the ever increasing demands of the phone numbers. After 1995 there were 138 area codes being added which makes a total of 344 area codes across the nation. The authorities are doing all their efforts to meet the demands but that has created immense confusion among the users. In much advanced cities like Boston or New York the area codes are mixed up with the old ones.
The devices of communication are increasing and their demand for numbers as well. So much so that in the past it was only required to have seven digit number to make a local call but now the same call needs ten or eleven digit number. Some people may also feel a cluttering of numbers. It is tough easy for the companies to increase the number rather to altogether upgrade their system. Many people also fear that the burdens of numbers are ever increasing and within a decade all the numbers will be sold out. This will leave the authorities with no other option but to increase the digits.
Asian and Europeans countries have dealt with their number exhaustion with a simple formula of adding a single digit in the beginning of original number. For example the number for London’s Tate Gallery was 887-8008. By adding one number it is now 7887-8008. This is criticized for United States that why does it use the same procedure to deal with the problem. The reason possibly could be that the system of eight digit code was also left by countries like France. They had switch to a ten digit numbering system from seven digits. Plus the number allotment for America is much bigger that it estimates 500 million numbers giving two numbers to every man woman or well connected child.
Many people thus may assume that switching to eight digit system of numbering is easy instead of allotting area codes and increasing the number size to ten. Yes easy as it may sound but there are certain adaptations to the systems which does not make it any simple. This would require new switching equipment and software reprogramming for routing the calls. For the inter office communication there will be new equipment needed called PBX which is an automated switchboard with several other measures.
Not to mention all of these modification will be costly enough to cost roughly $75 million. This amount can even rise up to $150 million as well. Yes it is bothersome for many people to be dialling ten digits even for the local calls. The situation varies according to the population and very much depends upon it. For less populous area the geographical location would simply be split into two assigning different codes. Areas with more population overlay approach was taken. This included adding more areas codes to the already existing ones.
New York has been an exceptional case because they did not adopt to the two digit system rather have filed the case for disregarding the system and are still using the seven digit system. Amusingly the discussion of area codes made its way to seasons as well. In Simpsons people were shown to have divided by introduction of new area code and the main lead Homer Simpsons vows to build and war dividing the town after becoming the mayor.
The ten digit number and the use of area codes had gradually reduced the need of operators. The system was successfully adopted not only across the United States but also in the Caribbean and Canada. With passage of time the telecommunication industries will have to move to eleven or twelve digits considering the demands. This will also cost them hefty amounts as well but that is inevitable. Many critics consider that the lives of people have mingled up in numbers and these numbers will only be ever confusing. As the demands will increase the circumstances will be more baffling. The authorities are also working to bring about systems which will satisfy for the demands and have the population contented.
Technology has squeezed all the distances and brought people together. The advancement what we see today is all result of long standing effort and hard work. All of this has become possible because many people had their innovations and inventions behind this. Let us all respect that and serve them with gratitude. Bearing the burden of immense need to telecommunication demands was never easy but the North American Numbering Plan Authority had put their heads together to bring about the most feasible plan ahead for convenience of people. 262 area code is one such example in which the growing need is fulfilled by giving new area codes. Many people would criticise this non-conventional way of putting up the numbering system but this has so far served the purpose right. Region which are densely populated give much bigger challenge to the authorities so they had to come up with the plan of overlay. The idea did confuse many people but this turned out to be a solution well suited adapting as per the technological equipment available with the companies. In the future there certainly be need for more numbers but surely the authorities would have had the solution already prepared. Currently they claim to have the numbering system sufficient for coming thirty years but then many also assume that this seems unreal. Growing population have growing demands but the near future will certainly have some other solutions underway which will help in coping with the problems at hand. This surety is given by the way authorities had been dealing with problems in the past.
Frequently asked questions
Below are some questions related to the article readily answered.
1. What area code is 252 in United States?
The North American Numbering Plan NANP has assigned the code 252 to the state of North Carolina.
2. Where is area code 414 for cell phones?
The area code 414 is for the city and area of Milwaukee in the state of Wisconsin. This code was created in October 1947 with 715 as being the original area codes for Wisconsin.
3. Which country is using code 277?
Code +277 ids used by the country South Africa.
4. What is area code in mobile numbers?
The mobile numbers are ten digit long and begin with the designated area code for example the number 7513200000 has 751 as the area code and the rest is the cell number. The length of number for landline is 8 digits.