Numbering Plan

What Does Numbering Plan Mean?

A numbering plan is a telecommunication scheme through which telephone numbers are assigned to subscribers and telephony endpoints. Each telephone number is an address assigned to an endpoint in a network through which a designated subscriber can be reached. Depending on the local telephony requirements and network, a numbering plan can follow a number of strategies.


A numbering plan is also known as a telephone numbering plan.

Techopedia Explains Numbering Plan

A numbering plan can be generally divided into open and closes numbering plans. An open numbering plan can assign various numbers of digits, while a closed numbering plan has a set number of digits. Numbering plans, in many cases, most significantly depend on the geographical zone of the subscriber: a fixed number of area codes is allotted depending on the state, city or region. Any user dialing from within a network must first specify the area code if dialing outside their local zone. Not only public switched telephone networks (PSTNs) but private telephone networks employ numbering plan schemes as well.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…