Purpose of use:
Telecommunications service providers give their customers access to the public telephone network by assigning them with numbers via which network accesses can be reached. Connections with other subscribers can be made via the network access.
The legal basis for the assignment and use of geographic numbers is Administrative Order 25/2006:
In recent years the Administrative Order has been amended several times. A version which includes all amendments is available in German: Verfügung 25/2006 konsolidierte Fassung vom 26.01.2022 (pdf / 235 KB)
The Federal Republic of Germany is divided into 5,200 geographic areas for the purpose of addressing network accesses to the public telephone network. Each geographic area is assigned a two to five-digit area code.
Geographic numbers are composed of an area code and a subscriber number. If a subscriber wants to contact another subscriber in the same geographic area, for most telecommunications companies it is only necessary to dial the subscriber number. To establish a connection with a subscriber from another geographic area, the prefix 0 and the relevant area code have to be dialled before the subscriber number.
The area code indicates the geographic location of the subscriber.
Pursuant to Administrative Order 25/2006, geographic numbers are assigned in a two-stage procedure. The Bundesnetzagentur assigns geographic numbers to providers of telecommunications services in number blocks. These primary assignees then contractually assign the numbers to their customers individually or in blocks, in a procedure known as secondary assignment.
The procedure for the assignment of geographic numbers by the Bundesnetzagentur to telecommunications service providers is described in Communication 163/2006. After the Communication came into force, it was amended. A consolidated version including the amendment may be found here:
The procedure for the assignment of geographic numbers by telecommunications service providers to subscribers is regulated in Administrative Order 25/2006. Numbers are assigned on a secondary basis under a contract for network access concluded between a primary assignee, or a third party authorised by the primary assignee, and a subscriber.
The geographic component of geographic numbers must always be observed in the secondary assignment. Unlawfully assigned numbers must be disconnected. More information on this issue may be found in section 3 of Administrative Order 25/2006.
Additional information concerning geographic numbers (eg geographic areas and their borders, area codes, details concerning applications and assignments, files about assigned number blocks, number portability procedures) is available in German here.