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news 06 Feb 18

Kosovo Buzzes as New Country Code Hits Messaging App

People in Kosovo reacted enthusiastically as instant messaging and internet call service Viber became the first telecommunications application to use Kosovo’s own international dialling code.

Die Morina
Photo: BIRN.

There was an enthusiastic reaction on social media after Viber users in Kosovo were notified on Monday evening that numbers on their phone list were being changed to show the country's new dialling code, +383.

“Calls and messages in the direction of Kosovo can now be received by +383 from almost the entire world,” the director of the Regulatory Authority of Electronic and Postal Communications in Kosovo, ARKEP, Kreshnik Gashi, wrote on Facebook.

Photo: Kallxo.com

Kosovo’s former foreign minister Petrit Selimi hailed the development.

“Few days before #Kosovo celebrates 10th Anniversary of Independence, Kosovars are finally able to use a new phone dialling number +383,” Selimi wrote on Twitter.

“Everyone’s phones are buzzing with notifications of new numbers! No more Slovene, Monaco and Serbian dialling numbers,” he added.

Until now, people in Kosovo have been using the international dialling codes +377 (Monaco) or +386 (Slovenia).

Kosovo Telecom meanwhile used +381, Serbia’s dialling code, for landline calls.

The +383 code was allocated to the country by the International Telecommunication Union in December 2016

When it was used to make a call for the first time on February 2017, Kosovo Telecom said it will take up to 18 months to phase out the other codes operating in the country.

Kosovo had long tried to obtain its own country code but was held up by continued disputes over its independence, which is not recognised by Serbia, its ally Russia and five EU countries, amongst others.

The long-delayed agreement on the allocation of a code was reached between Pristina and Belgrade in November 2016.

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