For companies who would like to send SMS, nothing very complicated technically. However, what about shipments on telephone numbers abroad? Here is a simple and practical mini guide to know how to format international telephone numbers correctly so that your messages pass the borders without incident.

Step 1: The country's code

Each telephone number includes a first part devoted to the country's code, also called "international country code". This is in the form of a 1 to 3 digit code, preceded by the sign "+" or "00".

For example, it will be +44 for UK, +49 for Germany, +34 for Spain, and so on.

This first part is essential because without it, the phone number you can enter may be interpreted in a completely different way.

Step 2: standard E.164

E.164 designates a standard standard telephone number format recognized internationally, making it possible to guarantee the delivery of calls or SMS sent to public telephone network of the country.

Here is what formatting E.164:

  • Country code: +44
  • National destination code: 07 for mobile
  • Subscriber number: 11 22 33 44
  • Result: +44711223344

The last two elements, namely the National destination code and the subscriber number, form the national number of the person.


  • When you enter the full number, there must be no space between the different elements.
  • The numbers in accordance with E.164 format are limited to a maximum of 15 figures.
  • When you enter the country's code, remember to delete the "0" in front of the national number. For example, if the contact number of the contact is 0751122331, it becomes +33751122331.

For companies with customers outside the country, it is important to have telephone numbers converted to international format in order to be able to communicate with them correctly, especially as part of SMS marketing campaigns for example.

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