Area code 431 was allotted as an overlay of area code 204 in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Both the area codes cover the entire province of Manitoba in Canada. Area code 204 was one of the original area codes that were assigned at the very beginning in the year 1947 whereas area code 431 was introduced on the 3rd of November, 2012 after the 10-digit dialing was made mandatory in Canada.
The province of Manitoba also has area code 584 as an additional overlay of the existing area codes and will be used in services from October 2022. The incumbent carrier for local exchange for these area codes is Bell MTS.
Area code including 7-digit telephone numbers makes a 10-digit dialing number. When area code 431 was announced, it was made mandatory. As a norm, when there are two or more area codes that serve the same geographical area, a 10-digit dialing number must be implemented. Through this dialing system, one has to enter both the area code and telephone number to make even a local call.
One can understand from an example that there can be two same numbers in the same building. If area code is not used, it becomes impossible to understand for the system which exact number to connect to. Clubbing it with the area code, one can distinguish the same telephone numbers in the same geographical area but with different area codes.
Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA) made a forecast in 2009 that the existing area code 204 would get exhausted in the coming years. The prime reason was the rate at which the new numbers were being assigned in the area. Although the population of the area was only about 1.2 million and the area code 204 was providing about 7.8 million numbers. Since number pooling was not implemented in Canada hence this exhaustion was primarily caused by the proliferation of mobile phones and more so around the area of Winnipeg.
For those who do not understand the number pooling, it is basically once a telephone number is assigned to a rate center, it cannot be reassigned to any other place even if the rate center is already having sufficient numbers for its service.
This was the reason that a new overlay area code 431 was approved in the month of July 2010 by the CR&TC (Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission). The implementation was planned in November 2012 by the authority. Before the implementation, they also mandated the 10-digit dialing system on 30th July 2012 which was a prerequisite for having an overlay area code.
That also caused the tedious task of allocating about 15.6 million telephone numbers to a geographical region of only about 1.2 million population. However, this method was preferred by the local carriers to the other method of splitting the geographical area into two regions for area code.
Some key facts about area code 431
Area: It primarily serves the entire province of Manitoba in Canada.
Major Cities: Brandon, Bissett, Churchill, Cross Lake, Clear Lake, Easterville, Deloraine, Gimli, Gillam, Hamiota, Grand Beach, Killarney, Holland, Oxford House, Manitou, Riverton, Portage La Prairie, Ste. Rose du Lac, Selkirk, Swan River, Virden, Strathclair, Winnipeg, The Pas, etc.
Canada’s Dialing Code: +1 is the dialing code of Canada.
Time-zone: This area code is located in the Central time zone also known as America/Chicago time zone. It follows CST (Central Standard Time) and from mid-march to early November, it follows CDT (Central Daylight Time) when daylight saving time is observed. Standard Time is GMT – 6.00 hours & Daylight saving time is +1:00 hour
Introduction date: It came into existence on the 3rd November 2012.
Nearby Area Codes: 218 for Duluth (MN), 701 for North Dakota, 306 & 639 for Saskatchewan, 867 for Northern Canada, 807 for Kenora (ON) & 907 for Alaska,