South Sudan gets 211 as international dialing code


The country code may seem like a small thing, but signifies sovereignty and independence, said Hamadoun Touré, the secretary general of the ITU, in the statement. "We join with the international community in congratulating the government and people of South Sudan on achieving full nationhood," he said.

As a young country, South Sudan faces challenges, but the power of modern connectivity will bring a tremendous boost in areas such as commerce, health and education, he said. The ITU pledged to help South Sudan with advice on the necessary steps toward improved connectivity.

For more than 12 months between 2008 and 2009, a South Sudan telco, GEMTEL, rented the Uganda country code, 256. While other telcos used the Sudan code, 249, GEMTEL rented the Uganda code for a while.

Use of the Uganda code for that period resulted in court action where MTN Uganda took Uganda Telecom to court demanding unpaid interconnection fees of US$2.17 million from Uganda Telecom.

At one point, MTN threatened to shut off calls of Uganda Telecom customers until the outstanding monies were paid.