Telecom ABC - H


Harmonised European Short Codes (HESC) is a concept of harmonising similar national telecommunications services in Europe behind the national numbering range starting with digits 116. The main characteristics of HESC are:

  • The services are national,
  • The services are non-commercial,
  • The services are for public interest,
  • The dialling is by short codes (4 digits: 116x or 6 digits: 116xxx),
  • The short codes are harmonised across Europe.

HESC will be used for non-commercial services for proven public demand only. The called party to whom the number is assigned will not be allowed to make profit from calls to HESC and has to be a non-for profit or governmental organisation.

One of the first numbers that will be made available throughout Europe is 116 000. This number will be used as a national hotline for missing children. Another example of a harmonised national service is road assistance.

The numbering format of the HESC will be 116X or 116XXXX, i.e. a 4 digit or 6 digit structure. Some values of the fourth digit will have to be reserved for 6 digits codes. As a start the number range 1160xx and 1161xx will be opened.

The HESC will be open for national calls only. This means that it will not be possible to open traffic for +CC1 116X calls from abroad.

CC means country code e.g. 31 for the Netherlands or 44 for the UK. 1

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