The Story Behind London’s 0207 Area Code: A Fascinating Journey Through Time


London, the bustling capital of England, has a rich history that extends beyond its iconic landmarks and cultural heritage. Even its telephone system carries a fascinating story. In this article, we delve into the journey of London’s telephone system and explore the intriguing tale behind the introduction and evolution of its famous 0207 area code.

The Evolution of London’s Telephone System

London’s telephone system has come a long way since its inception. In the early days, operators manually connected calls through switchboards, and each phone line had its own unique identifier. As the city grew, so did the complexity of the telephone network.

Introduction of Area Codes

To manage the increasing number of phone lines and improve the efficiency of call routing, area codes were introduced. Area codes helped divide geographical regions into distinct telephone zones, allowing for easier identification and routing of calls. London was no exception to this system.

The Birth of the 0207 Area Code

In the 1960s, the area code system was further refined, leading to the birth of the iconic 0207 area code. At that time, London was divided into two main codes: 01 for inner London and 02 for outer London. The 0207 area code specifically represented inner London, encompassing central areas such as the City of London and Westminster.

Changes and Expansion

Over time, London’s telephone system continued to evolve. In 1990, the area code system underwent significant changes, resulting in the subdivision of London into multiple area codes. The 020 area code remained for all of London, while additional prefixes like 0208 and 0203 were introduced to accommodate the growing demand for phone numbers.

The Impact of Mobile Phones

With the advent of mobile phones and the increasing popularity of cellular communication, the significance of area codes has shifted. Mobile numbers no longer necessarily reflect the geographic location of a person or business. However, the 0207 area code still retains its historical charm and is widely recognized as representing central London.


The story behind London’s 0207 area code takes us on a journey through the evolution of the city’s telephone system. From manual switchboards to the introduction of area codes, and the birth of the iconic 0207 code, London’s telecommunications history is intertwined with its growth and technological advancements. While the significance of area codes may have changed with the rise of mobile phones, the 0207 area code continues to carry a sense of heritage and connection to central London.


  1. Are all phone numbers in London preceded by the 0207 area code?
    • No, not all phone numbers in London have the 0207 area code. The introduction of additional area codes, such as 0208 and 0203, allows for a wider range of phone numbers to accommodate the growing population and demand.
  2. Can I determine a caller’s location based on the area code?
    • With mobile phones and number portability, it’s no longer accurate to determine a caller’s location solely based on the area code. Mobile numbers can be assigned to individuals who may not be physically located within the associated area.
  3. Can I still use the 0207 area codes for new phone numbers?
    • While the 0207 area codes is no longer exclusively used for new phone numbers, existing numbers with the 0207 code remain in circulation. New numbers may be assigned different area codes, such as 0208 or 0203.
  4. What is the significance of the 0207 area codes for businesses in central London?
    • The 0207 area codes is often associated with businesses located in central London. It carries a sense of prestige and heritage, indicating a presence in the heart of the city.
  5. How has technology influenced the importance of area codes?
    • Technology, especially mobile phones, has diminished the importance of area codes as a geographical identifier. However, area codes still hold cultural and historical significance, and many people recognize and associate certain codes with specific locations.