A business card usually contains the most important information about a company or individual. The information includes a brand name, company logo, and contact information. The contact information includes a phone number and email address at the minimum. There is an ongoing debate about the correct abbreviation for cell phones. Various letters are used as the abbreviation for cell phone numbers like “T”, “P”, “O”, “M”, etc. So the question is what is the right abbreviation for cell phones on a business card?
Actually, there is no official abbreviation for a cell phone number on a business card. This global communication device doesn’t have a single expression. For example, Americans call them “cell phones” while British citizens call them “mobiles.” Moreover, many people think the telephone is the land phone and the cell phone is a mobile phone. But the telephone also means a mobile phone. In the USA, common abbreviations for a contact number in the business card are:
1. (212) 321-7654 (tel)
2. (917) 654-3210 (cell)
3. (323) 999-8888 (fax)
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Abbreviation For Cell Phone On A Business Card
Specifying the type of phone number in business communication is less important compared to private/personal communication. One of the main reasons behind it is the calling cost. So if you are giving two numbers on a business card then you should specify which a personal number is and which the office number is. You can use “Tel:” and “Mob:” to abbreviate the phone in the business card. However, if you are only giving one number then “Tel:” is probably the most conventional way to introduce it, regardless of the connection method.
Many people use “C” as the abbreviation for the cell phone number and “O” to indicate that it is the official phone number. Other commonly used letters are H for Home, W for Work and F for Fax, P for Phone/Personal/Primary, S for Secondary. For example –
1. C: 123-456-7890
2. T: 123-456-7890
3. O: 123-456-7890
4. H: 123-456-7890
5. W: 123-456-7890
6. F: 123-456-7890
7. P: 123-456-7890
8. S: 123-456-7890
Rules For National And International Telephone Numbers
It is also very important to follow the writing rules of national and international telephone numbers. We should follow the Guideline E.123 of the International Telecommunication Union while including numbers on a business card. In the case of national numbers, components are bracketed that are not always dialed; however, you can’t use a hyphen to separate the extension from the number. Besides, you can group the main number to improve readability. However, according to the E.123 recommendation, the groups should be separated by smaller spaces. For example: (089) 123 4567.
The rules for international numbers are different from national numbers. For international number:
1. The E.123 recommends the plus sign (“+”) to identify country codes
2. The number components country code, area code, and subscriber number are separated by spaces
3. If necessary, the participant number can be subdivided with additional spaces for better readability
4. The distance between the area code and the subscriber number should be greater than the other spaces
5. For companies with a telephone system, the extension numbers are not separated by a space
+49 89 123456: Standard separation of the country code, area code, and subscriber number
+49 89 123456 0: Company with telephone system (headquarters)
+49 89 123456 123: with extension number
+49 89 123 456 123: Participant number with additional spaces
Notation For National And International Telephone Numbers
According to the International Telecommunication Union the notation for national and international telephone numbers are:
1. The international number should be printed below the national number, with corresponding digits lined up one under the other to facilitate understanding of the composition of the international number
2. The words “National” and “International” in the appropriate language should be placed to the left of the national and international numbers, and these should be separated by a horizontal line
3. Either the symbol for telephone given in ITU-T E.121 or the word “Telephone” in the appropriate language should be placed to the left or above of the national and international numbers to avoid confusion with other letterhead numbers. The + (plus) signifies the international prefix
4. Because the countries of World Numbering Zone 1 (North America) have the country code 1, the same number as is used for the trunk prefix, and because dialing between these countries is the same as long-distance dialing within them, subscriber difficulties are avoided by using an alternative notation that has been found superior for use within these countries and equally good for subscribers in other countries dialing to Zone 1. This is to substitute for “National” on the upper line the phrase “Within N. Amer. Zone.”
5. If it is desirable to write only the international number, it should be written in the form: Telephone International +22 607 123 4567
6. If it is desirable, for example, to save space to accommodate printing several different numbers for FAX, mobile, etc. as well as an ordinary telephone number, each number should be printed as a short label (e.g., “Tel”) followed by the number in the desired domestic or international format.
7. To show an extension number of a PABX without direct in-dialing, the nationally used word or abbreviation for “extension” should be written immediately after the telephone numbers and on the same line as the word “telephone”, followed by the extension number itself.
8. It is often necessary to draw the attention of subscribers to the need to omit the foreign national trunk prefix when dialing an international call. This need occurs when the destination country conventionally writes its telephone numbers such that the trunk prefix appears with the trunk code (in parentheses)
9. Grouping the digits of a telephone number are advisable for reasons of memorizing, oral presentation, and printing.
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.