Area codes came into existence shortly after the end of World War II. AT&T and the Bell System created the North American Numbering Plan to facilitate long-distance calling and clean up the local numbering plans that were getting out of hand. Connecting a call from California to Nevada required human operators to plug the caller through to the next switching station, which took time and cost the caller a pretty penny.
Nevada once had a single area code that covered the entire state: area code 702. This area code hung in for over 50 years until 1998 and was reduced to cover the southeastern section of the state that includes the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson. Pressure from the growth of cell phones, pagers, fax machines, and dedicated lines for computer modems caused the area code to split into two. That’s when area code 775 was introduced. The second area code covered the rest of the state, while the original one of 702 took care of the most populated section of the state. Area code 775 covers the cities of Reno, Elko, Sparks, and Carson City and is expected to last until at least 2043. An overlay area code of 725 was brought into service in 2014 to take care of Clark County. Callers now have to dial 10 digits instead of seven to connect to others.
Read the infographic below to learn more about how the state of Nevada has maintained three area codes in an era that has seen an explosion of them.