Area code 901 serves Memphis, Tennessee, and most of its inner-ring suburbs. Geographically speaking, it is the smallest area code in the state.
901 was one of the original area codes created under the North American Numbering Plan in 1947, and covered the entire state of Tennessee.
In a flash-cut split sometime during 1954, area code 901 was restricted to West Tennessee, while the eastern two-thirds of Tennessee--essentially, the part of the state east of the Tennessee River--became area code 615.
Despite the presence of Memphis, the state's largest city at the time, West Tennessee is not as densely populated as the state's other two Grand Divisions. As a result, 901 remained the sole area code for West Tennessee for 47 years. However, by the turn of the millennium, 901 was close to exhaustion due to the Memphis area's rapid growth, as well as the proliferation of cell phones and pagers. Additionally, the Memphis LATA extends some distance into northern Mississippi, meaning several numbers on the Mississippi side of the Memphis area (part of area code 601 before 1999 and area code 662 since 1999) weren't available for use. On September 17, 2001, area code 731 was assigned to most of West Tennessee outside the immediate Memphis area. Currently, area code 901 serves Fayette, Shelby and Tipton counties, an area largely coextensive with the inner ring of the Memphis area.
Despite the Memphis area's rapid growth and the continued proliferation of cell phones, 901 is nowhere near exhaustion. It is currently one of the few urban area codes that has not been overlaid, making Memphis one of the largest cities where seven-digit dialing is still possible. Under current projections, it will likely stay that way until 2043 at the earliest.
|West: 870||area code 901||East: 731|
|Mississippi area codes: 228, 601/769, 662|
|Arkansas area codes: 479, 501, 870|