Dec 31, 2012 14:00 - emilygreen | 1,836 views
International calling can be complicated. Whether you’re calling Europe from the United States, or the other way around, it’s important to understand your cell phone and its plan. Follow along to find out how to call internationally without breaking your budget.
Calling the United States from Europe
Directly dial the US by first entering the international access code (00 for Europe), and then the country code (1 for the US). Enter (001) followed by the seven-digit number that you would like to call. A single exception is found with Finland, which uses prefixes beginning with 99. If you are dialing home from Finland, you will want to look into the appropriate procedures for making calls.
Things get more complicated when you want to dial locally and long distance within Europe (aside from just dialing the US). Check out a European calling chart to plan for this inevitable need.
Will Your Phone Work?
It’s nice to know how to dial home. However, it won’t be valuable if your phone won’t allow you to make these calls. According to JD Rinne, you should find out if your service provider is compatible with the wireless network in Europe, called GSM. Additionally, make sure quad-band frequencies are supported, as well as international roaming.
If those three items are compatible with your phone and service plan, you should be prepared to call home from Europe. Of course, it would be a very good idea to talk to your provider to understand your plan when making calls within Europe.
How Can You Save Money?
You may want to buy an international voice/text/data plan for use overseas. Rinne notes that you’ll be looking at about $1.29 per minute, if you go with the normal rate. Thus, if you will be using your phone frequently in Europe, you might want to look into an international plan.
Make sure that you are prepared for data features on your phone. Overseas data plan rates can skyrocket your cell phone bill. If you don’t opt for an international plan, make sure you turn off these features or otherwise prepare for them. They can certainly be a burden.
Looking into affordable prepaid phones can save you a great deal of money. For instance, you could add a $10/month International Unlimited Talk and Text plan that could be a strong option overseas. Make sure you consult the provider’s list of countries and rates to check your specific destination with this kind of plan – or any plan that you want to have when you travel.
Overall, research your destination, cell phone plan, and cell phone to check with compatibility and rates. Determine if an international plan or prepaid option is the way to go. With a few simple steps, you can ensure that you won’t be paying too much to dial home when abroad.
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