Dialing an International Number (when travelling)

December 1, 2009 at 1:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Q: How do you dial local, international numbers as well as call back home?

Unlike dialing at home, as a world traveler you need to learn to indicate the country as well as the number that you wish to reach. Just dialing a 7- or 10-digit number like you do at home (e.g., 5025551212) will not work; you need to explicitly indicate the country or else you may end up communicating with someone new and unintended.

Recommended: Universal, Cell Phone method

From a mobile phone, you can unambiguously dial any phone number by using the “+” character before the destination Country Code. Since the Country Code for the U.S. is “1”, dialing U.S. numbers from your cell phone simply requires that you first dial “+1” and then the 10-digit U.S. number (e.g., +1 5025551212). From a cell phone, the most difficult part is finding the “+” symbol on your cell phone keypad. This usually involves pressing or holding the “*”, “0” or “#” key multiple times.

Cell Phone Example: to dial the USA number +1 (502) 555-1212, from a Nokia cell phone, press the “*” key twice to get the “+” symbol, enter the rest of the number to get 15025551212, and then hit “Send”.

This universal method is simpler than the following method since you do not have to remember or use any country-specific access codes to indicate that you are dialing an international number.

International Direct Dialing (uses country-specific International Access Codes)

Alternatively, you can also dial an international number from any phone (fixed or mobile) using that country’s International Access Code. Unfortunately—since the access codes vary by country—the number that you dial depends on the country that you are in! From Western Europe, you can dial U.S. numbers from any phone by first dial “00 1” and then the 10-digit U.S. number (e.g., +00 1 5025551212).

Example: Example: Dialing the U.S. from a phone in Europe
Using this method to dial a U.S. number from the UK,
you would dial 00 1 5025551212:

How the number is composed:

Number Comments
00 00 is the International Access Code used to dial outside of the UK.
1 1 is the international Country Code used to dial to U.S.A..
502 502 is the local area or city code used to dial to Louisville.
5551212 555-1212 is the local number you desire to reach.

To practice this method of dialing, try this site that clearly explains international dialing and provides the dialing instructions from anywhere to anywhere.


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