International Dialing Practices

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Businesses of all sizes are breaking geographic barriers and going international. According to a survey conducted by USForex, 58% of small to medium businesses in the United States alone already have customers or suppliers overseas.

As the number of SMBs doing business abroad increases, one thing is certain: businesses and customers alike need to understand how international dialing works.

How to Dial Internationally

International dialing practices can seem confusing. But, it doesn’t have to be.

There are just four steps to completing an international call:

  1. Dial the International Direct Dialing (IDD) number. You may have also heard this number referred to as an “exit code.”
  2. Dial the country code for the number you are trying to reach.
  3. Dial the area/city code for the number you are calling. (Some smaller countries don’t have city codes, but most large countries do.)
  4. Dial the phone number itself.

The best way to learn how to dial internationally is to see an example. Let’s walk through a few scenarios:

Dialing the United Kingdom from the United States

  1. Dial the IDD number for the US: 011
  2. Dial the country code for the UK: 44
  3. Dial the area code for the number you are trying to reach: XXX
  4. Dial the phone number: XXXX-XXXX

Dialing the United States from Mexico

  1. Dial the IDD number for Mexico: 00
  2. Dial the country code for the US: 1
  3. Dial the area code for the number you’re calling: XXX
  4. Dial the phone number: XXX-XXXX

What About Mobile International Calling?

To dial internationally from a mobile phone, you need to use the plus (+) key. On most mobile devices, the + key is located on the same key as 0.

Instead of dialing the exit code, you will dial the plus sign, followed by the country code, city code, and phone number.

International Dialing Costs

In-country dialing is usually inexpensive, especially for those who make a lot of calls from mobile devices. But, international dialing costs vary depending on the provider, the caller’s location, and the number being dialed.

Verizon Wireless, for example, offers several options for customers who need international dialing capabilities. Verizon’s standard pay-per-minute rate for calls to Mexico and Canada from the United States starts at $0.49 per minute. Calls made from the US to other available countries start at $0.20 per minute.

Pricing details available on Verizon Wireless website.

Vodafone, a multinational telecommunications provider based in the United Kingdom, offers international calling options as well. Standard rates are listed at £1.50 per minute for calls made to both landlines and mobile phones. (That comes out to $1.88 per minute in US dollars.)

Vodafone also offers less expensive rates with the Vodafone International plan. The cost for calling landlines and mobile phones internationally on this plan is 1.5p per minute.

Pricing details available on Vodafone website.

International Dialing Alternatives

Dialing internationally isn’t impossible. But, it can be a confusing process, and one that can deter prospects from contacting a business.

What’s the alternative?

International toll free numbers: one of the most important elements of a global business strategy. They allow prospects and customers in a specific country to call a business for free. (The owner of the toll free number covers the costs.) And, the calls made to an international toll free number can be forwarded anywhere.

And best of all, there are no confusing dialing rules to remember. For customers located in-country, dialing an international toll free number is no different than making a domestic call.

Want to learn more about how international toll free numbers support global expansion? Contact an AVOXI Sales Representative for more information.