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How to Dial an International Number with an Android Phone

You can use your Android phone to dial up folks who live in other countries. You can also take your cell phone overseas and use it in another country. Completing either task isn’t as difficult as properly posing for a passport photo, but it can become frustrating and expensive when you don’t know your way around.

To make an international call with your Android phone, you merely need to know the foreign phone number. The number includes the international country-code prefix, followed by the number.

Before dialing the international country-code prefix, you must first dial a plus sign (+) when using the Dialer app. The + symbol is the country exit code, which must be dialed in order to flee the national phone system and access the international phone system. For example, to dial Finland on your phone, you dial +358 and then the number in Finland. The +358 is the exit code (+) plus the international code for Finland (358).

To produce the + code in an international phone number, press and hold the 0 key on the Dialer app’s dialpad. Then input the country prefix and the phone number. Touch the Dial button (the green Phone icon) to complete the call.

  • You also pay a surcharge for sending text messages abroad. You have to contact your cellular provider to see the text message rates. Generally, there are two rates, one for sending and another for receiving messages.

  • If texting charges vex you, remember that e-mail has no associated per-message charge. There are also alternative ways to chat, such as Google Talk and Skype.

  • In most cases, dialing an international number involves a time zone difference. Before you dial, be aware of what time it is in the country or location you’re calling.

  • Dialing internationally also involves surcharges, unless your cell phone plan already provides for international dialing.

  • The + character isn’t a number separator. When you see an international number listed as 011+20+xxxxxxx, do not insert the + character in the number. Instead, dial +20 and then the rest of the international phone number.

  • International calls fail for a number of reasons. One of the most common is that the recipient’s phone company or service blocks incoming international calls.

  • Another reason that international calls fail is the zero reason: Oftentimes, you must leave out any zero in the phone number that follows the country code. So, if the country code is 254 for Kenya and the phone number starts with 012, you dial +254 for Kenya and then 12 and the rest of the number. Omit the leading zero.

  • Know which type of phone you’re calling internationally — cell phone or landline. The reason is that an international call to a cell phone often involves a surcharge that doesn’t apply to a landline.

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