Having a landline phone is very convenient because you can make calls, text messages, and access the Internet in the same place. However, you should not rely on landlines for all your communication needs.
For more information on mobile phone plans, see:
The FCC also offers a List of mobile phone plans.
To purchase an international roaming agreement (see “International roaming agreements” above), a call from an American number on a domestic plan to a foreign country is not considered a domestic call and therefore does not count toward your monthly domestic usage limits.
For more information about prepaid phone plans, see the Federal Communications Commission’s guide to prepaid phone plans and don’t forget to click here to learn about business telephone service.
To purchase prepaid SIM cards, check out these prepaid service providers.
Cellular carriers use your cell phone number to determine your rate for calling, texting, and Internet use. In addition, your cellular provider assigns a unique code for each phone that you have on your account, which allows your mobile number to be used in conjunction with one of the operator’s networks in some other country. A third-party billing service may also be used to bill you in another country if you are not in the United States. For more information about third-party billing, check out this guide from the American Bankers Association.
Do I have to stay on the phone when calling in a foreign country?
No. But calling from your United States number to a cell phone in a foreign country usually involves connecting with a server located outside the United States. And this connection can be interrupted without notice or liability if the server you are connected to in that country is no longer available. Why are these mobile phone numbers so confusing? Mobile phones are unique numbers assigned to each user on the phone. They can be used for different activities, and they can be changed at any time. When you call a foreign number, your mobile phone number is routed through the phone company. The person you are talking with answers the phone, and the phone company calls a server in the United States, which can take away your cell phone number and put a foreign one in its place. Then the foreign cell phone number is routed back to your mobile phone number. This can have very serious repercussions for your phone service and privacy. What’s a good way to call a foreign cell phone number? You should try calling it from your landline phone, or an electronic answering machine. A foreign number routed through your landline phone would normally be answered by a machine, but with an electronic answering machine, the person answering will usually be a person who is actually at the telephone number, like an operator, and thus your call will go through. If you need to call a foreign cell phone number by telephone, it is best to call it on a local number, where a person is in the process of switching to a local phone. If you’re already using a local number, then dial the local number and press the # key on your electronic phone (either the # key in your keypad or the # key on your keypad with the number “8” on it). On a touchtone phone, you can call this number by touching the number # key and touching #. On a regular telephone, call the number from the home number, then dial the local number.