Although e-mail and text messaging often facilitate communication worldwide, there is still a need to dial international telephone numbers occasionally. The process to make an international call is different from dialing long distance in the United States, as each country has it's own country code. These are different from the three-digit area codes used in the United States, Canada and Caribbean countries and, even if the call has a three-digit area code, if it is outside the U.S., international rates will apply. To dial international telephone numbers outside these areas, the caller needs to know the country code, the city code and the local telephone number.
Many local phone books have instructions to help a person dial international telephone numbers, and these include lists of country codes and city codes. Some phone books even have maps to help a person determine which city he needs to call.
It is not difficult to make an international call when a person knows the routine. He dials 011 plus the country code, plus the city code, then the local phone number. If he needs operator assistance, the person dials 01 plus the country code, plus the city code, plus the local number and then holds for the operator to come on the line.
The procedure to dial international telephone numbers differs a bit with cell phones. Service providers may vary, so a person always needs to check on roaming rates and the correct dialing method with his own service provider.
Some phone companies provide special rate plans for customers who must make overseas calls on a regular basis. These rate plans may include a set number of minutes or a special per-minute rate, either or international calls in general or to certain countries in particular. A customer should always compare rate plans on land lines versus those with cell phone service providers to make sure he is getting the best rates for his international calling.