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How To Call Overseas

Updated on March 2, 2012

Telephones And Cell phones

I am aware that probably among the most used gadgets that modern humans use today, the cell phone (or even the telephone for that matter) is among the ones which most people will not survive not having for even one day.

I also know that even though the telephone was first used over a hundred ago, the cell phone was not really used by that many people until some twenty-thirty years ago.

But that did not stop the cell phone as being the number one thingamagig nowadays by both the young and the old, both for business or for pleasure and both by the rich and the poor.

This even though it has only been recently that the cell phone has been used as alarm clocks, stop watches, cameras, for note taking, for appointments, for games, for text messages, for picture messages, for other message sharing tasks, for email, for surfing the web, for paying their bills, for banking, for listening to music, for watching videos, watching television, for gps, for apps, to almost anything now.

Now, as I have said earlier, most people would almost die if they live home without their trusty cell phone, even for 24 hours.

And now, some people do not even have a landline number anymore, as they see no need for it as they have their cell phone with them 24/7.

Now, if ever you were to go abroad with your cell phone and you would want to call home. Or if you ever just want to call somebody who lives overseas, and for the life of you, you do not know what numbers to dial, then don’t fret. Just read on and be a pro in less than ten minutes.

What Do Those Numbers Mean:

First off, if you are dialing overseas, you need to dial the DD (the International Direct Dialing) Prefix.

This is what will identify your call as an international call as opposed to being a local call or a call within your own country.

For the United and Canada, this will be normally 011. Most other countries are 00.

Second, each country is assigned a Country code, and this could be a one digit number, such as 1 for the United States. But a Country code could also be two or even three digits.

For example, Saudi Arabia is 966

The Philippines is 63

And as we have said the United States is 1

Third, there is also the Area Code (or City Code) and this is also normally a one, two or even a three digit number.

Here is a site to find the City and Country codes:

If you are calling a cell phone number in another country, you most probably do not need to dial the area or the city code for some cell phone already have a cell phone code of their own. In the United States though, both land line telephones and cell phones use the same three digit area code.

Fourth, Phone Numbers:

Be it a Cell phone number or a Landline telephone number, this is normally a seven digit number.

Fifth, Trunk Numbers, sometimes there is an extra digit that one needs to dial if they are to make a local call, this number you do not need if you are calling overseas. Normally this extra digit is a 0.

Here is a link listing countries which use Trunk Numbers and it also shows what the specific trunk numbers are per country:

How And What To Dial:

The Normal Format would be as follows:

IDD (normally 3 digits)

Country Code-Country Code or City Code or Cell phone Code (1,2 or 3 digits)

Area Code-Area Code or City Code or Cell phone Code (1,2 or 3 digits)

Phone Number (normally 7 digits)


Dialing A Landline Number Overseas:

So now if you are in the United States and you are calling a landline of somebody in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, you would dial something like:


011-is the IDD Prefix

966-is the Country Code for Saudi Arabia (could be 1, 2 or 3 digits long)

1-is the City Code for Riyadh

123-4567-represents the 7 digit phone number in Riyadh

Note: If you dial within Saudi Arabia but outside Riyadh, you will to dial 01, 0 being the trunk number that you will leave out if you are calling from overseas.

Dialing A Cell Phone Number Overseas:

Now if you are in the United States and you are calling a cell phone of somebody in Manila, Philippines, you would dial something like:


011-is the IDD Prefix

63-is the Country Code for the Philippines (could be 1, 2 or 3 digits long)

911-is the Cell phone Code for the Cell phone provider

123-4567-represents the 7 cell phone number in Manila

Note: If you dial within the Philippines but outside of Manila, you will need to dial 0911, 0 being the trunk number that you will leave out if you are calling from overseas.

Other things to consider, you can use either your cell phone or a land line phone to call a cell phone or a land line phone overseas. Although, the using a cell phone and calling a cell phone overseas would most probably cost you more.

There is also other ways to call overseas and one of the more common ones is using a device called Magic Jack which uses an internet connection to connect the calls. There are also other similar devices or services out there, such as VoIP and there are probably one new service/product every now and then.

You can also use the many chat websites and services out there, such as Skype, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger and other popular ones.

Any which way you choose, just be aware of how to call overseas and what the rates and/or the extra charges are, so as not to be too surprised when you get your phone bill.

Happy calling!

Free Overseas Video Calls

As I have said you can call overseas using the internet but you need to pay for some of them. Although there are ways of calling overseas for free, and among them are using Video calls from Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger and Skype.

Normally, all you need is a computer with an internet connection, and a webcam with a microphone. You can also have a separate microphone or no camera at all, it just depends on your particular circumstance, but you can still make your free "video" calls.

So what are you waiting for?

Video Calling Using Skype


Submit a Comment

  • angelbaluyut07 profile image

    angelbaluyut07 5 years ago

    This article could help many overseas worker who wants to reach out with their families. I found a great resource which could also help