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Any business hoping to grow will need to expand internationally. Whether that means gaining customers across the world, working with global business partners, or exporting parts of your business to another country, chances are you’ll be making overseas business calls.
International calls can be expensive and it’s not always clear how you connect to a phone number based on the other side of the world. That’s why we’ve put together this article on how to make an international call.
Here you’ll find everything you need to know about making international calls while saving money on international dialling rates, and a full list of country codes so you can get in touch with whoever in whatever country you need to.
How do you call internationally?
To make an international call on a landline phone standard desk phone, you need to dial your country’s international direct dialling (IDD) number, followed by the country code you’re calling to, then the phone number you’re calling including the area code or city code if it has one.
If you’re calling from a mobile phone or a corded phone that has a “+” sign on the dial pad, you don’t need to include your country’s IDD prefix. Instead, you can just use the “+” sign.
Remember, if you want to make an international call via your RingCentral account, you’ll need to enable international calling via your admin portal.
Things to consider when calling internationally
If your business has international partners, customers, or you’re considering expanding to another country, international calls will be a regular part of day-to-day business.
It’s essential that you keep time zones in mind when making international calls. If your business is based in the UK but you have clients in Toronto, Canada, you’ll need to remember that Toronto is 5 hours behind UK time.
That means if you call your Canadian client at 9am from London, you’ll be calling them at 4am their time, which won’t look professional and could damage your relationship with that client and your reputation.
Always check the time difference and find times that are mutually convenient to have phone calls. If you have customers in different countries, you may need to make your customer service line 24/7 so that customers can call at convenient times in their own time zone.
Don’t forget, you can set your business’s time zone on your RingCentral online account. Check out this short guide on setting your company time zone to find out how.
What do you need for a successful call?
Once you have the country code, area code, and phone number for who you need to call, and you keep in mind their time zone, making an international call should be simple.
International calls are more expensive than local or domestic phone calls. If you’re making an international call, be sure to check with your provider how much you’ll pay per minute. Remember that many providers have a different rate depending on the country you’re calling. With RingCentral, you can easily check our international dialling rates for every country.
What are international calling codes?
When making an international call, there are two calling codes you need to know – the IDD prefix and the country code. When you hear someone refer to an “international calling code”, they could be referring to either an IDD prefix or a country code.
The IDD prefix, sometimes known as an IDD code, a dial-out code, or international call prefix, is a trunk prefix that tells your phone to select an international telephone circuit, rather than a local or domestic one for the call you’re making.
IDD prefixes are important if you’re calling from a landline or traditional desk phone, but if you’re calling from a softphone or mobile device, you can use the “+” plus sign in the place of any IDD code.
Different countries have different IDD numbers, sometimes called IDD prefixes. The IDD prefix for the UK is 00. Some countries, including France, Bolivia, and Colombia, have multiple IDD prefixes that depend on your carrier.
After you enter your country’s IDD prefix or the “+” plus sign, you’ll need to enter the country code for the country you’re calling to.
Every country has a different country code too. We’ve included a full list of IDD prefixes and country codes at the end of this article so you can easily check codes for different countries. The UK’s country code is +44 and the country code for the USA, Canada, and most of the Caribbean is +1.
How to save on international calls
International calls can be expensive – especially if you’re making a lot of them. But more and more businesses are benefiting from taking their business global. Whether you have international clients and customers or you’re making business partners across the world, finding a way to cheaply make international calls will help you grow your business on a global scale.
Ask your provider about discounts and special offers
If your business makes regular international calls, it could be worth asking your provider for discounts and special offers. You may be able to get a cheaper rate for countries you call frequently.
By opting for a VoIP provider like RingCentral, you pay a flat monthly rate and get cheaper international calls as a result. If international communication is costing your business, you could save money by switching to a VoIP plan.
Use a free call and messaging app
A popular alternative to making international phone calls using traditional telephone lines or mobile networks is to use a mobile app. International calling and messaging apps usually use the internet to make calls. This keeps costs low whilst ensuring high call quality.
You can try the free RingCentral mobile app when you sign up for a 14-day free trial. Compatible with iOS and Android, you can implement a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in your office, free your workers from their desk phones, and pay less for international calls with RingCentral.
How do international dialling codes differ from country codes?
International dialling codes or international direct dialling (IDD) codes are what tell your phone that you’re calling an international number. Country codes, on the other hand, tell your phone which country you are calling.
The country you’re calling from will have its own IDD code, but if you’re calling from a mobile phone or softphone you can use the “+” plus sign rather than your IDD. You’ll then need to know the specific country code for the country you’re calling.
A simple way to remember is that IDD codes are for where you’re calling from whilst country dialling codes are where you’re calling to.
Our tip? Save all numbers in your mobile phone with a “+” plus sign and the country code they’re for. That way you don’t need to check country codes every time you make a call and if you make a call to your home country whilst you’re abroad you don’t need to type in the additional dialling codes.
How to Dial International Numbers With RingCentral
Dialling international numbers with RingCentral is simple. First, you need to enable international calling on your RingCentral account. This can be done by anyone with administrator access. Follow these steps:
- Log in to your RingCentral online account.
- Go to the Admin Portal → Billing → Calling Rates → Outbound Rates.
- Toggle the bar to enable International Calling.
It’s that simple. Once this is done all of your RingCentral calling apps will be able to call international numbers.
You can then follow the simple steps at the start of this article to place an international call. Dial your IDD prefix or the “+” plus sign, followed by the country code, and the phone number.
Not sure what the country code for the country you’re calling to? Check out our full list of country codes below.
Full list of country calling codes (long list)
|Australian External Territories||+672|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||+387|
|British Virgin Islands||+1-284|
|Cape Verde Islands||+238|
|Central African Republic||+236|
|Chatham Islands (New Zealand)||+64|
|Christmas Island||+61 08 from Australia|
|Congo(Democratic Republic of)||+243|
|Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)||+225|
|Northern Mariana Islands||+1-670|
|Papua New Guinea||+675|
|St. Pierre & Miquelon||+508|
|St. Vincent & Grenadines||+1-784|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||+239|
|Serbia & Montenegro||+381|
|Trinidad & Tobago||+1-868|
|Turks & Caicos Islands||+1-649|
|United Arab Emirates||+971|
|US Virgin Islands||+1-340|