The landscape for making phone calls from India is changing at a dramatic pace. Ten years ago, it would have been possible to make a call using a mobile phone. But the cost for just one call would have exempted most travelers. To connect with friends and family back home, land lines were the popular choice in telecommunications. This was true for locals as well. Working class citizens relied on the corner shop where a single phone was their lifeline. Quick phone calls to family elsewhere or abroad brought familiar voices to the furthest reaches of India at cheap rates.
These days, the popularity of mobile phones continues to skyrocket. And India has spent lavishly to keep up with the demand. It’s rare to find dead zones in even the most remote areas of the country. So why even bother with a landline? That’s what many businesses are discovering. A short walk from popular tourist hotels would yield countless opportunities to make a call home. Now, with this vast network of mobile providers, landlines are disappearing. Just like at home, if you aren’t carrying a mobile phone, your ability to keep in touch is limited.
As a tourist of India you still need to know how to locate a landline phone, and how to make a phone call home. Below are instructions on how to make a phone call from India as well as how to make a phone call to India. Anyone can learn. You’ll need to follow a few simple procedures to make your telephone call successful.
How to Find a Phone in India
Most mid-range to high-end hotels offer in-room calling, typically at high rates. For cheaper calling, head out onto the streets of virtually any city or village you may be and look for signs that read: S.T.D. I.S.D. P.C.O.
S.T.D. / STD : Subscriber Trunk Dialing- Local and long distance calls within India
I.S.D. / ISD : International Subscriber Dialing- International calls worldwide
P.C.O. / PCO : Public Call Office- Calls within India- phone booth manned or unmanned
Commonly referred to as STD’s, these phone booths are easily spotted by their yellow signs. Some buildings are even painted completely yellow to attract customers. In order to call out of India, you are looking for an STD that offers ISD service. No need to know Hindi or the local language, simply ask the merchant ISD? They generally will point to the phone you can use. Smaller places may only have one telephone, larger shops may have one or two but only one will have ISD access.
How To Make a Phone Call From India
Dial the 3-Digit Country Code (US Country Code 001) + Area Code + Number
Example: my US number is 555-555-1212. Dial 001-555-555-1212
An LED screen located around near the phone or behind the cashier will display teh number dialed. A brief delay will occur before you are connected. Once connected, the display will begin reading the length of call and subsequently the cost of the call. When finished, be sure to check the amount shown on the display. Most places print out a small slip with the payment due as displayed from the screen. Some unscrupulous merchants looking to take advantage of first-time tourists will argue your call carries an additional fee or refuse to show your receipt. Compare the total shown with the amount the clerk charges for your call. Hold to the number shown on the screen/receipt as there are no legitimate additional fees.
How to Make a Phone Call to India
Phone numbers in India are slightly different from the U.S.A. Landline numbers are 6-8 digits long while the City Codes are 2-4 digits in length. The total length of all phone numbers is constant at 10 digits.
To call India from U.S.A.:
Dial 011 (US Exit Code) + 91 (IN Country Code) + City Code + Number
Example: my India number is 11-1234-5678. Dial 011 + 91+ 11+ 1234 5678
The above number is for Delhi as represented by the City Code 11
Dial 011 (US Exit Code) + 91 (IN Country Code) + 9 + Mobile Number (9 digits)
Example: my India number is 7-1234 5678. Dial 011 + 91+ 97+1234 5678
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