The United States is one of the biggest and most developed countries in the world. And a lot of people reside here. The US also provides a workplace to several people from other countries and even has a high number of tourists as well.
Given all this, the country has a great telephone network system that can connect people in any part of America to people all over the world very easily.
So here is a small guide to how the US phone number are and what are the things you should keep in mind before dialing a number.
All standard American phone numbers have ten digits where the first three digits are the area code, which used to indicate the location of the phone in the country in the past.. Currently, with the popularity of mobile phones, it might happen that there are phones in an area with a different area code.
While making a call from a phone with an area code different from that of the number being called, the area code of the number to be called needs to be used.
Most often people are given a local US phone number which has 7 digits and one should not hesitate to ask for the area code. While making a call outside your phone’s area, one generally needs to dial 1 followed by the area code, followed by the 7 digit US phone number.
International calls are initiated by dialing 011, followed by the country code, the area code and finally the seven-digit phone number.
Some Of The US Phone Number Are Reserved For Special Use. Let’s Take A Look At Them:
- 911 is the standardized number for emergencies throughout the country. The emergency services include the fire brigade, police and ambulances. 911 is a US toll-free phone number no matter what you call from.
- 411 is the general number used for telephone directory assistance. Nowadays, fees are universally charged for calling 411. There are other providers who provide for free or at the most, you might have to listen to an advertisement.
- “800” numbers including “888”, “866”, “855” are toll-free US phone number in the sense that they does not incur long-distance phone charges. Callers should, however, be aware that hotels and motels generally charge fees for calling “800” numbers. The telephone numbers of people dialing any 800 toll free number number is also easily available to the business that will be paying for the “800” number even if you have blocked your caller ID.
- “900” numbers are generally charged by call or by the minute according to the wish of the company that has set up the “900” number. The companies are legally required to tell the customers about the rate of the call before the billing starts. It was originally established to provide informational services but has now largely degenerated to “adult” services. They often omit the disclosure of cost and the calls can turn out to be quite expensive.
Note: Tips For Using Phone Number In Hotels Or Motels:
The hotels and motels often charge high fees for local, toll-free and long-distance number calls. There should generally be a card that indicates your phone fees. If there is none, make sure to ask the reception once so that you don’t have to pay exorbitantly high fees while checking out.
Mobile Phone Service In USA:
The United States has a very good cell phone service in urban and suburban areas. The service is also commendable along stretches of popular highways. However, the service may be limited in some rural and remote areas. The service may even be unavailable at places of natural attraction and national parks.
There are four nationwide service providers in the United States. They are AT&T, T-Mobile, Nextel/ Sprint and Verizon along with other regional service providers as well.
There are also a large number of prepaid providers who buy network access from national or regional providers and sell them to the customers. A lot of people are buying prepaid phones. One thing that needs to be taken care of is the fact whether the prepaid number will work in different areas if you are buying it to use it while travelling through the country.
The providers use two different types of network protocol. Verizon and Nextel/Sprint use CMDA while AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM and associated SIM chips.
GSM users should be aware of the fact that the US and other North American countries use a different frequency band compared to those used in Europe and other parts of the world.
There are easy options to buy prepaid SIM cards or phone, online when you arrive in the USA. It is a hassle-free and cost-effective method. SIM cards can generally be bought at kiosks at all major airports, shopping centers, etc.
Important Thing About Incoming Calls On US Phone Number
One important aspect to remember regarding calls in the US is that there are no free incoming calls. All calls are chargeable irrespective of it being, incoming or outgoing. The rates for calling landlines and mobiles are also the same. However, some companies may put a limit on the number of calls that can be made to a landline.
What Are Calling Cards:
Calling cards can be used to make international and long-distance calls at rates cheaper than that charged by hotels, cellular, and residential phone services. Calling cards can be commonly bought from mini-markets, liquor or drug stores, gas stations. Calling cards can also be found in convention centers, airports and hotels. However, most often these can only be used from a telephone at the facility.
Cards with highly discounted calling rates can be found in ethnic stores and specialty markets serving the people from those countries.
The cards work in the same fashion no matter what the type. There is an access number generally listed on the card which needs to be dialed. After this, the PIN number of the card needs to be in and finally, the desired phone number to be dialed needs to be entered.
That was pretty much all you needed to know about US phone numbers and US toll-free phone numbers. Hope this would help you when travelling to the United States. Keep in mind the points mentioned in the article and you are good to go. Even after that if you face problems, you are free to ask people for help and get things sorted.