International calling

Going through my checklist of things I need to do before I go on vacation, this morning I called T-Mobile and had them explain to me how International calling works on my cell phone when I am traveling in Europe. Turns out, its very easy and straight-forward. I spoke to a very enthusiastic support person, who turned out to be very helpful. But that’s nothing unusual since my experience with T-Mobile has always been good.

First, he confirmed that my phone can handle international networks (it’s a quad-band phone) and that my services are all set up for international calling.

Next, he explained the “dialing pattern” while I am abroad. Essentially, any call I make, I hit 0 to pull up the plus (+) sign, then dial the country code, then the local number. Easy to remember. So for calling the U.S., I dial +1 followed by the area code and phone number. In London, to call the hotel I’d dial +44 then the area code and phone number, etc.

He gave me a good tip about voice mail If my phone is on and I get a call and allow it to go to voice mail, I get charged at the local rate for that incoming call. If my phone is off, I don’t get charged for the incoming call, but still get the voice mail message.

Next, he told me that text messages anywhere I travel are $0.35/message for outgoing and $0.15/message for incoming. This will likely be my preferred method of communication since it is very, very cheap.

Finally, he went through the cost per minute for calls originating in each of the countries I will be visiting:

  • Italy, $0.99/minute
  • Greece, $1.49/minute
  • Croatia, $1.49/minute
  • Turkey, $1.99/minute
  • London, $0.99/minute
  • Paris, $0.99/minute

He was very helpful and I am now satisfied that I know how to use my phone internationally and that I know how much it will cost me.

Check one more item off the list!