Call Internationally – Top 5 ways to Make a Quick and Easy International Call

The Pocketdial guide to making that Cheap and Easy Call Abroad

Do you have friends or relatives abroad and find it a challenge to call them? Calling people abroad or calling when you yourself are in a foreign country is costly and often difficult – trying to top up a card for a payphone or battling a bad connection. These are problems of the past, as there are now whole hosts of ways to make calls quick, easy and cheap.  The development of social networking and video conferencing, as well as calling companies such as pocketdial have drastically improved international calling options. Here is our Pocketdial guide to making cheap and easy international calls.

1. Call Internationally through Skype for Free

Skype is a video calling service, which anyone can use on a computer or phone. Video calls on Skype are simple and easy to do. To get an account is simple, install the free Skype call software onto your computer. Next, enter your name and profile information to create a Skype account. You can add friends and relatives who also have a Skype account to your contact list. Then, provided that the person you want to contact is also logged on at the same time as you, you can contact anyone anywhere in the world for free. Skype also has the ability to share the screen, chat and send files. Skype makes money by charging for calls to landlines and mobiles.

2. Video Call through Facebook

Facebook launched video chat in August 2011, it is an additional feature to a standard Facebook account, if you do not have an account, click here. To use make a Facebook video conference, you must set up the facility.  You will be prompted to do so if you try to call a friend or if they try to call you. To call a friend, go to their page/timeline and click call.

3. Call through Facetime with Apple

If you are an Apple user wanting to communicate with other Apple users then Facetime is for you. Facetime is a feature of apple products; iPad, Macbook, iPhone, which allows users to video call one another – free of charge. You can use Facetime from your iPhone in the same way you would if you were making a phone call. You will also get to see the person you are calling. Facetime makes calling from aboard free as you are using the Internet connection not the phone line.

4. Call through Google Plus Hangouts

Google Plus Hangouts are a great feature of Google plus accounts.  If you are not already on Google Plus, click here to get a Google Plus Account. When you log in to Google Hangouts, click on the ‘more’ icon at the bottom left of the screen (last in the menu) and several other options will appear, including Google Hangouts.  In this YouTube video, Wallace and Gromit hangout with their pals on Christmas Day!

Google Plus is similar to Skype as it provides customers with free video messaging technology, yet appears to have fewer connections problems than Skype. As you can see from the video, up tp to ten people can be involved in a conversation at a time making it brilliant for business use. Google Plus Hangouts has many features such as screen and document share and can be used on Android, iPhone and iPad.

5. Call through Pocket Dial UK

You can call your friends and family abroad using packages from Pocketdial. With Pocketdial UK you do not require a data connection or internet access to call internationally and reliably from landlines and mobiles. You can even set up a speed dial to your phone so that you do not have to dial the Pocket Dial access numbers each time (click here for details).

Dialling UK Mobiles – How to call a UK mobile when it’s Abroad

Dialing UK mobilesDialling UK mobiles whilst they are abroad can be confusing. Where possible, its often much cheaper to use landlines for making international calls. However, there are a few tricks and suggestions that can help you.

Dialling UK landlines when abroad is often cheaper. It is better to call landline to mobile than mobile to mobile, especially when dialling internationally.

Avoid dialling UK mobiles whilst in a different country to another UK mobile. Roaming charges can be very expensive, and it is important to check out the charges and international tariffs before you go. To find out about using your mobile abroad, and for information on how to avoid a large phone bill when you travel, check out our article on how to avoid a large travel phone bill.

Dialling UK mobiles – How to Call a UK Mobile whilst it’s Abroad

Lets’ say your friend or relative is off on holiday in France and you want to give them a buzz from the UK on their UK mobile. How much will the call cost? Will you pay for an international call? Or is it them that pays?

Essentially if you are dialling UK mobiles, you are charged the usual cost of dialling UK irrespective of which country the mobile is in.

For your friend or relative in France, it is them that will be charged for the international portion of the call, not you. These charges are called ‘roaming charges’ and your friend or relative may want to think carefully about the roaming costs before answering your call. In these instance text messaging may work out a lot cheaper!


Image William Hook on Flickr (Creative Commons 2.0)


Making calls from UK Mobiles Whilst Abroad

So you are abroad on holiday and you need to book a local restaurant using your UK mobile. How much will it cost? Do you need to dial an international number?

As your phone will be connected to the domestic network of that country, all you should need to do is dial the full number for the restaurant, the same as you would if dialling from a local landline. In terms of cost, this is likely to be classed as a ‘roaming call’ and thus is probably going to be quite expensive. If you have some coins and are near a payphone, that is likely to be a cheaper option.

Another neat trick is to ask at a hotel reception or shop whether you can borrow their phone. In a lot of foreign countries, local calls from landlines are free so they won’t mind!

Dialling uk: What about if you want to make a call back to the UK or another international destination?

In these instances you need to dial an international exit code followed by an international prefix number.

In most countries, simply using ‘+’ will suffice for the exit code. These are the international prefix numbers or dialling codes for some popular destinations:

Country Country Dialling Code (dialling to) Exit Code (dialing from)
Australia 61 11
China 86 0
India 91 0
Poland 48 0
Syria 963 0
UK 44 0

These calls will be charged as ‘roaming calls’ and you should check the charges with your mobile provider.

Don’t forget about the Time Zones!

Remember the time difference when you are dialling UK from abroad. Australia, for example is 11 hours ahead of the UK. So if you are phoning the UK from Australia at 9am Australian time it will be 10pm UK time. If you want help with time zones and time differences, follow this link.

For more international dialling codes, follow this link.

If you have more up to date information, or would like to share your experiences of dialling UK mobiles abroad, do comment on our blog.