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Long Distance Calling Shouldn't Feel Like Long Distance Running
10-10 numbers | Long Distance Carriers

Long distance carriers (e.g., AT&T, Verizon) are an expensive but reliable way to call home. These companies usually rely on fiber optic networks to transmit international calls. As a result, their customers have to pay more, but they receive much better sound quality, and can get through almost 100% of the time. When you want to add international long distance service to your home phone, you need to remember the following things:

  • It's optional: International long distance service is not included with your phone service. You will need to add this service to your phone. Unless you apply for AT&T's international calling plan, (or another company's service) your local phone company will connect your international phone calls for you at a ridiculously high per-minute rate. Since international long distance service is optional, you have no obligation to order it. If you are perfectly happy with using phone cards or 10-10 numbers, you don't need to apply for any international long distance service.
  • There is a fixed monthly fee: This fee is charged regardless of whether or not you use the service. It varies from company to company and is included in your monthly phone bill, which is usually issued by your local phone company.
  • Local vs. long distance: Your long distance carrier and local phone carrier may or may not be the same company.
  • Switch around: You have the freedom to change long distance carriers any time. In most cases, the new carrier will assume the charge for switching, which is around $5. Many international students switch when a competing carrier offers a cheaper rate. Some companies also offer switching incentives, like $100 cash, if you switch within a certain time.
  • Analyze it: There are different programs for different prices. For example, some companies may offer a deep discount if you call during the evening or on weekends. Others may offer one rate, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Make a careful comparison before making the final decision.

The following telecommunications giants are the most popular international long distance carriers. You can visit their web sites and compare their international calling rates.

Choosing a long distance and/or international phone service package can be tricky. Depending on which package you choose, rates can change at a certain time of day, or day of week, and you should be aware of high charges which you could incur (usually during weekday hours) as well as possible monthly charges. And you should consider where the majority of your phone calls will be placed, whether only on campus, in the local area or state, throughout the United States, or abroad. Clearly, finding the most reasonable rate to your home country is very important!

Price Comparisons

SaveOnPhone.com provides price comparisons of the major long distance carriers. Check it out, and see if you've got the best deal!

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