The food alone is reason enough to plan a trip to India. Add in a booming technology sector, bustling cities and heaps of historical and religious monuments, and you have a destination that’s bucket-list worthy for any traveller.
With so many tourists and expats alike visiting India, it’s pretty likely that you may need to get in touch with someone there at some point. Placing an international phone call to India isn’t too complicated, but it’s not the same as making a local phone call in your home country. There are some tricks and steps you’ll want to know if you want your call to go through. Read on to learn them.
Every country in the world has a different country code that needs to be dialed before the local phone number. This helps keep local phone numbers short enough to be memorized — without country codes, phone numbers would have to be extremely long to ensure there was a different one for every person with a phone.
- India’s country code is +91.
India has many two- and three-digit area codes that you must dial depending on which city you’re trying to reach. Bigger cities typically have two-digit area codes in India, while smaller towns and suburbs have three-digit area codes. Some of the more common area codes you might encounter when placing a call to India are:
- Bangalore: 80
- Calcutta: 33
- Delhi: 11
- Hyderabad: 40
- Mumbai: 22
A complete list of area codes for India can be found here.
Indian base phone numbers are comprised of eight digits, split into groups of four, like this: 1234 5678. So if you’re placing a call to Mumbai, you might see the number written as 22 1234 5678. In this case, you’ll want to dial +91 22 1234 5678 if you’re calling from a mobile phone. If you’re calling from a landline, you’ll want to dial your international call prefix (more on this below), then 91 22 1234 5678.
When you call a foreign country from a landline, you don’t have the option to dial the “+” before the country code, so you use an international call prefix instead. These vary depending on where you’re calling from, but some of the most common are:
|UK, Italy, China||00|
|United States or Canada||011|
For a full list of international call prefixes, click here.
If your call to India fails to go through, try with these tips to troubleshoot:
- Make sure the local number you’re dialing is correct.
- Make sure you’re using the correct dialing format (your country’s international call prefix, India’s country code, the area code, then the local number)
- If you’re calling on a mobile phone, make sure you use the “+” symbol before the country code, not the international call prefix.
There are other ways to make calls to India that might be better options than calling internationally. It may be easier or cheaper to use an app, like Whatsapp or Skype. Whatsapp offers free calls, and Skype allows you to pre-load the app with credits for making international calls (calls via the app to another Skype user are free).
Most telecom providers in India don’t automatically provide voicemail boxes, but in some cases, this is a service that can be added onto a user’s subscription. Mobile phone users usually do have voicemail boxes either through the phone manufacturer or their mobile carrier.
Do you spend a lot of time travelling abroad? Need to send money to friends or family who live in India, or another country? If you’re looking to move money across borders quickly, safely and cheaply, try TransferWise. TransferWise moves money internationally via a series of local bank transfers, which means money never physically crosses borders, and you don’t have to pay international or intermediary bank fees. You get the exact mid-market rate, or the exchange rate that you see on Google, and only have to pay a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelt out upfront.
TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which allow users to send, receive and hold money in several global currencies at once. By 2018, borderless account holders will also have access to consumer debit cards, which makes accessing your money while traveling even easier.
Making an international call may seem daunting at first, but with the right information in hand, you should be able to reach people in India without any problems. Safe travels, and good luck with your call!
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