Phone/Mobile Codes of All Countries
Communication. How important is it? If you cannot give a comprehensive answer to this question, try answering this – ‘Someone from your family went to the USA or the UK to study or for a job. Will you not like to know how well that person is adjusting there? Will you not like to know his exact location or about his health? Will you not like to talk to him?’ Now you get it, don’t you? Communication is important for the continuity of mankind. Take this off, and we will slip into the Dark Ages. We will then slip back into Stone Age, and one fine day, we will perish.
Now the big question! When you need to call someone in a different country, how will you do that? The general answer will be – ‘by dialing the number!’ Unfortunately, it is not so simple! Calling a phone or a cell number in a foreign country is not as simple as dialing the number. There is something called International Calling Codes. So, when you are calling a number in a different country, you need to use the code for that country.
Yes, every country in this world has a different code. India, for instance, has the code +91. The question that you should be asking here is, ‘what do these codes mean and how are they used?’ Are you willing to learn the answer? Let us begin.
International Calling Codes, and Country Codes – What Are They?
Here you need to understand the difference between International Calling Code and a Country Code.
International Calling Code
So, what is the International Calling Code, and how does it differ from a Country Code? Here is the answer you seek but with a brief explanation:
Suppose you are in India and you are using Airtel connection for your phone. You want to initiate a phone call to the USA. How will you tell Airtel to initiate that international call and how will you tell Airtel which country you want to call?
There is a code for initiating the international call from India. This code is called International Calling Code. Though we are referring to the codes as International Calling Codes, they have a different technical name. They are known as International Direct Dial designations or IDD designations. There is yet another name. That name is International Call Prefix.
Then, there is a code that represents America. This code is called Country Code.
So, when you want to call someone in America, first you need to dial the International Calling Code to tell Airtel that you are initiating an international call.
Following the International Calling Code is Country Code for America. This Country Code will tell Airtel that you want to reach the USA.
Following the Country Code will be the actual phone number that you will be calling.
Look at the image below.
Look at the image above; you will see that the International Calling Code or the International Direct Dial designation or International Call Prefix is a code that belongs to the country of origin of the phone call. So, if you are from India, and you are calling someone in the USA, the IDD designation here is the code for India.
Similarly, if you belong to France and you are calling Switzerland, the IDD designation will be for France, the Country Code will be for Switzerland, and the phone number will be of Switzerland.
Remember: The International Calling Code or IDD designation for almost every country in this entire world is either 00 or 001. However, some countries have IDD designation of 010 (Japan) while some other countries have IDD designation of 0011 (Australia).
Country Code Composition
The Country Code for almost every country is made of two digits. The United States of America is one exception here. The USA has a single digit code, and it is ‘1’ (one). France, for example, has the code 33, India uses the code 91, the UK uses 44 and so on.
There are some countries in this world however that do not use a double-digit Country Code They have a three-digit code. These are usually smaller countries. For example, 353 is the country code for the Republic of Ireland.
How Does an International Call Look Like?
Let us explain this with an example.
Suppose you are in India and someone in the UK is calling you.
Let us assume that your mobile number is 9999999999. When the person in the United Kingdom tries to call you, what will that person dial?
He will dial any one of the two options:
- 00 91 9999999999
- +91 9999999999
In the first case:
- ‘00’ is the International Call Prefix that people in the UK need to use when they initiate an international call from the UK.
- 91 is the country code for India. So, the Brit calling you in India needs to add 91 in front of your number because 91 is India’s Country Code.
In the second case:
- + (the plus sign) does the same job as ‘00’. The plus sign works as the IDD designation.
Why the + (plus sign)?
Do you know what the International Calling Code for India is? Most likely you don’t. Now imagine, you move to China, and you need to call back at home in India. What if you don’t know the International Calling Code for China?
If you know the codes, it is great, but most people don’t remember. Actually, most people don’t even know the International Calling Code. To get around this problem, the + (plus sign) was introduced. Everyone can remember this sign. It makes life easy. There is less to remember and fewer digits to type or key in. The plus sign has no other meaning.
When you dial the + (plus sign), your phone operator will know that you are trying to make an international call, and the operator or network will automatically dial the International Calling Code.
Steps to Make an International Call
So, now that you understand the concepts of International Calling Code and Country Code, here are the steps you need to follow to place an international call:
- Type the International Calling Code or simply type in the plus sign (+).
- Type in the Country Code of the country to which you want to make a call.
- Key in the phone number of the person to whom you want to make a call.
- Hit the call button!