How to Call the United States From the United Kingdom
As an inhabitant of the United Kingdom planning to dial a number in the United States, there are certain steps you need to follow. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to make such a call seamlessly, whether from a landline or mobile phone, as well as covering alternative methods like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and calling apps.
International Calling Basics
When placing international calls, you need to be familiar with several terminologies and codes:
International Dialing Code (IDC): Also known as the international direct dial (IDD) or exit code, this is the number that allows you to dial outside the country you are calling from. In the UK, the IDC is 00.
Country Calling Code: This is the number you dial after the IDC to reach the country you are calling. The United States has a country calling code of 1.
Area Code: This is a three-digit number that identifies a particular region within the country you are calling. For example, New York City’s area code is 212, while Los Angeles’ is 213.
Local Number: This is the individual’s personal seven-digit phone number.
Dialing from a Landline or Mobile
Here are the steps to dial the US from the UK using a landline or mobile phone:
Dial the UK’s International Dialing Code, 00.
Next, enter the country calling code for the US, which is 1.
Then, dial the three-digit area code corresponding to the part of the US you’re calling.
Finally, dial the seven-digit local number of the person or organization you are trying to reach.
So, if you were to call a New York City landline (area code 212) from the UK, you would dial: 00 1 212 XXXXXXX.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows people to make voice calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a regular phone line.
Services like Skype and Zoom offer VoIP calling. These platforms often have lower rates for international calls compared to traditional phone networks. Some of them even offer free calls to other users on the same platform.
To make a VoIP call:
Download and install the VoIP software or app onto your device.
Sign up for an account if necessary.
Enter the number you wish to call. In most cases, you would enter the number the same way you would with a regular phone: country code + area code + local number.
There are various mobile applications available that allow you to make international calls, some of which are free, or offer free services under certain conditions.
For example, WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger allow free international calls to other users of the same app, using data or WiFi.
To make a call:
Download and install your chosen app.
Register an account if necessary.
Find the person you want to call either by searching their name or number within the app, or by adding them to your contacts.
Tap on the ‘call’ button.
Things to Keep in Mind
Costs: Remember that international calling rates will apply when dialing the US from the UK. These rates vary depending on your telephone service provider. VoIP and calling apps usually have cheaper rates or might even be free, so consider these options if you need to keep costs down.
Time Zone Difference: The US spans six different time zones, so be sure to check the local time in the recipient’s location before you call to avoid calling at inappropriate hours.
Call Quality: Calls over the internet (VoIP or app calls) depend on your internet connection. If your connection is slow or unstable, the call quality might be affected.
In conclusion, with the right information at your disposal, making a call from the UK to the US is as easy as dialing a local number. Choose the method that suits your needs and convenience, keeping in mind factors like cost, convenience, and call quality. Remember to account for the time difference, and you’ll be all set to bridge the distance with a simple phone call.