We did some research on this topic by comparing the rates charged by Tel3Advantage, a popular prepaid calling plan, on international calls to mobile phones and landlines in various countries. We found there were some regional patterns to the data but no consistent rules. The following is a summary of our key observations.
- The rate charged on calls to mobile phones is substantially higher than they would be for the same call to a land-line. This seemed to be a typical pattern. Especially for international calls made to countries located in Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East. However, there were exceptions so callers should check the countries they wish to call before making any conclusions. Some popular locations where the rates charged on international calls to mobile phones are significantly higher than they are to landlines: Brazil, France, Italy, Mexico and the UK. For example, a call to a mobile phone in Italy from the USA costs 14.7 cents per-minute while a call to a land-line costs 1.8 cents per-minute.
- In some cases, the rate charged on calls to mobile phones were the same as those charged to landlines. Many of these locations were in Asia but there were many exceptions. We discovered the following popular destinations: Bermuda, China, India and Thailand.
- We also found cases where international calls to mobile phones where cheaper than calls to landlines. This is true on calls to the following popular destinations: Cuba, Egypt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Syria and Uzbekistan. In most cases, the difference in cost is small. For example, the rate charged for an international call to a mobile phone in Egypt is 9.4 cents per-minute while the charge for the same call to a land-line is 9.8 cents.
International callers should shop around for the best deal when deciding on a product to use for making cheap international calls. They should recognize that rates can vary significantly between countries and the type of phone they wish to call. It may be prudent to use one product for making calls to cell phones and another product to make calls to landlines. There are a wide selection of phone cards and other prepaid calling products to choose from so most callers can find substantial savings by shopping for the product that best fits their needs.