Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rates on International Calls to Mobile Phones

In many cases, the rates charged on international calls to mobile phones are substantially higher than the rate charged for the same call to a land-line. Therefore, when making international calls, callers should take care and read the fine print so they fully understand the rate charged for making a call to the type of phone they plan to call or they may receive an unpleasant surprise. In most cases, rates on international calls to mobile phones are higher than they are for calls to landlines but this is not always the case. The rate difference varies between countries and service providers so it is best to shop around in order to find the lowest cost product for making calls to the country and type of phone you wish to call.

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.

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