International calls

How to save on calls abroad

International calls

International calls are always expensive, and Italy is no different. Even if you use an alternative fixed provider, the charges can be expensive. To make a cheap call abroad, you might use schede telefoniche internazionali (international prepaid calling cards) with your normal fixed phone or mobile.

The Lottomatica website  offers a wide range of international cards to satisfy every demand and find the most affordable fees to call abroad from Italy. On Mitab's website  you have a very good list of international cards with their charges for the countries you can call. They are prepaid cards having a bonus of 5 or 10 € (the purchase price) whose validity time changes depending on the customer and the country you call.

The most advantageous international card used seems to be Winner , and a lot of people in Italy use it to make their calls abroad. Another company, Planet, offers two cards to meet the needs of the customers: Planet Business  and  Planet Internazionale.  Other calling cards include Bright , Sonic , and Happiness . 

An alternative way to make cheap calls abroad is “DialAbroad Italy ”. Using this company, you may purchase credit online from €0.04/min to landlines and mobiles worldwide. You can use your credit via a local mobile, fixed home phone, hotel or payphone.

Calling cards from major providers

Wind offers its own international card called Dialoga International . The use of this card requires the introduction of a code number before the number you want to call (provided that you have to insert international, national and local code). You have to dial 800 905 500 if you call by your Wind phone number, 800 905 140 if the call is made by your fixed line, and 800 905 141 if you make your call by a phone booth.

Tiscali's CartaMondo  allows you to call abroad with no connection fee or any additional charges.

Charges and connections

It's important to consider that there are variable costs for the connection fee charge as well as the additional costs based on the device you're calling from. In fact, making the call from your fixed line is cheaper than making it from your mobile. You might also have a dropped call, which means you'll have to call again and pay another connection fee.

After you have bought your international card from a tobacconist's or a newspaper kiosk, it's possible you will be not given a card but just a receipt containing a PIN and the use instructions. Some other companies who provide international cards still use the old system of plastic cards.

Phone booths

Due to the increase in mobile penetration, phone booths are less common than they used to be. With the increasing use of mobile phones, public phones have become unnecessary for public use in municipal buildings. You may be able to find pay phones in hospitals, railway stations, airports, military and police stations and some schools.

To call from one of these rare specimens, you will probably need a telephone card. Some phone booths still accept coins, but these are very few, so don't depend on it.

Further reading

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