Calling to India
Making Calls while in India
Other Information about Long Distance Calling To/From India
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General Tips for Making Phone Calls within India
There are three important factors to consider when making calls within India: 1) whether the call is to or from a mobile phone; 2) whether the call crosses zones/circles; 3) if a cellular call, which service operators are used.
Mobile phone calls within India
Due to the rapid growth of cellular phone use in India, all cellular phone numbers are now comprised of 10 digits, including a 2-digit operator code, a 2-digit zone code, and a 6-digit subscriber number.
The proper calling format and cellular prefixes by provider are:
- TATA Indicom: 92-xx-xxx-xxx
- Reliance Mobile: 93-xx-xxx-xxx
- BSNL CellOne: 94-xx-xxx-xxx
- Various operators (except TATA, Reliance, and BSNL): 97-xx-xxx-xxx
- Various operators (except TATA, Reliance, and BSNL): 98-xx-xxx-xxx
- Various operators (except TATA, Reliance, and BSNL): 99-xx-xxx-xxx
In general, calls to cell phones need to be prefixed with a 0 before the operator code. However, the Mumbai Metro & Maharashtra Telecom Circle, Chennai Metro & Tamilnadu Telecom Circle, Kolkata Metro & West Bengal Telecom Circle and UP (East) & UP (West) Telecom Circle Service Areas have created inter-service areas. Though providers may be different, codes within the same zone/circle are considered local. Therefore, you do not have to dial the initial 0 before the operator code when calling in these zones. You still do have to dial the operator and zone codes.
Receiving calls from abroad
Remember to include the country code of 91 in any international calls to India.
If calling an Indian cellular phone from the U.S., dial:
- TATA Indicom: 011-91- 92-xx-xxx-xxx
- Reliance Mobile: 011-91-93-xx-xxx-xxx
- BSNL CellOne: 011-91-94-xx-xxx-xxx
- Various operators (except TATA, Reliance, and BSNL): 011-91-97-xx-xxx-xxx
- Various operators (except TATA, Reliance, and BSNL): 011-91-98-xx-xxx-xxx
- Various operators (except TATA, Reliance, and BSNL): 011-91-99-xx-xxx-xxx
If calling an Indian land line, be sure to dial the area code (2-4 digits) before the local number. e.g. For a call to Chennai, dial: 011-91-44-xxxx-xxxx.
Other calls and numbers
If you are calling a land line locally, you only need to dial the local number (6-8 digits).
Toll-free numbers in India have the prefix 1800:
- 1-800 xxx-xxx
- 1-800 xxx-xxxx
Keep in mind that calling a 1-800 number in the United States from India will likely carry the cost of an overseas call.
Some toll-free numbers are reserved for public services. Emergency numbers vary by city. Here are some of the numbers for major cities:
- 100 Police
- 2469-9229 East West Rescue/Ambulance (not a toll-free number)
Mumbai (formerly Bombay):
- 100 Police
- 103 Traffic Police
- 94440-78878 Ambulance (not a toll-free number)
- 197 Directory Assistance (local)
- 183 Directory Assistance (national)
Tips for Calling Internationally from India
If you are calling internationally from India, first dial 00, followed by the country code (1 for the U.S. and Canada), area code, and local number.
Making phone calls from hotels in India can be pricey, particularly if they are long-distance. As an alternative, seek out the yellow ISD/STD signs (the acronyms stand for "International Subscriber Dialing" and "Standard Trunk Dialing"). These are reasonably priced facilities where your call is monitored by a computer system.
Though they often offer only slow service, Internet cafes are plentiful. Try to find Sify i way (www.iway.com) and Reliance Webworld (www.relianceinfo.com) Internet centers. Both offer much faster broadband connections than average stand-alone establishments.