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Ting international calling rates

Recently, we talked about Ting’s international texting rates here on the Ting blog. This week, we’re going to tackle international calling rates, which are a little more complicated. To be clear, we’re talking about calling from the US to an international number. We’re not talking about roaming outside of the US which is an entirely different discussion.

While texting from the US to an international number falls under the standard ¼¢ per SMS rate, international calling is not so simple. Well the process is simple; dial the country and area code then the local number. Breaking down the cost however, that’s not quite so simple.

You can see the full list of international calling rates on the International Calling Surcharges page. The short version: International calling surcharges range from $0.05/min. (Singapore) to $2.50/min. (Diego Garcia which I just learned “is a tropical, footprint-shaped coral atoll located south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean.” [Thanks, Wikipedia]).

These rates are surcharges which means you’ll be using a voice minute plus paying the per minute surcharge when calling international numbers.

This is about the most complicated aspect of Ting and hopefully we’ve been very clear on our contempt for complexity in mobile. In this very specific case though, it can’t be avoided. The surcharges themselves though, those can be avoided…

Avoiding international calling surcharges:

There are a couple of good ways to get around these surcharges. One is to grab an international calling card and use it instead to make international calls. Using the hard pause and hold features in your phone’s you can even prepend your most often called contacts with the calling card’s 800 number (Wait) your PIN number (Pause) then the number your want to dial. Check out this video tutorial on adding extension info to your contacts in Android for more detail on doing that.

Another way to make your international calls cheaper is with Skype or Google Voice on your Wi-Fi network. With Skype, you can make international calls to 30 countries for 2.3¢/min. plus a connection fee that varies with the country you’re calling and whether you’re ringing a mobile number or a landline. Google Voice international calling rates vary too. From 2¢/min (a landline in the Netherlands) to $2.29/min.. The $2.29 rate only applies if you have friend or family member in the Netherlands who’s still using a pager… and really, who doesn’t have at least one of those.