Communications

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TRAVEL TIPS

Communications

Internet

Most hotels in Israel have connections for laptops, and most have wireless access. Ask about the price, as some charge for the privilege. You can also find Internet access in most cafés. Tel Aviv has free public Wi-Fi, and Jerusalem has free Wi-Fi in the downtown area, in the German Colony, and Safra Square. Ben Gurion and Eilat airports also have free Wi-Fi.

Phones

Israel's landline phone numbers have seven digits, beginning with a two-digit area code, and mobile phone numbers have 10 digits, beginning with a three-digit prefix. Toll-free numbers in Israel begin with 177, 1800, 1700, or 1888. Many toll-free customer service numbers begin with an asterisk followed by four digits. When calling an out-of-town number within Israel, be sure to dial the zero that begins every area code.

The country code for Israel is 972. When dialing an Israeli number from abroad, drop the initial 0 from the local area code. The country code for Jordan is 962. When dialing from Israel, dial 00962 and the area code 3 before landline numbers in Petra; for Amman, use 00962 and the area code 6. When dialing within Jordan, include the initial 0 from the area code.

Calling Within Israel

Making a local call in Israel is quite simple. All public telephones use phone cards that may be purchased at newspaper kiosks and post offices. Pick up the receiver, insert the card in the slot, dial the number when you hear the tone, and the number of units remaining on the card appears on the screen. One unit equals about two minutes. From 7 pm to 7 am, calls are much cheaper.

The area codes for dialing between cities within Israel are Jerusalem (02); Tel Aviv (03); Netanya and Herzliya (09); Haifa, Galilee, Tiberias, Tzfat, and Nazareth (04); Eilat and the Negev (08).

Dial 144 for directory or operator assistance. Operators all speak English. Dial 188 for an international operator.

Calling Outside Israel

When calling internationally direct from Israel, first dial 00 then the country code. The country code for the United States and Canada is 1.

You can make international calls using a telecard from a public phone. A call from Israel to the United States costs 2.5 units a minute, or about 40¢ per minute.

Mobile Phones

If you have a multiband phone and your service provider uses the world-standard GSM network (like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon), you can probably use your phone abroad. Roaming fees can be steep, however: 99¢ a minute is considered reasonable. Overseas you normally pay the toll charges for incoming calls. It's almost always cheaper to send a text message than to make a call.

If you just want to make local calls, consider buying a new SIM card (note that your provider may have to unlock your phone to allow a different SIM card) and a prepaid service plan in the destination. You then have a local number and can make local calls at local rates.

If you travel internationally frequently, save one of your old mobile phones or buy a cheap one on the Internet; ask your cell-phone company to unlock it for you, and take it with you as a travel phone, buying a new SIM card with pay-as-you-go service in each destination.

Depending on your cell phone provider’s global roaming rates, it could be cheaper to rent a cell phone at Ben Gurion International Airport or order a rental phone to arrive at your address before leaving for Israel. Rental booths are in the airport arrivals hall.

Contacts

ATS. 718/838–1511; 052/482–6681; www.atsisrael.com.

Cellular Abroad. 800/287–5072; www.cellularabroad.com.

Mobal. 888/888–9162; www.mobalrental.com.

Planet Fone. 888/988–4777; www.planetfone.com.

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