International Text Messaging

Other than sending regular text messages to friends and family in the country that you live in, there is often the need to send international text messages or send international sms messages, to be clear a 'text message' and an 'sms message' are exactly the same thing. Alternatively you may want to text abroad to somebody back home.

International text messaging

Our aim on this page is to cover the codes that you will need to put in front of the recipients number in order to send international text messages so that you can send international sms messages whenever you need to without any problems. This is not as straight forward as sending a text message to a regular number.

We will use some practical examples now:

If you are in the USA and you are going to send an international sms message you need to use an international dial out code as well as the country code of the country that the recipient lives in before their number.

An example of somebody in the USA using international text messaging to contact somebody in the UK.

Example 1 - Sending text messages from the Apple iPhone, a modern cell phone in the touch screen category.

  • The international dialing out code is : 011
  • The international country code for the UK is : 44
  • The recipient's cell phone number in the UK is : 07777777770
  • The first digit of the recipient's number is to be ignored as in the UK this is always a '0' and not required in the full number.
  • The number that needs to be input in order to send international text messages in this case is : 011447777777770
  • An example of somebody in the UK using international text messaging to contact somebody in the USA.
  • If you are in the UK the international dialing out code is either 00 or '+'
  • The international country code for the USA is : 1
  • The recipient's cell phone number in the USA is : 630 444 4444
  • The number that needs to be input in order to send international text messages in this case is : 0016304444444 or +16304444444
  • Please see our international dialing codes page for a comprehensive list of country codes to be used when international text messaging or trying to text abroad.
  • The above principle is exactly the same no matter where you are in the world sending international sms messages.

International dialing code + country code + recipient's number = correct number for international text messaging

Remember that any recipient's number in the world that begins with '0', when you are inputting their number you always leave the '0' off when sending international text messages.

If you do not know the international dialing out code for your own country either check with your network provider or try '+' before the country code of the recipient just like in the second example above.

The cost and facilities of international text messaging

International text messaging is something that will likely cost more than your standard text message rate, if you have a contract where you have texts included it is best to check with the provider whether international text messaging is included in this. Alternatively you can try and send international text messages and if you have a pay as you go phone your credit will be adjusted accordingly. If there is a problem for any reason and you can't send international sms messages then your phone will display some sort of error message so it is always best to check with the network provider first to be clear of your options and the cost.

If you are overseas and you want to text abroad back home then you will be charged a higher rate so it is vital to check with the network provider before you travel because if you are on a contract you may come home to a huge bill, if you are on pay as you go you may use up all of your credit very quickly or if there are restrictions on your tariff you may not be able to send a text at all without having let the network provider know you were going abroad.

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