You should be aware that placing a long distance call from your wireline telephone here in the U.S. to a wireless phone in another country may result in a surcharge on your bill in addition to your usual charges.

This can happen because many foreign countries use a "calling party pays" framework. Under that framework, wireless phone subscribers pay only for the outgoing calls they place to others. The calling party must pay for calls placed to wireless phones. As a result, when you call international wireless customers on your landline phone, foreign service providers may pass through to the U.S. service provider the additional cost of connecting the call, which ends up as a surcharge on your bill.

Steps you can take to avoid surcharges

  • Check with your long distance carrier for more specific information about international wireless surcharges and for international rates.
  • Check your service provider's website, which may list surcharges for calls to particular countries.
  • Some countries use unique telephone numbers for wireless telephones. Check with your service provider for a listing of those numbers so you will know in advance whether you are about to call a foreign number that may result in a surcharge.

Consumer Help Center

For more information on consumer issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer Help Center at

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Surcharges for International Calls to Wireless Phones (pdf)

Date Last Updated/Reviewed: 
Monday, May 23, 2016