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Using Cell Phones & Calling Cards in Bermuda
While in Bermuda as a tourist, you will most likely make a few calls back home and make some local calls as well. You may be carrying your cell phone (with international dialing and roaming activated), or may decide to take a rental cell phone in Bermuda or alternatively use an international calling card.
All these options work in Bermuda. When dialing an international call from Bermuda, you will need to use the following dialing rules for calling a land line number: For USA and Canada: 1-(Area Code)-(Local Number). Other countries: 011-(Country Code)-(Area Code)-(Local Number).
If you are making an international call from Bermuda to someone's cell phone, then don't dial the Area Code. While using calling cards, follow the instructions as stated in the card. For making calls within Bermuda (i.e. for making local calls) from your international roaming cell phone, note the following:
Bermuda's country code is 441 and the local phone numbers are 7 digits long. So, if you are calling a Bermuda phone number, you will need to dial 1, then 441 as the country code and then the local seven digit number. So for example to call a local taxi, dial 1-441-(7 digit number). In case you want to make a call to a Bermuda number before you start your travel, that is from your own home country, then use the following rules:
1) USA and Canada, dial 1-441-(seven digit number).
2) Other countries, 001-441-(seven digit number).
Using Cell Phones in Bermuda
Most of the cell phones, particularly using GSM technology and having international dialing service activated will work in Bermuda. For example if you are from the U.S. and using a regular cell phone (carrier) service from Verizon/AT&T/Sprint etc, your cell phone will work in Bermuda.
However, make sure that you call up the operator and set up the International Dialing and Roaming in your phone. Otherwise your cell phone won't work. Also be careful. The international roaming rates can be quite high. So check out the rates before you start. Most operators charge even for incoming text messages (on which you really have no control). Some operators charge you for the roaming even if you do not use the phone but only switch it on in Bermuda.
Some of these cell phone service operators (carriers) also have arrangements with cruise ships so that you can use your cell phone even while on a cruise and out of range from Bermuda's mobile towers. Remember that cruise ship rates for cell phone usage are different and much higher. Operators like AT&T offer different plans while you visit another country. For example a $10 plan lets you send up to 50 text messages from Bermuda back home to the US or locally.
Another option of using cell phones in Bermuda is to buy a pre-paid SIM card when you get here. They are not very expensive. You will get a Bermuda local number but can make both local and international calls and also send text messages. However your cell phone must be unlocked so that such SIM cards can be used.
Not all cell phones have international capability. So if you want to verify whether your cell phone will work in Bermuda, you can call 1-703-222-7161 in the US, or alternatively visit this link: http://intouchglobal.com/travel.htm and fill up a short form. This is a free service and they will let you know about your cell phone's capability.
The international activation in your cell phone will not cost you much. But the roaming charge while in Bermuda can be substantial - anywhere between $1 to $5 a minute depending on the operator and time of call.
Renting Cell Phones in Bermuda
You can also rent a cell phone in Bermuda by day and at a very competitive rate like $2 per day. There is usually no extra charge for services like call waiting, voice mails and such. The usual rate for a local call is 50¢ a minute. Calls to US and UK generally cost 110¢ a minute, for other countries it is $1 a minute.
Here are some places from where you can rent cell phones in Bermuda:
Check out Internet Cafes & Accesss in Bermuda to know more about Internet Lane and other internet access points in Bermuda.
International calling Cards in Bermuda
International calling cards are available in Bermuda at very competitive rates. You will get pre-paid calling cards all over the island including from dispensing machines. If you are making calls from your hotel using the calling card, check out if the hotel adds any extra charge. Generally the hotels don't charge for making calls through calling cards. You can use the calling card in any public phone as well.
Here are the Bermuda telecom companies that provide calling cards:
TeleBermuda International (TBI): Located at the corner of Reid Street and Queen Street in Hamilton City (Phone: 441/296-9000). The cards are also available at supermarkets, pharmacies and other stores. You can buy the cards for $10, $25 or $50 denominations. A good thing is that if you are going back to US, Canada or UK, you can still use the card. TBI rates are generally cheaper than the other operators.
North Rock Communications Bermuda: Located at Washington Lane, Hamilton City (Phone: 441/540-2700). Pre-paid cards available all across the island for $5, $10, $20 or $50, and can be used back in US.
Logic Communications Bermuda: Located at 10-12 Burnaby Street, Hamilton City (phone: 441/294-8888). Cards available in $5, $10, $20 or $50 denominations in various places including airport, Phoenix Stores, Visitor Information Centers, post offices, and other gift and souvenir stores.
Bermuda Public Phones
There are many public telephone booths all over Bermuda. These are the traditional British boxes that are red in color. Local calls cost 20¢ and you can drop two 10¢ coins. In most of the public telephone booths, US coins are also accepted. You can also drop a quarter and make a call, but most of them will not return the change.
Useful local phone numbers in Bermuda
911 - Police, Ambulance and fire
411 - Local directory assistance.
Note: You can call the above numbers while in Bermuda only.
Complete Bermuda Vacation & Travel Guides on eBooks!
1) Check out Bermuda Travel Guide for lot more information about Bermuda.
By Raj Bhattacharya
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