Landlines are becoming less and less common as people use mobile phones exclusively. Many people simply get a home phone as part of the bundle packaged with internet or mobile phone.
Phone numbers in Canada follow a standard eleven-digit format, both for mobile and landline numbers. Numbers are arranged by country code (1 for Canada), area code, central office code, and a station code. For example, 1 (XXX) XXX-XXXX.
To call between provinces or regions in Canada, you must dial (XXX) XXX-XXX.
To dial a local phone number in Canada, you must dial XXX-XXXX.
To dial Canada internationally, you must dial 01 +1 (XXX) XXX-XXXX.
The exit code is also known as the international access code or IDD International Direct Dialing code, and is used to dial out of your country. The two most common exit codes are 00 and 011.
Fixed line services start at $25 per month, but additional fees may apply for installation, caller ID, call forwarding, voice mail, call screening, call waiting, call return, three-way calling, 411 (phone directory) services, 711 (message relay for hearing or speech impaired) services, second line, and call blocking. Long distance plans are available from $7/month to Asia, $10/month to India, $20/month to the US and Canada, $25/month to Europe, or $0.05-$8/minute to any international destination. You may be charged monthly fees to rent a phone from your provider. Providers offer different plans, free trials, bonuses and discounts, so shop around before deciding.
In most cases, a telephone line is already installed and you will just have to pay a connection fee to start service. To do this, you will need to pick a provider and sign a contract. You will be asked to provide basic contact information, as well as a credit cart number or credit history. If you do not have a credit history in Canada you may be required to pay a deposit on your account, or have a co-signer guarantee your account. If you do not have a phone line already installed, you can contact a provider and a technician will establish a line. Make an appointment at least a week in advance of your move to ensure service.
Public phones are becoming much less available as they are commonly vandalized, and many are actively being removed by the operating companies. Public telephones can sometimes be found in Post Offices, supermarkets, train or bus stations. Most payphones in Canada are owned and operated by large telecom providers such as Bell, Telus and Sasktel.
Pricing on most local payphone calls is now 50 cents CAD, having increased from 25 cents in the past few years. Newer phones allow users to use calling cards and credit cards. You can dial 0 for the operator or call emergency services through 911 for free.
Calling cards are a convenient way to use pay phones and offer lower rates on making international calls.
Different cards offer many different tariffs and conditions and can be complicated to understand. The card with the lowest rate per minute might not be the most efficient card for you.
Different prepaid calling cards may have different procedures, but most follow a similar format.
After dialing a number, cards tell you how many minutes you have left. Some cards give your remaining balance after entering your PIN.
Various sites offer the ability to "chat" with other users. Originally this meant typed messages that would instantly pop up on each others screens. In recent years, this has expanded to being able to voice and video chat. With service through the internet, it is cheap, easy, and even better then a phone call.
Skype is far and away the best technology as users can message, talk, or video chat with other internet users for free. Users can also call land lines and mobile phones for a fee. Other useful services include google talk, windows live messenger, meebo, and more.
Canadian directory: http://www.canada411.ca/
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