Learn how to use the Phone system and how to call an Argentine Cellphone
When one travels to a different country, there are many new things to see and to adapt to, including learning how to do the simple everyday tasks which we usually take for granted. Making phone calls would probably fall under this category when one comes to Buenos Aires. It’s by no means difficult, but you might just need a few pointers to make this into an easy breezy task.
First and foremost, línea fija (landline) and celular (cellphone) are considered to be 2 different systems. Because of that, how to make a phone call depends on where you are calling from and where you are calling to. Here is the breakdown:
1) Making Local calls
Landline to Landline:
Only need to dial the 8-digit phone number. Look below for Examples
Landline to Cellphone:
Phone companies charge extra for this type of phone call, which means a typical landline plan doesn’t include such services. So most of the landline phones that you will come across, like at people’s home, hostels and rental apartment, probably won’t let you make calls to cellphones. In the case that you have access to a landline* that allows you to make cellphone calls, then you’ll have to dial 15 + the 8 digits, to signify you’re dialing a cellphone number.
*Unless someone is willing to pay for a very comprehensive landline plan, the only landlines that you will most likely be able to use to call cellphones are at locutorios (internet cafes that also have payphone booths) or public phones. Fee: what the locutorios charge could be by call or by time.
OR you can use a Prepaid Calling Card and use any local landline to call cellphones. But in this case, you’ll be calling the cellphone as if you were calling from outside the country. Please see ‘International call’ below for more info.
Cellphone to Cellphone:
Only need to dial the 8-digit phone number, same with texting. Fee: Deduct credits by minute, different carriers have different rates.
Cellphone to Landline:
Only need to dial the 8-digit phone number. Fee: Deduct credits by minute, different carriers have different rates.
2) Receiving call/text
It’s generally free when receiving calls or text on a cellphone. However, when you receive a call and the Caller ID says ‘11111111’, then the receiver will have to pay for this phone call too. These calls are usually when someone calls you from a public phone, including those in the locutorios, or from outside of Argentina i.e. international calls.
3) International call/text
Calling TO Buenos Aires: Again because of the 2 systems, how to dial from outside of Argentina will depend on the kind of number you are calling to: (Argentina country code is +54, Buenos Aires city code is 11)
To a landline: +54 + 11 + [8-digit number] To a cellphone: +54 + 9 +11 + [8-digit number] but texting to a cellphone, you can drop the ‘9’, like this: +54 + 11 + [8-digit number]
Calling FROM Argentina: Skype is always a great option, but if you don’t have access to it and need to resort to the good old telephone, you will need to buy yourself a Tarjeta Prepaga (prepaid calling card). You can find it at any kioskos (kiosks) and they come in different denominations. You can use any local landline phone to make international phone calls using the prepaid card.
4) Calling other Argentine cities within Argentina
Whenever you are calling a place with a different area code, it is considered long distance and it’ll require extra credit. When you make the call, you’ll have to add ‘0’ in front of the area code, if it’s not written in the number already. For example:
You’re calling Bariloche, its code is 294. From any Buenos Aires landline or cellphone, you’ll dial 0294+phone number for landline, or 0294+15+ phone number if it’s a cellphone. Keep in mind that sometimes the ‘0’ might already be included, then you do not have to add another ‘0’.
a) When you give out your phone numbers, it’s always helpful to include 11 (for landline) or 15 (for cellphone) in front of the phone number so the person you’re giving it to will understand what type of number it is.
b) You are always welcome to call anywhere in the world from our Spanish School in Buenos Aires for free
c) You can take advantage of the Free WiFi in Buenos Aires and just use Skype. Always remember that Argentina international country code is 54
d) you can also use Voip.ms a voice over IP service that once install in a SIP software on your phone will allow you to make calls to North America and Europe for an average price of 0.001 per minute. You can try Zopier if you have Android or Apple IOS.
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