DMC & Incoming Tour Operator to Brazil and all of South America BIT 25 Years

Telephones

Under the Brazilian system you choose your operating company for every long-distance and international call you make. This helps the locals save money but can be confusing for visitors. Read our helpful hints.

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International calls are no longer very expensive from Brazil. And now that more private phone companies are appearing, there's more competition and prices are becoming lower. However, this has also meant that making a phone call has become more complicated. If you call from abroad, you still normally dial +55 followed by the area code (ex. 21 for Rio or 11 for Sao Paulo) and then the number. Should the phone be busy, you won't hear the usual engaged tone. A recorded message tells you that the caller can not be reached and gives the friendly advice that you should try later. For those who do not understand Portuguese, this may be confusing. It is often confused with a strange answering machine or / and your fax machine doesn't know what to do with it. Calling within Brazil also has its complications: Different telephone companies are now offering their services and in each city you must choose the most appropriate one of them so you have to specify first through whom you will place the call. To make things easier, we suggest to use always the operating company code 21. It operates throughout Brazil whereas all the others options vary from each location.

Examples :
- You are in Rio and you want to phone to Sao Paulo on a mobile : You dial 0, then the company code , then you dial 11 (eleven stands for the area code São Paulo) followed by the number.
- You want to phone to France from your mobile : You dial 00 (the company code ) 33 followed by the number.

Ok, now it gets better : You are in Rio and want to call the neighbouring town of Petropolis , which is in the state of Rio and has the same area code 021. Now you dial 0 21 21 (first 21 for the operator, then you dial 21 for the area code) plus the number. It is amazing, even though you are calling from the same area with the same code, you still need to dial the area code. Only the locals seem to understand how it all works. If that is not confusing enough, with mobile phones none of the above rules apply as again there are different companies here again.

Examples :
You are in Rio and you want to phone to Sao Paulo on a mobile : You dial the company code , then you dial 011 (eleven stands for the area code São Paulo) followed by the number.
- You want to phone to France from your mobile : You dial 00 (the company code ) 33 followed by the number.

The important difference to some European countries is that the codes for mobiles are not the same all over the country. That is, if you call your friend who has his mobile in Rio too, you just dial the eight-digit number. If your friend bought his mobile in another city, in Salvador for instance, you dial 071, the code for Salvador, and then the eight digit number.


Collect Calls


You can make a collect call (local or international) just by dialing 9090 in front of the number. You always have to dial the area code, even when it is a local call.


Public Phone


You can make international and national phone calls from Telephone Offices, which are found in every town. The phones found in the street, nicknamed "big ears", work with phone cards, which are widely available.


Other Services


The bigger post offices have fax services, and telegrams can be sent from and received in every office.


Calling though the operators


If all this just sounds too much and you are unable to seek local advice, you may decide to pay the extra to make a call through the operator. For international operating information dial 000333. For the international operator dial 000111. We suggest going through the international operator in your own country for collect calls. This can be done by dialing 00080 then the country code; for example, to call England collect dial 00080 44 and you will be connected to the international operator in England. For Italy dial 00080 39.