Making phone calls to and from a new country is often fraught with unexpected hurdles. If you’ve recently moved to Sweden or are planning to spend some time here, you’re probably figuring out how to navigate through its telecommunications landscape.
There’s a lot to consider, whether it’s understanding area codes, dialing emergency numbers, or choosing the right mobile service provider. But here’s the good news: this guide will walk you through the essentials of making calls in Sweden, offering you practical advice and cost-saving tips along the way.
- Sweden’s international dialing code is +46, and its exit code for international calls is 00.
- Local calls to Swedish landlines often require an area code; mobile numbers usually start with ’07’.
- For international calls, utilize specialized plans, VOIP services, or prepaid calling cards to save money.
- Prepaid plans are great for short-term stays; postpaid plans offer more comprehensive services but often require a Swedish personal identity number.
- The universal emergency number in Sweden is 112; other important numbers include 1177 for medical advice and 114 14 for non-urgent police matters.
Types of Phone Services Available in Sweden
Navigating the telecommunications offerings in Sweden needn’t be complicated, especially when you understand the basic types of phone services you can use. You’ll generally come across three categories: landline, mobile, and Internet-based calling or Voice Over IP (VOIP).
Though becoming increasingly rare, especially among younger demographics, landline services are still in use in Sweden. These are typically found in homes and offices.
A landline might be included in your utilities package if you’re renting an apartment or house. Landline services can be useful for local calls but may prove to be expensive for long-distance or international communication.
The most flexible and commonly used method of communication in Sweden is mobile services. There are various providers like Telia, Telenor, and Tele2 offering a range of prepaid and postpaid plans. Mobile services not only offer convenience but often come with packages that include SMS and data, allowing you to surf the internet or use apps to make calls.
Prepaid packages are particularly useful for newcomers as they don’t require a Swedish personal identity number or a long-term contract.
Internet-based Calling (VOIP)
VOIP services like Skype, WhatsApp, and Zoom are popular and cost-effective alternatives, especially for international calls. You can use these services through your mobile data plan or a Wi-Fi connection, cutting down on the fees typically associated with international dialing.
Most VOIP services allow you to call other users on the same platform for free, and they offer lower rates for calling mobile and landline numbers.
Understanding Swedish Area Codes and International Dialing Codes
When it comes to making calls, knowing your way around area codes and international dialing codes can save you time and potential confusion. Whether you’re calling a local Swedish number or dialing out to another country, a grasp of these codes is practically indispensable.
Sweden’s International Dialing Code: +46
The country code for Sweden is +46. This is the number you’ll need to prefix when calling a Swedish number from outside the country. Generally, the format will look like this: +46, followed by the local Swedish number.
If you’re using a landline to make the call, you’ll often need to dial an ‘exit code’ first, which is usually 00 for European countries.
Understanding Area Codes for Major Cities
In Sweden, area codes (also known as “STD codes”) vary by city or region. These area codes need to be dialed when calling a landline. Here are some common area codes you might find useful:
These codes come right after the country code. So, for example, if you’re calling a Stockholm landline from outside Sweden, the number would look something like this: +46 8 XXX XXXX.
Common Prefixes for Mobile Numbers
Mobile numbers in Sweden typically don’t require an area code but usually start with a common prefix like ‘070’, ‘072’, or ‘076’. If someone provides you with a local mobile number starting with ’07’, remember that you’ll still need to prefix it with +46 if you’re calling from abroad, removing the initial zero: +46 70 XXX XXXX.
Getting familiar with these dialing conventions will not only make your life easier but can also save you from unexpected charges, especially if you’re dialing a number thinking it’s local when it’s actually international. Keep this information handy, and you’ll be a step closer to navigating the Swedish telecommunications landscape like a pro.
How to Make Local Calls
Mastering the art of making local calls in Sweden can be simpler than it initially appears, especially once you get the hang of the country’s dialing practices. Let’s dive into how you can make local calls, whether you’re using a landline, mobile phone, or even a VOIP service.
When making a local call to a landline, you’ll need to know the area code for the region you’re dialing. If you’re in Stockholm and you’re calling another Stockholm number, you’ll start with the area code ’08’ followed by the local seven-digit number: 08-XXXX XXX.
Usually, if you’re already in the same region, you can omit the area code when dialing a landline. However, with the widespread use of mobile phones, it’s often easier just to include it.
Dialing Mobile Numbers
Making a local call to a mobile number is straightforward. Swedish mobile numbers usually start with ’07’ followed by eight more digits. You don’t need to add any area codes; simply dial the complete 10-digit number: 07X-XXXX XXX.
Tips for Cost-Effective Local Calls
- Use a Prepaid SIM: If you’re new to Sweden and don’t have a personal identification number yet, you can opt for a prepaid SIM card. This way, you can control your spending and avoid surprises on your bill.
- Take Advantage of Free Minutes: Many mobile plans offer free minutes for local calls. Make sure to utilize them to save on your monthly bill.
- Opt for VOIP for Landline Calls: If you need to make frequent calls to Swedish landlines, consider using a VOIP service like Skype that offers competitive rates for landline calls.
How to Make International Calls
Making international calls from Sweden involves a few more steps than local calls, but once you’re familiar with the process, it’s straightforward. Whether you’re reaching out to loved ones back home or need to conduct business overseas, understanding the best ways to make international calls can also help you manage costs.
Dialing Out of Sweden
The first step in making an international call is to dial Sweden’s exit code, which is 00. After that, you’ll input the country code of the destination you’re calling.
For instance, if you’re calling the United States, the country code is +1. Following the country code, you’ll dial the area code and then the local number. So the full format would look like this: 00 + country code + area code + local number.
Strategies for Cost-Effective International Calling
International calling can quickly become expensive, but there are some cost-effective approaches you can consider:
Calling Plans: Check if your mobile provider offers specialized international calling plans. These are often cheaper than standard rates.
VOIP Services: Utilize internet-based calling services like Skype, Zoom, or WhatsApp. These platforms often offer lower rates for international landline and mobile calls.
Calling Cards: Prepaid international calling cards can also be a cost-effective way to dial internationally. You can find these at convenience stores or kiosks.
Special Services for International Calls
Some providers offer specialized services for frequent international callers, such as bundled packages that include a certain number of international minutes. If you’re going to be making regular international calls, it may be worth looking into these options to see if they suit your needs.
Receiving Calls in Sweden
Being on the receiving end of calls in Sweden involves its own set of considerations, particularly if those calls are international. Understanding how incoming calls work can not only prevent unwanted surprises but can also help you strategize on how best to remain accessible.
Receiving Local Calls
If you’re receiving a local call, the process is straightforward. The caller will dial your number just as they would when calling any other local number. There are no extra steps or codes you need to be concerned with.
If you’ve opted for a Swedish phone number, either through a landline or a mobile service, local calls will typically be part of your package, meaning there shouldn’t be additional charges for receiving these calls.
Receiving International Calls
When you’re receiving calls from abroad, the person calling you will need to use Sweden’s country code, which is +46, followed by your local number without the leading zero. For instance, if your local mobile number starts with 070, the caller will dial it as +46 70 followed by the rest of your number.
Tips to Avoid Additional Charges When Receiving International Calls
- Check Your Plan: Some mobile plans may charge for incoming international calls. Make sure to read the terms and conditions of your plan or confirm with your service provider.
- Wi-Fi Calling: If you’re worried about potential charges, consider using a Wi-Fi calling feature, if your phone and plan support it. This can sometimes circumvent additional fees.
- Use VOIP Services: If you have a stable internet connection, services like Skype and WhatsApp can receive calls for free. Inform your contacts to call you through these platforms if cost is a concern for either party.
Cost-saving Tips When Making Calls in Sweden
Staying connected shouldn’t have to break the bank. Thankfully, Sweden offers various options for both local and international calling that can be cost-effective. Here are some practical tips to help you make the most out of your telecommunications experience in Sweden without incurring hefty charges.
Prepaid vs. Postpaid Plans
One of the first decisions you’ll make when getting a mobile service in Sweden is choosing between a prepaid and a postpaid plan.
These are excellent for short-term stays or for those who don’t have a Swedish personal identity number yet. You pay upfront for a set amount of data, calls, and texts, thus giving you full control over your expenditure.
If you’re in Sweden for an extended period, postpaid plans can offer more comprehensive packages, sometimes at a better price per unit of service. However, they usually require a contract and a Swedish personal identity number.
Use of Calling Cards
Calling cards can be a lifesaver, particularly for international calls. They’re available at most convenience stores and offer rates that are often lower than standard international calling rates. Just make sure to check the validity and any hidden fees.
Internet-Based Calling Services
Services like Skype, WhatsApp, and Zoom are not only convenient but can also be extremely cost-effective:
- Calls between users on the same platform are usually free.
- Rates for calling landlines or mobile numbers internationally are often much cheaper than standard telecom rates.
Bundled Services and Family Plans
If you require multiple services like internet, mobile, and even TV, look for providers that offer bundled services. Not only is it convenient to have all your services on one bill, but bundles also often come at a discounted rate.
Similarly, family plans can offer significant savings. These plans allow multiple lines on a single account, often with shared minutes and data, leading to a lower cost per individual line.
In any new country, understanding how to make emergency calls is crucial, both for your safety and the well-being of others. Sweden is no exception, and it has specific protocols and numbers for different types of emergencies.
The Universal Emergency Number: 112
In Sweden, the universal emergency number is 112. This number will connect you to emergency services for urgent situations that require immediate attention, such as medical emergencies, fires, or crimes in progress. The operators at 112 usually speak both Swedish and English, so language should not be a barrier in these critical moments.
Other Important Numbers
While 112 is the go-to for most emergencies, there are other numbers for less urgent situations:
- Medical Advice: 1177
- Police (non-emergency): 114 14
These numbers are not for life-threatening situations but can be used for general advice or to report non-urgent matters.
Tips for Making Emergency Calls
- Stay Calm: When you’re calling 112, try to remain as calm as possible. Clear communication is crucial in emergencies.
- Location: Be ready to provide your location. If you’re not sure where you are, look for landmarks or street signs.
- Language: If you don’t speak Swedish, immediately let the operator know that you prefer to speak English.
- Follow Instructions: Listen carefully to the operator’s questions and follow any instructions given.