Can I Still Get Long Distance on My Phone?

Can I still get long distance service on my home phone? That’s a question you never heard 20 years ago. With advancements in modern technology, most people rely on their cell phones to make long distance calls.

But what if a cell phone isn’t enough? What if you need long distance on your home or business phone because it is simply more reliable than its mobile counterpart? Can you get long distance on your phone?

You Have Long Distance Right Now

Believe it or not, you already have long distance calling on your phone. Every landline is required to have this, so you can make a long distance call at any time. If you’re looking to make an international call, you will need to get special permission from the phone company. Otherwise, you are completely capable of making a long distance call right now.

The problem with the long distance plan you may currently have is that you have to pay an arm and a leg to use it. Most phone companies will not charge for incoming long distance calls, but they will charge for outgoing ones. Some companies could charge as much as 80 cents per minute for long distance calls. That adds up fast. If you’ve ever noticed an unexpected spike in your phone bill, it may be because you made long distance calls that month.

You Can Save on Long Distance Calling

You don’t have to pay the outrageous prices your current phone company could be charging you for long distance. You can get a long distance plan on your phone for a much lower rate. The quality of your phone calls will be the same because all companies run off the same lines. The only difference is the amount of money you pay for the service.

The reason companies are able to offer low-rate long distance calls is because they buy bulk amounts of time from AT&T, Sprint and other well-known phone companies. Think of the people who buy cell phones in bulk and then sell them far below the market value. Everyone involved still makes a profit, and you get a good deal on a great phone. In the case of long distance, you get a good deal on phone calls instead.

How to Set up Long Distance Services

If you want to save money on a plan, you will need to look through the various long distance providers you have to choose from. Once you choose a long distance provider, you can register for service online. The company will most likely give you a phone call to go over the terms of agreement with you, as a compliance with your state’s laws. You will listen to them and confirm that you want to switch services.

The next step varies by phone company. Some will contact your current phone provider directly, and others will give you something called a PIC (Primary Inter-exchange Carrier) code to give to your phone company. With that code, your phone company can switch your services.

It may take 5-10 days to get your new service switched, but then you will be billed by a new phone carrier. You may have to pay a monthly fee, or you may just have to pay based on the number of minutes you have used. That will depend on the phone provider you selected. Just keep up with your payments, and you will have an affordable long distance plan you can count on.

Explore your long distance options and find the service provider that best matches your needs.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.