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Understanding Calling Plans & Long Distance

One of the many misunderstood aspects of a wireless calling plan is understanding how calling plans affect your long distance and roaming charges. Not being aware when you are making a roaming or long distance call, and are will incur heavy overage charges can result in a shockingly high bill at the end of each month. To get an idea of how they work let’s take a brief look at the different types of plans that are offered.

Local Calling Plans

Local calling plans cover the smallest geographic region. This is usually a metropolitan area like New York City of Los Angeles. If you have a local calling plan and you are inside the region and make calls to anyone outside of the region you will incur long distance charges. If you are outside of the calling area and call someone inside of the calling area roaming charges will apply. If you are outside of the calling area and call someone across the country roaming and long distance charges will apply.

Regional Calling Plans

Regional calling plans cover a larger area than local calling plans. It usually covers a few neighboring states. If you are inside of the region and place calls to anyone inside of the region standard calling rates will apply. If you call someone outside of the region long distance rates will apply. If you are outside of your region and place a call into your region roaming charges will apply. If you are outside of your region and place a call to someone in a different region than you are in roaming charges and long distance rates will apply.

Nationwide Calling Plans

In a nationwide calling plan the entire country is considered inside of your region and there will be no long distance charges for any calls that you make. If your carrier has spotty coverage and you travel to an area that isn’t covered by your network but is covered by another carrier you will incur roaming charges if you make any calls.

Local calling plans have the lowest call per minute rate, but have the highest long distance and roaming charge rates. Nationwide calling plans have the highest per minute rate with regional calling plans in the middle. Many larger networks are dropping local calling areas in favor of regional and nationwide calling plans. When choosing a calling plan it’s important to consider how much traveling you will be doing and how much time you will spend outside of what is considered your regional calling area. If you are only making one or two trips per year, you may be able to save money on your monthly bill with a regional calling plan as opposed to a nationwide calling plan.

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Last modified: August 25, 2022

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