Singapore phone numbers have eight digits. The local system is highly organized, efficient, and reliable. Although public phones requiring phone-cards predominate, a few old-style coin-operated payphones also exist and usually take 10-cent coins. It's quite easy to use your cell phone in Singapore, but if you want to keep roaming costs down, the cheapest option may be to rent a Singapore SIM-card (from S$28) and swap it into your set, thus acquiring a temporary Singapore phone number during your trip.
Area & Country Codes
Singapore has no area codes. The country code for Indonesia is 62; the area code for Bintan is 771 and Batam is 778. Calling from Malaysia to Singapore is a separate case: you simply dial 02 and then the Singapore number. The country code is 1 for the U.S. and Canada, 61 for Australia, 64 for New Zealand, and 44 for the U.K.
Directory & Operator Assistance
English directory and operator assistance is available 24 hours by dialing 100. Dial 104 for voice-activated information on country codes and international time. Citisearch, an operator-assisted yellow pages, can be reached at 1900/777-7777.
International Calls & Long-Distance Services
To call Singapore, first dial your national IDD access code, then the country code (65), then the number (Singapore has no area codes).
To make direct overseas calls dial 001 (from a Singtel telephone), 002 (from a M1 telephone), or 008 (from a Starhub telephone), then the country code (011 for the U.S.) and the number; if you'd like operator assistance, dial 104. To call Malaysia dial 02 before the local number.
To save money on calls overseas, use the Home Country Direct service available from your hotel room or any public phone. This puts you in touch with an operator in your home country, who places your call, charging either your home phone or your credit card. You can also use pay phones by first depositing S$.10 and then dialing an access code to reach an operator. Note also that some public phones at the airport and many at city post offices accept Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa.
AT&T, MCI, and Sprint access codes make calling long-distance relatively convenient, but you may find the local access number blocked in many hotel rooms. First ask the hotel operator to connect you. If the hotel operator balks, ask for an international operator, or dial the international operator yourself. One way to improve your odds of getting connected to your long-distance carrier is to travel with more than one company's calling card (a hotel may block Sprint, for example, but not MCI). If all else fails, call from a pay phone.
There are neither any local area codes or special codes for dialing mobile telephone numbers in Singapore. Wherever you are on the island, dial the local or mobile number as printed. From a pay phone the cost is S$.10 per three minutes. You can insert a coin and dial the eight-digit number, however most new phones only take stored value cards. These come in S$2, S$5, S$10, S$20, and S$50 denominations. Phone cards in a variety of denominations are sold at most kiosks, newsstands, and gift shops. Hotel's charge up to S$1 per minute for a local connection however virtually all the phones at Changi Airport are free.
To avoid hefty hotel service charges, use a stored value card available from post offices, newsstands, and kiosks. Each country has a different rate. This is usually displayed on a poster at the point of purchase. Look for the card that offers the most minutes to where you intend to call most often. The price of each call is deducted from the card total.
Pay-phone calls within Singapore cost S$.10; insert a coin and dial the seven-digit number. Hotels charge anywhere from S$.10 to S$.50 a call. (Note that there are free public phones at Changi Airport, just past immigration.) Many pay phones only accept cards; the coin-operated phones are smaller and frequently found in shopping malls and at information desks.
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