Most hotels in Israel have connections for laptops, and larger hotels typically offer wireless access. Ask about the price, as some charge as much as $20 per day for the privilege. You can also find Internet access at the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem central bus stations and in many cafés. Jerusalem has free Wi-Fi Internet access in the downtown area, on Emek Refaim Street, and at Safra Square. Ben Gurion Aiport and the Eilat Airport also offer free Wi-Fi.
Cybercafes. Cybercafes lists over 4,000 Internet cafés worldwide. www.cybercafes.com.
Israel's phone numbers have seven digits, except for certain special numbers that have four to six digits. Toll-free numbers in Israel begin with 177, 1800, 1700, or 1888. When calling an out-of-town number within Israel, be sure to dial the zero that begins every area code.
The country code for Israel is 972. When dialing an Israeli number from abroad, drop the initial 0 from the local area code. The country code for Jordan is 962. When dialing from Israel, dial 00962 and the area code 3 before land-line numbers in Petra; for Amman, use 00962 and the area code 6. When dialing within Jordan, add a 0 before the area code.
Calling Within Israel
Making a local call in Israel is quite simple. All public telephones use phone cards that may be purchased at newspaper kiosks and post offices. Pick up the receiver, insert the card in the slot, dial the number when you hear the tone, and the number of units remaining on the card will appear on the screen. One unit equals two minutes.
The area codes for dialing between cities within Israel are Jerusalem (02); Tel Aviv (03); Netanya and Herzliya (09); Haifa, Galilee, Tiberias, Tzfat, and Nazareth (04); Eilat and the Negev (08).
Pay phones are found in shopping malls, bus stations, gas stations, and at booths on main streets. On public phones, the number you're dialing appears on a digital readout; to its right is the number of units remaining on your card.
Dial 144 for directory or operator assistance. Operators all speak English. Dial 188 for an international operator.
Calling Outside Israel
When calling internationally direct from Israel, first dial the international access code and then the country code. The international access code for the United States and Canada is 001, and the country code for each is 1.
You can make international calls using a telecard from a public phone. A call from Israel to most countries costs about 25¢ per minute.
By dialing Israel's toll-free numbers (1800 or 177) and the number of your long-distance service, you can link up directly to an operator in your home country. This service works from all public phones and most hotel rooms.
AT&T Direct (180/949-4949. www.att.com.)
MCI WorldPhone (180/940-2727. www.mci.com.)
Sprint International Access (180/938-7000. www.sprint.com.)
If you have a multiband phone and your service provider uses the world-standard GSM network (as do T-Mobile, Cingular, and Verizon), you can probably use your phone abroad. Roaming fees can be steep, however: 99¢ a minute is considered reasonable. And overseas you normally pay the toll charges for incoming calls. It's almost always cheaper to send a text message than to make a call, since text messages have a very low set fee (often less than 5¢).
If you just want to make local calls, consider buying a new SIM card (note that your provider may have to unlock your phone for you to use a different SIM card) and a prepaid service plan in the destination. You'll then have a local number and can make local calls at local rates.
If you travel internationally frequently, save one of your old mobile phones or buy a cheap one on the Internet; ask your cell-phone company to unlock it for you, and take it with you as a travel phone, buying a new SIM card with pay-as-you-go service in each destination.
It is significantly cheaper to rent a cell phone at Ben Gurion Airport than to use your cell phone from abroad. Rental booths are in the arrivals hall.
Several Israeli cell-phone rental companies offer tourists a phone for 65¢ per day. ATS offers free incoming calls, local calls inside Israel at 24¢ per minute, and 33¢ per minute to the United States. If you order the phone in advance, it will be waiting for you on the day of your arrival.
ATS (718/838-1511 from abroad; 050/571-2972 from Israel. www.atsisrael.com.)
Cellular Abroad (800/287-5072. www.cellularabroad.com.)
Mobal (888/888-9162. www.mobalrental.com.)
Planet Fone (888/988-4777. www.planetfone.com.)
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