|To call internationally to Ireland:
Dial entry code then Irish number
353 + Tel. no. (remove the first 0)
|To call internationally from Ireland:
Dial exit code followed by country code and number
00 + country code + Tel: No
|Emergency||999 or 112|
Telephone numbers in Ireland vary in length but all have an area code followed by the number which is between four and seven digits. The standard format for numbers is (012) 345 6789. Area codes can be found in local telephones directories.
The Irish telecommunications sector was deregulated in the late 1990s when the State Telecom ├ëireann was privatised. Telecom ├ëireann is now known as Eircom, and continues to offer telecommunication services to customers.
Eircom has obligations to provide a principal universal service to consumers throughout the country. While the company still dominates the market, competition has led to other telephone companies entering the market and offering competitive packages for mobile, home telephone, TV and Internet services.
Ireland's main telephone companies include:
Most telephone lines are still owned and maintained by Eircom. However, other providers rent these lines and offer alternative packages at competitive rates.
Connection is straightforward and can be organised by telephone. Reconnections (where there is already a telephone line in the building) are automatic and can be done almost immediately. The installation of a new line can take from a few days to two weeks. As Eircom still controls the majority of the telephone lines, it should be contacted for line installation. However, it is possible to choose other service providers. Line rental costs normally apply but increasingly providers are offering deals on landline rental costs when signing up to telecom packages. Currently there are many deals offering reduced landline rental and no fee reconnection charges. Even though line rental may be charged by Eircom, single billing is an option when using a different provider.
Call rates vary according to the provider, with many offering different charges depending on the time of the day and whether the call is international or national. Other telephone services such as "call waiting" or "call answering" are provided by some companies.
Registration with a telecommunication service provider can be made online, by telephone or by calling into sales offices in towns. Minimum contract times do apply so check with the company before signing a contract. Service providers usually check new customer credit ratings in Ireland before setting up a new account. If no credit history is available, having a bank card is usually sufficient. Check with individual providers for full details of costs, conditions and documents required.
Bills are usually paid monthly and can be paid online, by direct debit, by telephone or by cheque. Bills usually contain details of call charges. Features such as caller ID, call waiting, voice mail and ex-directory services may be charged as a monthly extra or incorporated into a package.
Contracts are usually set for a minimum period such as 12 months and penalties may be incurred if a customer chooses to change providers during that time. If choosing to change providers at the end of a contract period, informing the new company who will contact the old service provider to arrange the switchover is generally all that is required.
Payphones which accept coins and credit cards are still widely available in Ireland. However, with the prevalence of mobile phones, many companies are withdrawing payphones and only maintaining those that they are legally obliged to keep. Calling cards are also available; these may allow for cheaper call rates.
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