Cell Phone Long Distance: No "1" Needed?

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Cell Phone Long Distance: No "1" Needed?

Post by rogerwimmer » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:51 am

Doc: When I make a long distance call on my cell phone, I always dial a "1" first and then the number. One of my friends said I don't have to dial the "1." Is that true? - Anonymous

Anon: You can test that out right now. Make a long distance call without dialing a "1" and see if it goes through. It will.

I answered this question a while ago and it's on the Research Doctor Archive (scroll down to the question titled, "Cell Phone - Area Codes?") However, to save you time, here is what I said:

Unlike the landline telephone system that was originally set up in areas (or sections) of the country that require the use of the "1" for long distance calls, the cell phone system designed by all cellular companies defines the entire United States (that means Alaska and Hawaii too) as one huge national service area. When you make a long distance call on your landline telephone, the "1" signals the system that you are making a phone call outside of your own area code.

On the other hand, since the cellular system is considered as one huge area, cellular phone calls to somewhere outside of your own area code don't require the use of a "1" to connect your call. In essence, all cell phone calls are considered "local" by all cell phone services, and the cell phone system is capable of identifying a telephone number with only the area code—no "1" is required.

However, the use of the "1" is actually optional on cell phones. A "long distance" cell phone call will go through regardless of whether you use a "1" or not. The cell services essentially ignore the "1" if you happen to use it.
Roger Wimmer is owner of Wimmer Research and senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition.

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Re: Cell Phone Long Distance: No "1" Needed?

Post by rogerwimmer » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:29 am

I agree most often they don't use "1" for making a long distance call. In fact, the "1" is optional to use. Actually, I'm also not using "1" when I make a call. - Anonymous

Anon: Thanks for your comment. I don't know of any cell phone service where a "1" is required to make a long distance call. If anyone knows of such a service, please let me know.
Roger Wimmer is owner of Wimmer Research and senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition.

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