What Is the Difference Between Nationwide Calling & Long-Distance Calling?

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Nationwide calling and long-distance calling aren't that different. Nationwide calling plans by telephone service providers often give you the same rate for calling locally as for calling from your state to another state. Long-distance calling is any phone call that is outside of your telephone area code.


Nationwide calling plans include local and long-distance calls from your home to anywhere in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada all at the same price. Local calls are also called "domestic" calls by some phone companies.

Long Distance

A long-distance call is any phone call outside of your telephone area code. Some smaller phone service companies buy long-distance service from big-name companies and provide it to their customers at their own rates, not the original big-name company rates. Any phone call made to another country is a long-distance phone call.

The Difference

All long-distance companies use the same fiber optic networks or FiOS cables to "transport" the sound data you create when you make a long-distance phone call. Each phone company charges a different rate, depending on your phone plan.

Do I Need It?

While you can make a long-distance or nationwide phone call without a phone service provider plan, you will be charged a lot more than if you are paying for a phone plan -- up to 80 cents per minute. For instance, a long-distance call to France can cost you between $1.77 and $2.77 per minute for a basic long-distance rate not covered by a plan, whereas a long-distance calling plan costs 14 cents per minute. Nationwide plans have a flat fee per month for a certain number of calling minutes, and this varies from company to company, so you'll want to shop around to find the best price for your needs.

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