How Does an International Calling Card Work?

  • Domestic calling cards can be issued by nearly any telecommunications company, but international calling cards must be issued by a communications company that is equipped to handle international calls. Because North American telephone signaling is configured differently from European and other international telephone systems, the calling card issuing company must be able to support international calls.

  • When the card is purchased, it is activated with the telecom company. The issuing company maintains a Line Identification Database (LIDB) which contains important information about the card such as when it was issued and how much calling credit remains on the card account. Once the card is activated in the issuing company's LIDB database, it can be used.

  • When the buyer uses the card, he must first dial a number. This number will connect the caller to an authorization system that is connected to the Line Identification Database (LIDB). The system will send an inquiry to the LIDB to verify that the calling card is valid and, if it is, for how many minutes it is authorized for use. The system will then prompt the caller to enter a telephone number to call and place the outgoing call on a telephone line configured for international telephone use.

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