Communications

DESTINATIONS morocco communications-39

TRAVEL TIPS

Communications

Internet

Internet use has exploded in Morocco, and cybercafés are everywhere, even in the smaller towns. On average they charge 10 DH to 20 DH an hour. Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly available in hotels and upscale cafés, so it's easy to keep in touch with friends and family with a laptop, tablet computer, or smartphone.

Take the same security precautions you would anywhere with your electronics, and always use a surge protector.

Contacts

Cybercafés. Cybercafés is an excellent resource listing more than 4,200 Internet cafés worldwide. www.cybercafes.com.

Phones

The country code for Morocco is 212. The area codes are as follows: Agadir, 0528; Casablanca, 0522; Settat and El Jadida, 0523; Marrakesh, 0524; Fez and Meknès, 0535; Oujda, 0536; Rabat, 0537; Tangier, 0539; Taroudant, 0528; Tetouan, 0539. When dialing a Moroccan number from overseas, drop the initial 0 from the area code. To call locally, within the area code, just dial the number (local numbers are six digits).

For international calls from Morocco, dial 00 followed by the country code. Country codes: United States and Canada, 1; United Kingdom, 44; Australia, 61; New Zealand, 64. There are nine digits in local numbers, starting with "0." Note that when calling from out-of-country into Morocco you always drop the "0," and the number becomes nine digits. After the zero there is a two-number area code. Numbers that start with 01, 04, 05, 06 or 07 are mobile phones.

Calling Within Morocco

Public phones are located on the street, and you must purchase a telecarte, or phone card, to use them. They come in denominations from 10 DH to 100 DH. You insert the card and then place your local or international call.

Téléboutiques are everywhere in Morocco. These little shops have individual coin-operated phones. You feed the machine with dirhams to make local calls. You can also make international calls by calling directory assistance or calling directly.

Access directory assistance by dialing 160 from anywhere in the country. Many operators speak English, and all speak French.

Calling Outside Morocco

To call the United States directly from Morocco, dial 001, then the area code and phone number. Calls from Morocco are expensive, but rates are cut by 20% if you call after midnight. The cheapest option in direct international dialing is from a public phone, using a telecarte.

Both AT&T and MCI have local access numbers for making international calls. These are especially useful if you already have calling cards with these companies.

Contacts

AT&T Direct Access. 00/211–0011.

MCI. 00/211–0012.

Calling Cards

Phone cards for use in public phones can be purchased at any téléboutique, librarie, photocopy shop, tobacco shop, or small convenience store. Maroc Telecom and Meditel phone cards, to be used with mobile phones, can also be purchased in these places in denominations of 20, 30, 50, 100, 200, and 600 DH.

Mobile Phones

GSM mobile phones with international roaming capability work well in the cities and along major communication routes. Roaming fees can be steep, however: $0.99 a minute is considered reasonable. 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 $0.25).

Alternatively, if you just want to make local calls, you can buy a new SIM card in Morocco with a prepaid service plan (note that your provider will have to unlock your phone to use a different SIM card). You'll then have a local number and can make local calls at local rates. Morocco currently has two major mobile-phone companies, Maroc Telecom and Meditel. Both offer prepaid calling cards and phone sales. A simple phone costs as little as 100 DH. If spending more than a few weeks in the country or traveling in remote spots, these are indispensable.

Contacts

Cellular Abroad. Cellular Abroad rents and sells GMS phones and sells SIM cards that work in individual or multiple countries. 800/287–5072; 310/862–7100; www.cellularabroad.com.

Mobal. Mobal rents mobiles and sells GSM phones (starting at $29) that will operate in 190 countries. Per-call rates vary throughout the world. 888/888–9162; www.mobalrental.com. Open 24/7.

Planet Fone. Planet Fone rents cell phones and international mobile broadband data keys, but it has expensive per-minute rates for usage. 888/988–4777; www.planetfone.com.

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