Telephone and Internet
112 Fire and Ambulance
011 is the international prefix used to dial somewhere outside of U.S.A., when placing the call in the US.
001 is the international prefix used to dial somewhere outside of Germany, when placing the call in Germany.
49 is the international code used to dial to Germany.
30 is the local area or city code used to dial to Berlin.
Deutsche Telekom was historically the “Ma Bell” or telephone monopoly of Germany, other providers have now joined the marketplace. You can sign up for telephone services with TKS (Telepost Kabel-Service). They specialize in providing telephone and internet solutions to the English-speaking community in Germany. TKS is a full-service partner of Deutsche Telekom that does everything in English.
There are several mobile phone service providers to choose from, along with a wide array of mobile devices that are available pre-paid or with annual service plans. The average American “cellular” phone will not work in Europe unless it is a compatible tri-band/GSM device. While roaming within Germany, you will not be charged for your incoming calls, regardless of their origin. It is more expensive to call German mobile phones since the caller is picking up the entire cost of the connection, not the receiver. Be aware that in Germany it is against the law to use a mobile phone while driving, so be sure have some sort of “hands-free” device.
Germany has many Internet options and this can be a good thing. However, pinning down and recommending the exact Internet plan for every type of user is difficult given the constantly changing nature of the telecommunications marketplace. One place to start for English-speakers here in Germany is TKS. TKSSurf! Internet service has many competitively priced plans that have no contractual obligations and offers subscribers full service, over-the-phone technical support in English. When you run into your first connectivity issue, having a service provider that has English-speaking technical experts can go a long way in getting things sorted out. So to establish your connection to the worldwide web here in Germany, first try to define your household’s Internet and budgetary requirements, and then look for an Internet service that is easy to use and compatible with your particular needs.
Choosing the right service provider and Internet plan is important. Many of the Internet “bargains” that you see advertised may have some major drawbacks if you read the German “fine print.” For example, some providers bundle a low telephone monthly fee and a DSL flat rate together, but then charge you more for all your phone calls. Obtaining a lower rate from other carriers may be restricted and the use of calling-cards may be blocked as well. Many providers also offer Internet and telephone “service-bundles” that can potentially save you money on activation and hardware costs, but may require that you sign a one or two year contract. Before signing on the dotted line, do check the terms of cancellation and be aware of special requirements and costs for early cancellation. Look for plans that are flexible and find out if the service provider can offer any type of technical or billing hotline or even basic configuration instructions in English.
The definition for time zones can be written in short form as UTC±n (or GMT±n), where n is the offset in hours. Here is an example given the local time in Berlin and New York City at 12:00 pm UTC when daylight saving time is not in effect:
Berlin Central European Time Zone: UTC+1 hour CET = 1:00pm
NYC Standard Time Zone: GMT/UTC – 05:00 hour = 7:00am
Berlin is on Central European Time and does observe Daylight Savings Time