When dialing a phone number anywhere within Ecuador from a cell phone, all numbers (for both land-lines and cell phones) must be proceeded with the number zero.
However, as of September 30, 2012, all numbers dialed from a cell phone must also include an additional “9” after the initial zero. In other words, if you were given the number 094364161 (which incidentally is the number for Jefry, one of our trusted taxi drivers in Manta) it would now be dialed as a ten digit number: 0994364161
Ecuador phone numbers beginning with 09, 08, or 06 (and now some 05 numbers as well) are cell phones rather than land lines. This is good to know as dialing a land line from a cell phone costs you more than double the cell-to-cell rate.
Some other useful tips about phone calls:
If you are making an international outgoing call from Ecuador, you must first dial 00 then the country code. For calling the U.S. you would dial “001” followed by the number you wish to call.
When calling Ecuador from another country you must first dial “011” followed by Ecuador’s country code (“593”) plus the area code (“5” for Manta to Canoa, “4” for Portoviejo, “2” for Quito) and then the local number. Or if you have the following cell number 094364161, you would NOT include the initial zero (or as of 9/30/12 the “09”). In other words, to call Jefry the [Spanish-speaking] taxi driver from the US you would dial: 011 593 94364161.
If you are calling from a land line from one city to the next within Ecuador you must include the area code, preceded by a “0”. For example, “05” for Manta plus the local 7 digit number. If you are making a local call on a land line (i.e. within Manta), you do not include the area code and instead only dial the 7 digit number.
Unlike in other places, such as the US. you are NOT charged minutes on your cell phone in Ecuador when receiving calls, only when making calls.
There are basically two major cell phone companies in Ecuador: Claro and Moviestar. Calls are cheaper when dialing someone using the same cell provider.
You can buy minutes for your cell phone at the register of many stores, such as the popular grocery store Supermaxi. All you do is tell them which carrier you use (Claro or Moviestar), your number, and how much money you want on it.
For making and receiving international calls, we highly recommend using skype or MagicJack. The phone number we provide on our Contact Us page is a US-based number that rings us on our laptop here in Ecuador (or anywhere in the world that we would happen to be). We also have unlimited calls to the US. These services through skype costs us less than $8/month.