edit: 1 accepted answer but still no (good) solution! :(

  1. In my previous phone carrier I could just dial +55 11 99883655 and it would just work.

  2. Now I moved to a new carrier and it doesn't work anymore! When I dial the same international number it keeps saying the number isn't formatted correctly.

How can I get my iPhone to understand international numbering back again?

I've got over 100 contacts with numbers stored in this format already, and I want to keep them that way.

At this point I would be happy with any simple app that would just enable me to use my stored info the way it is to strip the +5511 part and place a call. Or some tweaking to allow proper and simple editing of the phone number on Phone.app would be very welcomed!

  • That's really strange "+" is supposed to work anywhere and I'm pretty sure that if your operation does not allow it they could get huge fines and even their license canceled from local telecommunication regimentation agency.
    – sorin
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 16:19
  • @SorinSbarnea then maybe this question should be migrated to some kind of "braziloverflow", when one comes to existence.
    – cregox
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 1:04

2 Answers 2


You are in Brazil (so am I), so you can't just dial the "+" in front of the country code. You need to dial "00" and the CSP (the long distance operator code).

What happens is that some operators (Oi and Claro, for sure) have a JavaCard application in the SIM card that intercepts every call you place and before send the dialed number to the network verifies if you are in a situation that you should need to add a CSP or not, and adds the operators own CSP in that case, if there isn't one in the dialed number.

So, for example, if I'm in Rio (area code 21) and dial a call to (24) 9999-8888, which is a long distance call, the application will add "0"+ to my number. The same if I'm in Petrópolis (area code 24), since my MSISDN is from Rio.

On the other side, if I register my phone numbers using the international notation, the application is smart enough to remove the "+" and the country code and add the "0" and the CSP, unless it realizes that you're roaming abroad.

Besides Oi and Claro, I would guess that Vivo also uses an application like that, since it buys SIM cards from the same manufacturers.

TIM has a different application in their SIM cards that modifies the phone numbers in your SIM card to add the CSP 41. It is a lame solution and I regret every time I have to use a TIM mobile.

If it is enough for you to have an application like TIM's, there are at least two in the brazilian App Store that will edit the iPhone's Address Book:

  • [Minha Operadora](http://itunes.apple.com/br/app/minha-operadora/id401640256?mt=8)
  • [DDD Fácil](http://itunes.apple.com/br/app/ddd-facil/id381994693?mt=8)

I haven't tested either, so I can't offer advice on how well they work.

Otherwise, you will probably have to go back to an operator that offer that application in the SIM card (there is no way for a user to add apps to their SIM card by themselves).

  • That's very good to know, and precisely my problem! Now we just need a solution for it. :P
    – cregox
    Commented Dec 23, 2010 at 12:28
  • There, I couldn't vote this answer up enough so I voted your others that I judge were just as good as this. :) - so sad this still doesn't answer the question!
    – cregox
    Commented Dec 23, 2010 at 14:27
  • The answer is: you can't. It isn't a problem with your phone, it is the way that mobile networks operate in Brazil. The SIM card was masking this in your previous operator. There are workarounds equivalent to TIM's approach that will edit your phonebook and add the carrier code for you, but I don't like software tampering with my entries. For example: itunes.apple.com/br/app/minha-operadora/id401640256?mt=8 or itunes.apple.com/br/app/ddd-facil/id381994693?mt=8
    – lpacheco
    Commented Dec 24, 2010 at 0:57
  • @ipacheco From my point of view this is a problem my phone could and should fix even while it is usually "solved" in the SIM card. I keep my address book in sync and use it in other places, such as SIP phones. I really don't want to modify it - it is right the way it is. I just want the phone to do it right and I'm sure there's a way around it, which is sure getting hard to find!
    – cregox
    Commented Dec 24, 2010 at 3:07
  • 1
    @cawas and thinking better I agree with you. In fact I now remember that before buying an iPhone I expected it had some kind of configuration like Windows has that allows you to configure what code to dial in advance of a phone number in order to reach a dialtone and make long distance calls. But the iPhone doesn't have those settings, and I don't recall seeing them anywhere in Mac OS X either. I guess the only solution for you would be an app that replaced the Phone app or at least the Address Book app.
    – lpacheco
    Commented Dec 24, 2010 at 6:21

Usually adding two 0 at the beginning works. For example: 0055 11 99883655

  • Nope. Same issue for me. Plus, I've edited the question and I really wish to keep my address book the way it is. But what you say holds true when I'm trying to use most SIP phones.
    – cregox
    Commented Dec 23, 2010 at 11:24

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