Electricity in Europe
Domestic mains electricity in Europe averages 230 volts AC - typically ranging from 220VAC to 240VAC. Shaver sockets found in hotels, etc. can usually supply either 110 or 220 volts, as required.
The alternating current frequency is 50Hz.
Continental Europe uses a 2 prong plug with round pins. GB uses three prong plugs with flat pins.
Adapters can usually be purchased at European airports to get over the plug compatibility problem for travellers. You will need to ensure that the appliance can operate in the 220-240 volts range at 50Hz before using one of these adapters! This can usually be determined from the appliance label.
Analog Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)
There is no standard telephone jackplug in Europe. The North American RJ11 plug is used in Ireland (but not Northern Ireland), Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Greece, and Belgium. Some countries are in transition from using an older style plug to the RJ11 system, and you will find both RJ11 and other jackplugs in these areas. A full listing of countries where the RJ11 plug is used can be found here If you want to use your
modem in Europe, you can either buy an international connector lead that has plugs for most countries or you can go the do it yourself route. For the latter, buy an extra modem cable before leaving home. When you get here, go to the hardware department
in a hypermarket and get the local telephone plug or extension cord, which you can connect on to your spare modem cable.
Touch tone signalling is almost universally available on public telephone networks, though some older switches may not yet support it. European touch-tone uses the same frequencies as North America. If touch tone fails, you can change the modem set-up to pulse dialling.
Regulations and levels of adherence vary from state to state. Regulations governing what you can and cannot attach to the public telephone networks are taken most seriously in the UK (where everything has to go through an expensive approval process, and all sorts of regulatory conditions govern their use) to the more liberal end of the scale (eg Portugal and Ireland) where plugging in a modem to the phone line is like plugging a toaster into the
mains electricity - ie no one seems to care unless the telephone appliance is dangerous (to the network).
Most telephone networks in Europe comply with the EuroISDN standard. So long as your device is EuroISDN compatible, it doesn't matter which state you are in or who manufactured the telephone switch serving your area or the device you are using. If your attachment is not EuroISDN compatible, forget it! EuroISDN uses RJ45 jackplugs.
RJ11 Country List
The following countries use the RJ11 (North American style) telephone jackplug
Note: * = Country uses RJ11 & other types of plug. Don't assume that it is legal or safe to use all RJ11 equipped devices in any of these jurisdictions.
Abu Dhabi *
Antigua & Barbuda
Balearic Islands *
Canary Islands *
French Antilles *
Hong Kong *
Leeward Islands *
Maldive Islands *
Saudi Arabia *
South Korea *
St. Kitts & Nevis
Trinidad & Tobago
Turks & Caicos Islands