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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.

Telephone plugs

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.

Signalling standards

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.

Telefonpolezi

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).

ISDN connectivity

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 *
Andorra *
Angola *
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina *
Aruba *
Australia *
Azores *
Bahamas
Balearic Islands *
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belgium *
Belize *
Bermuda
Bolivia
Borneo
Brazil
Burma
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands *
Cayman Islands
Chile
China
Colombia *
Costa Rica
Cyprus *
Diego Garcia
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Dubai
Ecuador
Egypt *
El Salvador
French Antilles *
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Haiti
Honduras
Hong Kong *
Indonesia
Iran
Ireland
Jamaica
Japan *
Jordan *
Kenya
Kuwait *
Laos
Lebanon
Leeward Islands *
Lesotho *
Liberia
Libya
Macao *
Madeira *
Malawi *
Malaysia *
Maldive Islands *
Mauritius *
Mexico
Montserrat
Mozambique
Nepal
Nicaragua
Okinawa *
Oman *
Pakistan *
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Portugal *
Puerto Rico
Qatar *
Romania
Saudi Arabia *
Seychelles
Singapore
South Korea *
Spain
Sri Lanka
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent
Syria
Taiwan
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turks & Caicos Islands
UAE
Uganda
Uruguay
Vietnam
Virgin Islands
Yemen
Zambia
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