cell phone charges

Forgive me for seeming ignorant.

I have never had a cell phone. Cannot afford one.
An old friend of mine has told me I can call him on his cell.
But he is in another state. Will this show up as a cost on my fathers phone bill?

Yes, unless his cell phone number happens to be in your local calling area.

How about voicemail?

All that matters to your phone company is whether the exchange is outside of your calling area. If it is, you’re going to pay the long distance fees for calling the number.

You get charged for the distance of the call to where the calling number is, i.e. where your friend’s local service is. If your friend’s cell phone is based where you are, then you get charged a local call to his cell phone, even if he is in another state at the time. If his service is based in the other state, then you get charged the typical long distance fee to where the cell phone service is located.

Any additional charges that arise from it being a cell phone, like roaming charges if he is out of his plan area, are paid by your friend, not you.

For example, let’s say I have a friend who has a cell phone based in Baltimore (where I work). He happens to be in Iowa at the time. If I call from somewhere near Baltimore, it’s just a local call, so I would be charged for the local call, and m friend would get the roaming charges for being out in Iowa. If I called from Pennsylvania (where I live) then I would pay for a long distance charge to Baltimore, even though my friend is in Iowa. I’m calling the cell phone company and it is connecting through its network to my friend. I’m not calling my friend directly. Get it?

Right, because… all that matters to vanilla’s dad’s phone company is whether the exchange is within his calling area, or not.