Sweden is a relatively small but prosperous country which is a part of the Scandinavian countries in the Northern part of Europe. The country itself has about 10 million people (roughly the same as the State of Michigan) and an area size similar to the State of California. While Sweden is a unique, wealthy, and equal opportunity country, it is seldom one of the first countries that people think of or plan to go to when they visit Europe. Now, Sweden wants to change that.
“Call Sweden!” is the country’s latest promotional tool to get more people interested in Sweden. Specifically, Sweden recently created and released a unified, national phone number open to anyone in the world who wishes to give the number a call. Anyone can call Sweden’s country code (+46) followed by the “Call Sweden!” number (771793336).
Upon dialing the Swedish number, nicknamed Call Sweden, the call will be redirected using a telephone switchboard, and the caller will be connected with a random Swede to talk about anything they want. Swedish citizens who wish to join this application simply register and wait for incoming calls. For anyone who wishes to connect with a random Swede, he or she simply dials the number provided on the website (theswedishnumber.com), using correct international and area codes.
The Swedish Tourist Association created and released Call Sweden in early 2016 in honor of the 250th anniversary of Sweden becoming the first country in the world to abolish censorship. Currently, Sweden is the only country in the world which offers the opportunity to connect with any random citizen of that country. And, although the Swedish Number was only recently released to the public, people from over 180 countries have connected with a random Swede so far.
The average length of each call has been slightly under three minutes. Seemingly more impressive, the total call duration currently stands at over 354 days. As of now, the top countries for calling these random Swedes include the U.S. at 33 percent of the total calls, the United Kingdom with 7 percent of total calls, and the Netherlands, China, Turkey, Germany, and Australia all tied at 3 percent of the total calls.
With the release of the Swedish Number, numerous nationalities have been able to talk to Swedish people, creating more international connections and bonds. With the topics of conversations being limitless, calls have ranged from getting the Swedish opinions of American political views to debating about Sweden’s neighboring countries, Denmark and Norway.
Since the release of the Swedish Number, no other countries have adopted a national phone number; however, depending on the success of the promotion thus far, it is likely that other countries will incorporate the same application to market themselves internationally. Maybe soon, every single country will have a national phone number, making the world more internationally connected.