Well - you did not state what type of service package you have and with what carrier.
A lot of steps happen when you originate a call on a cellular network and more so if you have one of those pay as you go type services. At the moment you dial and hit send an authentication process is started to make sure your not using a cloned phone. After thats completed your phone number and ESN is checked against a denial of service list(did you pay your bill?). Once those checks are done the number you dialed is checked for a routing path in the local switching network. If its another mobile number from the same carrier the call path stays within the local switching network and is routed to the proper switch and the call is delivered to the mobile and the phone rings. If its a local landline number its routed to the local landline carrier which rings that number. If its a long distance number its routed out to a pre-chosen(by you) long distance carriers network and usually routed out through some major fiber nodes across the us to the destination switch. Thats the simple version. As I stated above if its one of those pay as you go phones there are many more steps - you get the idea!