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House phone and landline deals

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What is a landline?

A landline, also called home phone or fixed phone line, is a conventional telephone connection that uses copper wires or cables to carry phone signals to your home or office.

This type of analogue technology is now outdated and at the end of its serviceable life. In fact, the government is planning to replace the old network with new, internet-based digital phone lines by the end of 2025.

What do I need to think about when comparing landline deals?

When comparing the best landline deals, ask yourself:

  • How much are local, national and international calls?
  • How much does line rental cost?
  • Is there an activation fee?
  • Are there charges for a broadband router?
  • How much does equipment or installation cost?
  • Is the provider offering any perks, such as free TV channels?

What type of landline phone services are typically available?

There are a couple of landline phone services available:

Pay-as-you-go landline-only deals, where you pay for line rental and any calls you make. Calls may be charged at a flat rate or there might be different rates for calling mobiles and landlines.

Alternatively, you could go for a deal with calls included in the price. This may include:

  • Calls on evenings and weekends
  • Anytime calls
  • Calls to mobiles
  • Free or discounted calls to international destinations.

Watch out for whether calls are unlimited or if there are limits on minutes. Also, think about whether you want any special features, including voicemail and call blocking. Are these included in the package, or could you pay to add them on?

We don’t currently offer a comparison for standalone house phone deals, but you can compare home phone and broadband or broadband, phone and TV packages with us.

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What will I pay for landline and international calls?

Most providers offer cheap international calls as part of their landline deals, either included in their call packages or as an optional add-on for an extra monthly fee.

BT

BT’s Friends and Family International add-on gives you discounted call rates to more than 200 destinations.
BT also offers the International Freedom add-on pack. This features inclusive calls to the most popular international destinations.

Plusnet

Plusnet’s Anytime International includes international calls to 35 top international destinations, including the US, India and many European countries.

Sky

You can get Sky’s Talk International Extra when you take out Sky Broadband. It features inclusive landline calls to 50 destinations.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk’s International Max Calls plan includes calls to overseas mobiles as well as landlines in more than 50 countries.

Can I package my landline deals with broadband?

You certainly can – and you may find that it saves you money. Why? Because providers often offer discounts for bundling phone and broadband together.

With only one provider and set of paperwork to deal with, packaging your house phone and broadband should also reduce your life admin. We all want that.

Home phone package options are:

Combined phone and broadband

A combined phone and broadband package might be a cheaper option, even if you’re not planning to have a home phone line installed.

Combined TV, phone and broadband

Should you combine your broadband, phone and TV into a single deal? Well, it could certainly simplify your bills. You may get extra perks too. You’ll need to think about how many channels you want, and which ones. Is it worth paying for movie and sports channels, for example?

How can I find cheap landline-only deals?

If you just want a landline phone, here are a few pointers that could help you save money on your landline deal:

  • Shop around – when comparing different deals, look at the total monthly cost for each plan, what inclusive calls you get and any additional call rates.
  • Bundle – including a landline as part of a TV, broadband and phone package can often work out cheaper than paying for separate services.
  • Check your phone bill – this will give you an idea of your calling habits and usage, to help you find the right landline deal for you. For example, if you make a lot of weekend or international calls, look for a package that includes those for free.
  • Check peak and off-peak times – if you can wait to make calls during off-peak hours, it could help reduce your phone bill.
  • Stay within the limit – if you’re on a plan that offers the first 60 minutes of a call for free, hang up before the hour’s up, then call back to stay within the limit. But always check the terms and conditions of your deal to be absolutely sure about what is (and isn’t) free.
  • Pay by direct debit – most providers offer customers a discount if they pay by direct debit. Ask your provider if you could save money with this payment option.
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Author image Sajni Shah

What our expert says...

“In today’s digital age, it’s almost impossible to get by without some sort of broadband service, so it makes sense to bundle your broadband with your home phone. You’ll have the convenience of dealing with just one provider, and it could often work out cheaper than paying for separate services.

Just remember to consider both your internet and landline needs as well as the price, to ensure you find a broadband and home phone deal that works for you.”

- Sajni Shah, Utilities comparison expert

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to have a landline to get broadband?

It’s possible to get broadband without a landline. A few providers, including Virgin Media, offer broadband-only deals using their own fibre network, so you don’t have to pay for line rental.

Broadband without phone line rental often works out more expensive, so it’s a good idea to compare deals and see which option is more cost-effective. If you don’t want to use your landline, simply unplug the phone.

Another alternative is satellite broadband. This is available anywhere and you won’t need a landline. Satellite could be a good option for those in rural areas who don’t have access to standard ADSL broadband or cable. However, coverage and speeds are typically slower, and hardware and setup costs can be pricey.

What other calling options are there?

Even if you have a home phone package, you don’t necessarily need to use your landline to make calls. Voice-over-internet (VoIP) services like Skype and FaceTime let you call other users of their service over the internet for free, even internationally.

VoIP-to-landline or VoIP-to-mobile can often work out much cheaper than traditional landline calls.

Can I just get a landline without internet?

It is possible to get a landline-only deal. But you’ll only have the choice of three providers: BT, Direct Save Telecom and KCOM (if you live in Hull or East Riding).

However, it’s often cheaper to get a landline deal bundled with broadband, even if you don’t intend to use the internet. It also gives you a wider choice of providers.

Are there any landline-only deals for pensioners?

There are currently only two main deals available for pensioners:

BT Home Essentials

BT’s Home Essentials plan is available for people on certain benefits, including pension credit. Eligible customers can choose from a basic broadband and phone package, or a home phone-only plan that includes unlimited minutes.

Virgin Media Talk Protected

Virgin’s Talk Protected is a special line rental-only plan for elderly and disabled customers. The deal includes a frozen line rental cost, which means the price you sign up for is the price you’ll pay on a phone-only package.

Should I get rid of my landline?

There are a few reasons mobile might make more sense than landline for you, including:

  • No charges for line rental – landline rental can cost around £20 a month. This means ditching your home landline phone could save you more than £200 year.
  • Less hassle from cold callers – you’ll still get unwanted sales calls on your mobile, but not nearly as many as you’d get on a landline.
  • Mobile contracts are often cheaper – and depending on your contract, you may get free calls to landlines. You can also make free calls using FaceTime, Skype or WhatsApp online.

How do I get a phone line?

Just choose the provider you want for your calls or broadband bundle, and they’ll arrange for a landline to be installed. You might need to pay for your new line and an engineer will need to visit to install it. The cost will depend on the provider you choose.

Does BT own all phone lines?

Not exactly. Openreach, which is a subsidiary of the BT Group, manages almost all the whole UK phone and broadband network. Almost all the other telecoms providers, including BT, use the Openreach network to provide their services.

The exceptions are KCOM, which only operates in Hull and East Riding, and Virgin Media. Both have their own networks and don’t use Openreach. 

What other costs are there with a landline-only deal?

Landline costs include:

  • Line rental
  • Setup fee for calls – this is charged when a call is connected
  • The per-minute cost of calls if you don’t have an inclusive deal. 

You’ll need to have a landline installed and connected. This will often be free if you get it as part of a phone and broadband package, otherwise you’ll have to pay. 

If you want broadband and don’t want to bundle it with your phone, you’ll have to look for a broadband-only deal. Not only is this likely to be more expensive than a broadband and phone deal, but you’ll also have two suppliers to deal with.

Is it cheaper to switch to just mobile?

If you only want phone services, it could be cheaper to switch to mobile. You’ll need to compare the cost of landline deals with mobile phone deals to see which would work out cheaper for you.

But if you want a phone and broadband package, it’ll probably work out cheaper to have a landline, even if you don’t use it for calls.

It’s possible to get mobile broadband using a USB dongle or a wireless MiFi box, but these connections tend to be slow and they could be expensive.

Page last reviewed on 13 NOVEMBER 2023
by Sajni Shah