Home Phone and Landline
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What will I pay for landline and international calls?
Most providers offer cheap international calls as part of their home phone deals, either included in their call packages or as an optional add-on for an extra monthly fee.
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’s Anytime International includes international calls to more than 30 top international destinations, including the US, India and many European countries.
You can get Sky’s Talk International Extra when you take out Sky Broadband. It features inclusive landline calls to 50 destinations.
TalkTalk’s International Max Calls Boost includes calls to overseas mobiles as well as landlines in over 50 countries.
Can I package my home phone deals with broadband?
You certainly can – and you might find it saves you money. That’s because providers often offer discounts for bundling phone and broadband together. Packaging your home phone and broadband also means your life admin should become a bit simpler, with only one provider to deal with.
Find out about broadband and phone deals
What do I need to think about when comparing home phone deals?
This depends on the kind of deal you’re looking for. The 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 can certainly simplify your bills. You might 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?
When comparing options, 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, etc?
- How much does equipment or installation cost?
- Is the provider offering any perks, like free TV channels?
What type of home phone deals are typically available?
Pay-as-you-go landline deals, where you pay for line rental and any calls you make, are available. Calls may be charged at a flat rate, or there may be different rates for calling mobiles and landlines.
Alternatively, you can go for a deal with calls included in the price. This might include:
- Calls on evenings and weekends
- Anytime calls
- Calls to mobiles
- Discounted calls to international destinations
Watch out for whether calls are unlimited or whether there are limits on minutes. Also, think about whether you want any special features, like voicemail and call blocking, and whether these are included in the package or if you can pay to add them on.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to have a landline to get broadband?
Not necessarily. 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.
However, it’s worth noting that broadband without line rental often works out more expensive. That’s why 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. However, coverage and speeds are typically slower. Satellite can be a good option for those in rural areas who don’t have access to asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) or cable. Although there’s no line rental to pay, hardware and set-up costs can be pretty pricey so it’s not the best option unless you really need it.
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.
Should I get rid of my landline?
There are a few reasons why mobile might make more sense than landline for you, including:
- No charges for line rental
Landline rental can cost around £20 a month. That means ditching your home landline phone could save you over £200 a year.
- Less hassle from cold-callers
You’ll still get unwanted sales calls on your mobile, but not nearly as many as you get on a landline
- Mobile contracts are often cheaper
And depending on your contract, you might get free calls to landlines. You can also make free calls using FaceTime and Skype online.
How do I get a phone line?
If you don’t already have a landline, it’s easy to get one installed. Just choose the provider you want for your calls or broadband bundle, and they’ll arrange it. You may 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
- Set-up 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, you’ll have two suppliers to deal with.
Is it cheaper to switch to just mobile?
If you only want phone services, it could well be. You’ll need to compare the cost of a landline-only deal 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. Fibre cable services, which can offer broadband without a landline, tend to be more expensive. Plus, providers may offer discounts if you bundle your phone and broadband together.
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 can be expensive.
How to compare landline deals?
You’ll need to do your own online research if you’re looking for a home phone-only deal as currently, we don’t offer a comparison of standalone landline deals. But if you bundle a landline with your broadband or TV, we can help. This is usually more convenient, since you’ll only have one bill to deal with.
Combining your home phone and broadband could also reduce your monthly bill. And it can be just as simple to combine your broadband, phone and TV. It’s also worth bearing in mind that, while you can buy broadband without a landline, you may be limited in terms of providers.
How can I save money on my landline deal?
Here are a few pointers to 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 – it’s worth mentioning again that including a landline as part of a TV, broadband and mobile 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 deal for you. For example, if you make a lot of weekend calls 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 which 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 can save money with this payment option.
How do I compare phone and broadband packages?
It’s easy. Simply enter your postcode, identify from the drop-down list who your current broadband provider is, then click on the button below to find deals. We’ll help you quickly compare deals. Compare today and see if you can start saving.