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6 reasons to get rid of your landline

Luke Thompson
Wednesday, November 11th 2015

If you never or rarely make calls from your home phone, and it feels like you only pick it up to unwittingly answer nuisance calls, then now might be time to ditch your landline.

However, you might be wondering how you’ll be able to get online without a landline, or how you can make free calls in the evening if you unplug your home phone. All valid questions, but no reason to hang on to your old landline.

1. You won’t have to pay line rental

Line rental usually costs around £16 per month and if, like most of us, you rarely or never use your landline to make calls, this cost can feel frustrating and unnecessary.

Finding a broadband option which doesn’t require a landline will save that money and the annoyance.

2. You don’t need a landline to get online

Many providers won’t be able to connect your home to the internet without an active landline, but some will.

Most broadband providers use the BT Openreach network. This relies, partly, on the telephone system, shuttling internet traffic up and down your old copper telephone line. But some providers don’t use this system; they run their own networks, where a landline often isn’t necessary.

Some broadband providers run their own network

Virgin Media is the best-known and most widely available broadband provider that runs its own network. With Virgin, you can choose a ‘broadband-only’ package where you receive only an internet connection and no landline. Other providers, including Hyperoptic and Gigaclear, offer a similar option to avoid having a landline but are less widely available.

3. Mobile phones are more convenient

Majority of adults living in the UK own at least one mobile phone, which makes a mobile the default choice for calling most people.

No longer are people limited to being at home to receive or make a call, and mobiles offer the safety net of being much easier to reach in an emergency. As long as you and the person you are calling have a signal, then all of the old inconveniences of a landline phone can be discarded.

4. Making calls from a mobile is often cheaper

A landline generally comes with a home phone call plan, which usually provides free calls at certain times on certain days (evenings, weekends, etc). But not all calls are free. In general, you’ll only be able to call other UK landlines for free; and even then you’ll be charged if your call lasts more than an hour.

Calls to mobiles are rarely free either. Frequently you’ll pay around 20p per minute to call a UK mobile. In practical terms, this means a half-hour phone call could cost you £6 (including another 15p or so for the call setup charge).

Save money by calling from your mobile phone

Most mobile plans come with a call allowance of a total number of minutes. You can make as many calls as you want within that allowance without having to pay extra. Not only is this cheaper, it’s also more flexible, freeing you from having to wait until a particular time, such as the evening, before you can make a free call.

Some mobile providers even let you make free calls to other handsets operating on their network. So if you’re with giffgaff, for instance, and you call a friend who’s also on giffgaff, your call won’t be deducted from your allowance and will be completely free.

5. You won’t receive as many nuisance calls

If you’ve ever jumped out the bath to answer a ringing phone, only to be greeted by an automated sales message, then you’ll know how frustrating nuisance calls can be. Unlike mobile phones, many home phones don’t let you see who’s calling, so you can't ignore those unknown numbers.

They're not as common on mobiles

Landlines are a far more common target for nuisance calls than mobiles. Those who make such calls know many people don’t have caller display on their house phones, and so can’t know who’s making the call until they answer.

They’re easier to stop on mobiles too

To stop nuisance calls on your landline you have to go through several stages, including contacting the caller to tell them you no longer wish to be called, and registering your home phone number on the Telephone Preference Service. This can be a hassle. Stopping nuisance calls on a mobile is much easier, as you can usually directly block specific numbers on your handset.

6. You can make free calls over the internet

VoIP stands for Voice over internet Protocol. Basically, a VoIP service is any online service that lets you make voice calls using an internet connection. Examples of VoIP include Skype and Viber. To use them you need to download the software from their respective websites, or, if you’re using a mobile phone, from the relevant app store.

The person you want to call also needs to have the same software. So if you want to call someone through Skype, that person also needs to be using Skype in order to receive the call.

Calls to other VoIP users are free, but calls to home phones and mobiles will usually be charged. To make these calls cheaply, it’s best to stick to your mobile.

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