As the UK government pushes further with its Digital UK strategy, you'd be forgiven for thinking that landline-only deals and home phone calling packages are a thing of the past.
Figures from telecoms industry regular Ofcom show that time spent on landlines has halved since 2013, but despite this, it still accounted for more than 44bn minutes of call time in 2018.
For people who have no need for the internet, or mobile phones, a landline can still be the go-to way for people to stay in touch with their family and friends.
Landline-only providers tend to offer three types of packages to consumers based on their needs. The cheapest are usually pay-as-you-go (also known as pay-as-you-talk) where you only pay the cost of line rental and any calls you make. The most expensive deals tend to be packages that give you unlimited landline calls at any time.
While you pay more upfront for anytime call packages, the table below shows why it may be in your best interests to take out a call plan over pay-as-you-talk, even if you only make a single one-hour phone call per week.
|Provider||Landline (£ per min)||Connection Charge (£ per call)||Package cost (£ per month)||Line Rental (£ per month)||Total monthly cost - 1 call, 1 hour every week|
|BT Home Phone Saver||included||included||£10.00||£11.99||£21.99*|
|BT PAYT||20.9p||24.32p||N/A||£11.99||£63.12 - (123% more expensive)|
|Sky PAYT||20p||25p||N/A||£18.99||£60.99 - (97% more expensive)|
Providers also offer call plans that give you unlimited calls only on evenings, weekends and even both.
It's important to note with evening and weekend call packages, different providers have different start and end times for what they class as evening time and the weekend.
Sky and BT class evening time as falling between 7pm-7am.
Generally speaking, unless you're a very light user, the analysis shows that a call plan is more likely to be cost-effective.
Most landline-only providers also have optional extras that you can add to your plan. These range from withholding your number for calls to three-way calling and voicemail. These often come with a cost for customers with landline-only packages.
These costs can range from nothing to £5.50 per month. Certain providers, such as BT, offer call feature 'packs', which allow you to save by bundling together call features.
If you're interested, consider the cost of taking out these optional features and whether they are worth spending extra money on as they can significantly raise the cost of monthly call plan.
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If you want to cut the cord and go for voice calls over the internet, you can save yourself even more money when compared with a landline.
Mobile contracts have never been cheaper, with Sim-only providers now offering unlimited minutes for as little as £5 per month.
One advantage is that there is no differentiation between landline and mobile calls, which are almost always both included in an unlimited package, whereas landline packages, as mentioned earlier, often charge separately for mobile calls.
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