Do I still need a landline phone?

Lynn Wright / 25 May 2015 ( 28 February 2017 )

In a world dominated by mobile phones, is there still a need for a landline phone? Our guide will help you decide whether to go totally mobile.



Home phone use is in decline as people flock to mobile phones instead. With many mobile phone deals costing less than the price of a monthly landline and including thousands of minutes of free calls, is it time to ditch the landline altogether?

Abandoning your home phone landline can save you money but relying purely on a mobile phone has disadvantages too.

Read our guide to help decide whether a mobile-only solution is the right approach for you.

Want to compare your home phone with the latest deals? Use our comparison tool. 

Advantages of going mobile only

Here are three compelling reasons for ditching your landline:

Landlines are expensive

Typical landline rental costs are around £20 a month – £240 per year – and that’s just for the privilege of having a home phone.

Add in connection charges (around £100 upwards) along with the cost of the calls themselves, and a home phone can be more expensive than a mobile phone contract.

A decent mobile phone contract by comparison – such as a Doro 8030 smartphone – costs £7.99 per month with iD Mobile, including the phone, 500 minutes of free calls, 500 MB data and 5,000 texts.

Plus, if you don't need a new phone there are lots of cheaper sim-only deals, such as the iD Mobile £5 sim-only deal which includes 500 minutes of free calls, 1.5GB data and 5,000 texts. 

Enjoy the latest Doro smartphone, 500 minutes, 5,000 texts and 500MB of data for just £7.99 a month with iD mobile. Find out more.

Calling mobiles costs more

Nowadays, we often call people on their mobile phones but it’s still expensive to call a mobile phone from a landline – between 10p-20p per minute.

Most mobile phone contracts include free minutes, even for mobile-to-mobile calls.

Landlines and nuisance calls

Home phones tend to be more susceptible than mobile phones to receiving unwelcome nuisance calls. 

Cold callers prefer this route as they can more easily harvest residential phone numbers from the phone book and other lists.

Can you cancel your broadband contract? Find out in our guide. 

Advantages of a landline

There are, however, some good reasons to stick with a landline phone, including:

Essential in an emergency

Mobile phone users often face issues, such as signal failure, empty batteries or unresponsive phones.

In contrast, a landline is far more reliable. Whenever you need to make a call, such as in an emergency, you know a home phone plugged into a home phone socket is going to connect you straightaway.

9 ways to boost your mobile phone signal

No signal problems

Mobile phones can suffer from poor signals depending on where you live and the amount of traffic – the volume of mobile phone calls – in your area. Worse, a poor mobile phone signal at home isn’t easy to fix, apart from trying a different mobile phone network. 

A landline, on the other hand, will deliver crystal-clear calls every time.

Cheap for some calls

If you're calling another landline the average cost per minute is up to 13p; from a mobile, assuming you have no free minutes left, you might spend up to 55p a minute. 

So - do I choose mobile or landline?

An either or approach may not be relevant for many users. Most home broadband connections insist you take a home phone landline as part of the package anyway.

If that’s the case, use your  mobile to call other mobiles to pocket some savings, or your home phone for calls if you've used up your mobile's free minutes to avoid paying extra.

How to choose a smartphone

Before you ditch the landline

February 2017 saw Ofcom consider a proposal that would see BT Landline users' bills cut by at least 26%, or £5 a month; no mean feat considering that almost 80% of the UK's landline-only users are with BT. 

Ofcom commented that they would also like to see safeguards put in place to prevent BT making future increases of more than the cost of inflation. 

Saga director Paul Green commented:

"This news will be welcomed by millions of people who rely on their telephone line as their lifeline.  We have long campaigned for BT to play fair on line-rental charges and stop getting vulnerable customers to subsidise their thirst for investing in TV sports rights. Ofcom have shown themselves to be a regulator with teeth and compassion."

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.