Landline telephones can still be found in fewer and fewer households. The smartphone has often taken its place as a universal communication platform. But landline telephony is experiencing a revival in the home office.
he telephony habits of Germans have changed significantly in recent years. Most recently, call minutes over the fixed network fell from 193 billion minutes in 2010 to 94 billion minutes in 2019. According to figures from the Federal Network Agency, however, the scope of smartphone telephony even increased slightly.
The good old landline connection is still a long way from obsolete. “In many business areas and offices in particular, it is hard to imagine life without it in order to be reliably accessible,” says Arne Düsterhöft from the consumer portal “Finanztip.de”. The reliability of the connections is a reason not to do without it in private households.
“Even if the voice quality in the mobile phone networks has improved steadily in recent years, the reception still leaves something to be desired, especially in rural areas. If the next transmitter mast is too far away or if your own apartment is too nooks and crannies, we only understand the conversation partner at the other end in choppy fashion, ”says Düsterhöft.
Fixed line telephony is usually included in the package
There may be many reasons for not using a landline phone. But they are certainly not of a financial nature. “You can hardly defend yourself against it, because such a connection is still part of almost all Internet connections,” says Markus Weidner from the telecommunications portal “Teltarif.de”. The bottom line is that the telephone connection generates little or no additional costs.
A good reason for the landline number is also the availability in the event of any disruptions. “If there are problems with the mobile phone or a network fault, the fixed network is still a way to stay reachable or to call the mobile phone provider,” says Weidner.
According to figures from the Federal Network Agency, classic telephone connections based on analog or ISDN are as good as extinct. While there were 16.2 million of them in 2015, there were only 0.7 million in 2019. The reason for this is a change that virtually all providers have made. You can now establish the telephone connections via the Internet, which means that they can be used more flexibly – for example via the router and any telephones connected to it, via special Internet telephones or even with a smartphone, regardless of location.
DECT phones are popular
As telephone terminals for the home, there is a particular demand for handsets that connect to their base via the DECT radio standard. “DECT telephones have proven themselves for years, modern end devices usually work with little radiation and are usually designed in such a way that you can also call each other when several handsets are connected,” explains Wolfgang Pauler from the “Chip” magazine.
You can often do without your own DECT base: “You can usually save yourself large hardware packages because many router manufacturers have already integrated the DECT base station into the router housing, so that only the handsets have to be registered,” explains Pauler .
Many router manufacturers even offer apps that turn the smartphone into a landline handset. In this case, the smartphone does not connect to the router via DECT radio, but via WLAN. In this respect, this solution is particularly interesting for anyone who does not have a router with an integrated DECT base station.
Hardly any differences in quality between landline and mobile networks
Phone call costs play an increasingly minor role. Because flat rates for national calls are now part of many landline tariffs for Internet and telephone. If you make frequent calls abroad, especially non-EU countries, you can save money with call-by-call area codes, says Weidner. Call-by-call is only possible with Telekom connections.
As far as the quality of the phone calls is concerned, the mobile network providers have now caught up with the fixed network. “Providers like Telekom or Vodafone enable cell phone calls with the Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) voice codec, which covers a significantly larger frequency range.
“Telephone calls with this technology are as crystal clear as if the person you are speaking to is standing next to you,” says Weidner. However, the prerequisite is always that both participants are on the move in the LTE network and use EVS-enabled smartphones. DECT telephones also achieve high voice quality with the HD Voice standard.