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Landline telephone: flat rates to mobile networks are the exception

Photo: pederk / Getty Images

Phone calls can be expensive, even within Germany. If you call a mobile phone from a landline, you have to reckon with steep prices from many providers. Up to 21.9 cents per minute can be due, calculates the comparison portal Verivox after it has carried out a market analysis. This means that such calls are about as expensive as a mobile phone call to Spain or Italy.

In contrast, mobile phone tariffs have been offered for years mainly as so-called all-net flats, with the basic fee of which all calls to all German fixed and mobile networks are compensated. The price differences in the mobile market are primarily based on the data volume included in the tariff.

Only one provider waives the fees

In comparison, Verivox describes the tariffs in the fixed-line market as outdated. It is "difficult to understand that consumers in 2023 will still have to consider which connections are best to call with which device," says Verivox manager Jens-Uwe Theumer.

As a solution, some providers offer flat rates for calls from landlines to mobile networks. According to Verivox, however, they cost up to 14.95 euros per month. If you do not book such a flat rate in addition to your regular landline tariff, you will have to reckon with costs of 9.8 to 21.9 cents per minute for such phone calls, according to Verivox. Only O2 has not charged any fees for this since October 2022.

So it's worth taking a look at the price list of your landline contract before picking up the phone. The comparison portal identifies the cable provider Pyur, which charges 21.9 cents per minute, as particularly expensive in this respect. However, Vodafone, Telekom, 1&1, EWE, M-net and Netkom are at a similarly high level with minute prices of 17 to 19.9. Not free of charge, but at least cheaper are calls from landlines to mobile phones at 9.8 cents per minute at Easybell.

When it comes to international calls, everything is different

The opposite is true for calls abroad. Since these are usually not covered by the smartphone flat rates, it is usually cheaper to make long-distance calls from the fixed network. Even cheap calls abroad would cost 20 cents per minute or more from a mobile phone, according to Verivox. For the same calls, landline tariffs would cost "usually only a tenth of the mobile phone price".

For the market analysis, Verivox researched the prices for calls to German mobile networks at ten major landline and Internet providers (Telekom, Vodafone, O2, 1&1, M-net, Pyur, EWE, Netcologne, Netkom and Easybell). According to Verivox, these companies cover more than 90 percent of the German fixed-line market.