Smart Living | Everything you need to know

Your landline is changing: Everything you need to know

The UK is switching off its old analogue landline telephone network. If you have a landline from Vodafone, here’s how this affects you.

The upcoming changes to the UK’s landlines might seem worrying or confusing at first. But, once it’s done, your experience of using a landline phone will be much the same as it was before.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is going to happen to my landline?

The decades-old technology behind the UK’s landline telephone network is gradually being retired. It’s sometimes referred to as the analogue network, the ‘copper’ network (after the material it’s made from), the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), and the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System).

What is the analogue landline system being replaced with?

Instead of being carried over the analogue circuits of the old PSTN system, landline voice calls will instead be digitally encoded and sent over the internet using a digital system broadly known as Voice over IP (or VoIP). Vodafone is calling it Digital Voice.

For Vodafone customers with Digital Voice, your landline phone will plug into a broadband router rather than into a wall-mounted phone socket. Other than that, the experience of using your landline phone will remain much the same. For example, while it uses internet-based technology, you won’t use a computer to make phone calls.

When is the UK switching off its copper landlines?

Openreach, the company responsible for much of the UK’S PSTN system, has stated that it aims to retire the UK’s analogue landline network by 2025. New Vodafone customers, as well as many who signed up recently, will already have Vodafone Digital Voice.

Why is the UK retiring its old PSTN landlines?

According to Openreach, the decades-old POTS landline technology is difficult and expensive to maintain.

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Will Vodafone Digital Voice work during a power cut?

In the event of a power cut, you’ll need to use your mobile phone instead to make calls. If you think this will be an issue, because you don’t have a mobile phone for example, then please contact Vodafone UK customer care to talk about your options.

Will I lose any other landline features?

Phone extension sockets won’t work with Digital Voice. Other devices that use copper telephone wiring, such as some connected smoke and security alarms, might not work with Digital Voice. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer or your local authority.

Vodafone voicemail and conference calls won’t work with Digital Voice. In the case of voicemail, alternatives such as answering machines built into landline phones will continue to work.

What do I need to do?

Vodafone is encouraging everyone with a landline to make the transition to Digital Voice now.

Who should I contact for more help about my landline?

For more help with making the transition to Digital Voice, contact Vodafone UK customer care.

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