IT’S official: the landline is dead. Those old jokes about trying to prise the receiver from a talkative teenage daughter are now as dated as Alec Douglas-Home references; today’s teenagers probably don’t even know their home phone number.
Adults, too, appear to have have hung up on the phone. More than a third actively ignore it because they know it will be a junk caller on the other end. One in ten don’t even bother to plug the thing in.
Just one person in five now uses their landline for regular personal calls, and more than half of us only keep the line at all because we need it to access the internet.
The reason, of course, is that we prefer now to use our mobiles to communicate. But some mobiles are better at doing so than others.
OpenSignal, a company which draws on data from users to produce maps of mobile coverage, reports huge differences on the four main networks: O2, Vodafone, EE and Three. Callers in London fare best, it says, and those in Wales worst, with 3G coverage – the basic standard these days for mobile data – far worse on Vodafone than on Three, and 4G coverage better on EE.
These are findings sometimes in stark contrast to the claims made on the networks’ own coverage maps.
If you’re unhappy and you’re not tied to a contract, it’s useful to know that you can easily transfer your number to a different network.
All mobile operators use one of the “big four” networks but they often don’t publicise which. So here’s a handy cheat sheet…
EE is an amalgam of the former Orange and T-Mobile networks and is used by these operators: Asda, BT Mobile, Co-Op Mobile, Ikea, People’s Operator and Virgin Mobile.
Vodafone is the network used by Talk Mobile, Sainsbury’s and Lebara, as well as Vodafone themselves.
O2 is used as well by GiffGaff and Tesco Mobile.
Three is used only by Three themselves, and doesn’t work with old 2G phones..
Moving from one network to another requires just a new SIM card and a PAC (Porting Authorisation) Code from your outgoing provider. Why not pick up your landline – if you can find it – and ask for your code today?