What is a Digital Landline, How Does It Work, & What Does it Mean for You?

In the telecom industry's ongoing effort to modernise networks and services, traditional analogue landlines are being replaced by digital landline technology.

This means that sometime between 2025 and 2027, the old public switched telephone network (PSTN) based on copper phone lines will be retired in favour of digital landlines that use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Mobile phone with Phonely Features
Recommended, featured or accredited by
Logos of websites recommending or featuring Phonely Home VoIP
Logos of websites recommending or featuring Phonely Home VoIP

What exactly is a digital landline?

A digital landline, also called VoIP or IP voice, is a home phone service that works over a broadband internet connection instead of the traditional copper wire telephone network.

With a digital landline, in technical terms, your voice is converted into digital data packets that travel over the internet, similar to how voice and video apps like Skype, FaceTime, and WhatsApp operate. But you can use regular corded or cordless phones - the service works just like a standard phone line – but better!

Benefits of VoIP

Explore Digital Landlines

Have Peace of Mind with Home Phone Back-up

Phonely's FREE flexible Call app allows customers to use their landline number from their mobile device. This means that should your internet fail, you will still have a connection to the outside world. Plus, you can use the Call app should you need to nip out whilst waiting for one of those anywhere between 9am and 6pm company call-backs!

More About the Call App

Phonely VoIP Calling Android and iOS Apps
Phonely's digital landline devices

How do digital landlines work?

To get a digital landline, you'll need a broadband connection as the service routes your calls over the internet. Your digital landline phone then connects to your router to access the digital line instead of plugging it into an analogue phone socket on your wall.

Many modern home phones and answering machines are already compatible with digital landlines. However, older phones or equipment may require an analogue telephone adapter (ATA) to work with the VoIP service.


Digital landlines versus analogue landlines

While digital landlines provide a similar pick-up-and-dial service, there are some key differences compared to the century-old analogue copper lines:

Phone Number Portability

Phone number

  • Analogue: Geographical limitations on keeping your existing number
  • Digital: Easily switch your existing number to your new provider wherever you move to

Phone Hardware


  • Analogue: Uses copper phone wiring
  • Digital: Transmits over an internet connection

Sound Quality

  • Analogue: Subject to static, crackling & crosstalk interference
  • Digital: Cleaner sound quality & clearer calls

Call Features

  • Analogue: Basic features like caller ID & call waiting
  • Digital: Advanced call management & scam protection tools available


  • Analogue: Yealy price hikes as the copper infrastructure costs more to maintain
  • Digital: Saves providers & customers money due to cheaper running costs

Power Source

  • Analogue: Powered through the telephone line itself, no backup is needed
  • Digital: Requires electrical power to operate & may need a backup battery

The digital landline transition is happening as telecom providers upgrade to modern internet-based networks. While analogue landlines still work in some areas of the UK, digital landlines provide more functionality, better quality, and connectivity options via broadband.

Choose My Plan

Benefits of switching to a digital landline early

There are several advantages to adopting digital landline technology, now rather than later.

  • Smaller monthly phone bills
  • Crystal clear audio quality
  • Access additional features like CallGuard, voicemail & multiple person calls
  • Flexibility, use your landline via a mobile app & never miss a call

While the transition may require some new equipment, providers such as us here at Phonely are working to make the switch as seamless and as cost-effective as possible.

The PSTN retirement is an industry-wide infrastructure upgrade, so all homes and businesses will need to adopt digital landline phone services eventually. Stay informed and prepare to make the switch to modern VoIP-based digital landline technology!

Discover Phonely's Scam Protection

Example of call transcription

Want to Know About the Latest Scams?

Keep up to date and learn how to protect yourself with our monthly newsletter.

Leave your details below and we’ll make sure the next newsletter arrives safely in your inbox.

Logo 1
Logo 2
Logo 2
Logo 2
Logo 2
Logo 2