Which digital native doesn’t know it: The (grand)parents get a new Internet connection, but who takes care of the actual installation of the connection? Her naturally!
This is neither bashing of the over 60 generation nor a lament for family duties, but the starting point of a curious customer story. At the beginning of this story there is a new, inexpensive Internet connection – at the end there is the purchase of a new landline telephone for 50 euros.
In short: anyone whose landline phone has ever broken down after delivery of a new router could draw on this mini-odyssey through the age-old technology of landline telephony.
New DSL connection, but no longer a landline phone?
In order to trace the case in a comprehensible manner, the selected Internet connection with all its variants now follows. Far be it from me to unnecessarily bang on the drum for Vodafone. I’m all about transparency.
So: The selected tariff is Vodafone’s GigaZuhause. If you choose this tariff, you have the following options to choose the right tariff for you:
- Offer: »Internet & Telephone« or »Internet Only«
- Speed: »250 Mbit/s«, »100 Mbit/s«, »50 Mbit/s« oder »16 Mbit/s«
- The tariff includes: “Internet flat rate” and “telephone flat rate”
In my case, the relatives chose that GigaZuhause 50 DSL. Cost point: 19.99 euros per month, or 39.99 euros per month from the 7th month. A suitable offer for occasional surfers over the age of 60 without home office needs or gaming hobbies.
As for why I want to draw your attention, the figure is right here below. This picture will be shown to you on the Vodafone website if you opt for a DSL tariff.
The gray box is a Vodafone router, more precisely the EasyBox 805. The white box with a red accent is a Fritz box (very likely one of the DSL Fritz boxes such as FRITZ!Box 7590, FRITZ!Box 7530 or FRITZ! Box 7510 shown).
If you decide on one of the GigaZuhause tariffs from Vodafone, you also have the choice between an EasyBox or a Fritzbox.
Why was the EasyBox the wrong choice in my case? Find out below.
But before that, a friendly product reference to such a Fritzbox.
What is DECT – and why can’t the EasyBox do it?
So GigaZuhause 50 DSL was selected and the equipment was sent at the agreed time. Setting up the Internet connection via PC, laptop, TV set and cell phone worked perfectly at first.
Only the landline phone no longer wanted. The Fritz telephone used could not be linked to the router. How come? Because the GigaZuhause 50 DSL tariff included one of the EasyBoxes mentioned above. The problem with it: The EasyBox is not DECT-capable.
DECT-was? Yes, DECT stands for »Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications« (in German: »improved digital cordless communication«). DECT is a technology that you will mainly find in cordless phones. In the home and in the office, DECT telephones are absolutely commercially available these days.
In order for a DECT telephone to work, however, you need a base station that is connected to the telephone line. This station also connects to the cordless handset. In the case of my relatives, the handset is a Fritz-Fone (see figure below).
So much for the little technical knowledge. So the Fritz telephone has no DECT station and the new EasyBox is DECTandcapable. So what to do? I pick up the phone and get in touch with the Vodafone service team.
How do I reconnect the landline?
First the usual, automatic announcements à la “If it’s a landline call, then say it now landline«. I like: »landline«. The announcement: »I didn’t understand you. If it’s landline, now say…’. And so forth. Who doesn’t know the delights of a labyrinthine phone service?
Eventually, however, I get through to a human operator.
☎️Call 1: Finally I don’t get to the right department, but to a helpful operator. I describe my case to him. They can’t arrange for the new router for me, but advise me to use the “FritzBox 7530” when in doubt. This is free of charge and rent-free. I hang up gratefully, a little later repeatedly descending into the telephony jungle.
☎️ Phone call 2: »You can get the FritzBox 7530 free of charge and rent-free, but only after three months«. I’m puzzled and ask why that is. “Since this is a new contract, you have to wait three months before you can receive the new router.” I don’t understand the logic, but I hang up better informed – but I’m also slightly frustrated.
By the way: I asked again a few weeks later to have Vodafone confirm the information. It’s true: Due to the new contract, you as a customer have to wait three months for a new router. From the customer’s point of view, I find that suboptimal at best.
Solution: Bought a »telephone with DECT base«
And now? Waiting three months for landline telephony to work again is not feasible for my relatives.
So I learn to help myself, make the pilgrimage to an electronics store and buy the Gigaset CL660 telephone there for around 50 euros. The advantage of the CL660: the DECT function is not in the base of the phone, but is installed in the »Gigaset Box 100« supplied. This gives you greater flexibility when it comes to positioning the phone and the associated base station in the home.
Conclusion & Outlook: What other solutions are there?
Linking the Gigaset CL660 telephone to the EasyBox 805 router was very easy. In my case, the fixed network was set up and working within minutes.
A month has passed since I set up the landline phone. Since then there have been no hassles with phone or connection; the new landline phone with the DECT radio standard has worked flawlessly so far.
The only thing left is the aftertaste of what I felt was the artificial waiting time of three months for a new router. On the other hand: The Internet provider gave me (and thus my relatives) a discount of 25 euros. That then halves the purchase price for the Gigaset phone.
Well, that’s all well and good and better – but: was my solution the best?
As my lightning research shows, other courses of action are also feasible in order to pull up a functioning fixed-line telephony system.
An alternative solution: For example, there’s WLAN telephony, to name a prominent alternative. You use your internet connection to make and receive phone calls. The connection is established via your mobile phone or via a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone. However, VoIP phones also often establish a connection to your router via DECT.
In any case: Depending on the (in)stability of your WLAN connection, landline telephony is then uninterrupted. So you see: Here you make yourself dependent on your internet connection. The advantage of a WLAN telephone are additional functions such as video telephony or messaging.
But since such bonuses are irrelevant for my relatives, and a constantly stable telephone connection is given higher priority, I would probably have done worse with a WLAN telephone.
Have you endured similar ordeals through the trials and tribulations of landline telephony? Or have you buried any landline phones long ago? Write us about it in the comments.