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Telephone, Fax, Internet


There are two ways to make phone calls in Germany: By using a landline ("Festnetz") or by using a mobile or cell phone. The landline is the phone line within the home, which can be used to make phone calls, send or receive faxes or go on the Internet.

Most homes already have a phone line installed. To use the phone line it is necessary to register with the phone company. The telephones themselves can be bought outright or rented from the phone company.

Analogue and Digital

Digital connections such as ISDN or DSL give the consumer a number of phone lines, which can be used at the same time, for instance to make phone calls, use the fax machine and go on the Internet. More than one phone or computer can be connected. An ISDN / DSL connection is more expensive than an analogue connection, but ISDN and DSL transfer data faster and more effectively and are a great advantage if the Internet is used on a regular basis.

Connection Costs

There are a number of offers to choose from depending on the individual needs of each customer: Do you make a lot of long distance calls or use the phone mainly at the weekends and in the evenings? If the Internet is used on a regular basis then maybe a "flat rate" would be less costly. The best and most cost-effective offer for your needs can be found at consumer advice centres or on the Internet (Hyperlink: www.billiger-surfen.de).

There is such a vast range of "telephone rates" in Germany it is often described as a "Tarifdschungel" (rates jungle). The website Hyperlink: www.billiger-telefonieren.de gives an overview of rates and conditions. The biggest German telephone company is "Deutsche Telekom". A line can be ordered from "Deutsche Telekom" and then changed at any time after a short period of notice. "Deutsche Telekom" shops can be found in all German cities. They are called "T-Punkt" stores.

Telephone Calls Within Germany

Telephone numbers within your area of residence can be found in the local phone books or from directory enquiries (see chapter Cross-reference: Directory Enquires). You can also find the dialling codes for long distance calls to other German areas. Telephone calls to mobile phones start with the digits 017 or 016.


The call-by-call system can be cheaper than regular telephone calls. To use the call-by-call system a special dialling code is needed. The charges for the phone call are then paid to that specific telephone company. The cost of the call depends on the rates charged by that phone company. Costs of each individual company are listed on the Internet. Addresses:

Hyperlink: www.teltarif.de

Hyperlink: www.billiger-telefonieren.de

Telephone Calls Abroad

Most telephone calls abroad can be made from your own telephone. First the digits 00 must be dialled, then the country code, the local dialling code (without the initial 0) and then the number itself. You can find out what the country code is from directory enquiries. There are numerous telephone shops in Germany that also offer you the possibility of making world-wide phone calls at reasonable rates. There are also special phone cards for foreign calls, which can be used from any telephone. Whether you use telephone shops, telephone cards or the call-by-call system, one thing is important to note: check the cost per minute of making calls and be sure to check if there is a one-off connection fee.

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