BT’s Broadband Talk is unique in this group, as it requires that you also have BT’s Home Broadband package.
This means you’re limited to BT’s hardware, and you won’t be able to configure a softphone so you can make and manage calls from your PC, or call using your laptop while abroad.
We’ve included a standard BT landline call plan – Unlimited Anytime with the International Freedom add-on – in our graphs on page 107. While BT’s standard mobile calling rates are better than most VoIP services, Broadband Talk is much cheaper for calling other UK phones. We were surprised that it wasn’t much cheaper for international numbers, though.
The main advantage of Broadband Talk is convenience: simply pair the cordless BT handset with your Home Hub, and start making calls. You can set the phone to ring for all calls, or just VoIP calls. When making a call, you can switch between VoIP and normal landline by pressing ‘5’, and each service has a unique dial tone. Unfortunately, the phone won’t help you work out which service is cheaper for a particular call.
If you already have BT Total Broadband, you get free evening and weekend calls anyway, so it’s worth getting Broadband Talk only if you use the phone a lot during weekdays. If you don’t have BT broadband, the call charges don’t warrant a move, especially if you have cable internet and don’t rent a BT phone line. Sipgate’s UK calls are cheaper, and Vonage is cheaper for those with friends or family abroad.