Telephone Services

Getting a phone line for your new residence in Germany is quite easy. Up until a couple of years ago there was only the German Telekom. Today, there are many different providers to choose from. Whether you want a flat rate, high speed Internet or up to three different telephone numbers it is there to have! To make your choice easier, consider finding a company that offers service and support in your language. Be aware of the terms and conditions before you sign as many companies offer a two year minimum contract.

Public telephones do still exist, but they are hard to find! Most of them no longer accept coins; instead you will need a phone card, which can be purchased at post offices, department stores or petrol stations.

Analogue or ISDN

There are two types of phone service in Germany: a "standard" analogue phone service, and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network). Each of these services offers similar prices and options such as flat rate, international calling plans and voice mail. DSL Internet, which allows you to telephone and surf at the same time, is also available with either service.

Choosing an analogue system means you opt for one telephone line and one telephone number. If you do not choose DSL you will be forced to use a 56k modem for the Internet which means you will not be able to talk and surf at the same time.

ISDN phone services use digital network technology to add more options to your phone line. Here you have the possibility to have up to three telephone numbers, this allows you to talk on two separate phones and use the Internet all at once. ISDN telephone connections are usually more expensive than analogue lines.

Before selecting either analogue or ISDN, you may want to check which system is available in the house you are buying or renting. It may be possible to have an ISDN system installed but this may have additional costs and must first be permitted by your landlord. Many houses have only one telephone outlet. In this case using cordless telephones will give you more flexibility. It may take up to 14 business days to get your phone working once you have registered it.

Using the Internet


For dial up Internet you need a 56k modem, which is a standard built in component in most computers. This type of Internet is extremely slow and usually blocks your telephone line when you are using it. For people who only use the Internet occasionally, it may be a possibility. Using a dial-up modem in Germany is always metered on a time basis; plans are available with monthly fees that include a set amount of time (minutes or hours) each month. Unused time is usually not carried over to the next month.


If you are a frequent Internet user and rely on quick and efficient work you will have to consider DSL. Germany's DSL network is under constant improvement and expansion; however there are still some areas and smaller towns where DSL is not available. Any telephone company can inform you whether or not DSL is available on your street. For this type of Internet connection a flat rate is available, ask your phone company what kind of rates they offer for telephone and Internet packages.

Internet to Go:

The Internet can be accessed (almost) everywhere and anywhere these days! Germany has Internet cafes and thousands of wireless Internet "hotspots" in most cities and towns, many of them free of charge. To take advantage of this you need a laptop with wireless LAN or a mobile phone with Internet access and the right package from your provider. A list of hotspot locations can be found online.

Make sure you read the fine print before signing any contracts. It is very important to choose the right provider for your individual needs. Many companies offer special deals, so shop around before you decide.

Fidelio Main Office: +49 69 40 56 499-1 · info(bittekeinspam)