Once you’ve found a house in Germany, your next step will be to sort out a phone line. Usually, your home will already have a phone line installed, meaning that you simply take over the number of the previous tenant.
Phone line (landline / fixed line) providers in Germany
The biggest fixed phone line providers in Germany are:
Getting a German landline
To get your phone connected, you will need to take out a contract with a fixed phone line provider in Germany. Be aware that once you have taken out a contract, you are locked into it for the duration of its term (usually 12 months in Germany). Often, your internet provider will offer a combination package that includes a phone line (and sometimes a mobile phone contract) for little or no extra cost.
Taking out a landline contract in Germany
In order to take out a phone line contract in Germany, you need:
- Valid ID, such as a passport (not a driving licence)
- Registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung)
- German bank account
It is usually possible to do this online. You simply need to complete a short form with your personal details. Once submitted, a technician will arrange to come to your home to set up the landline. There is often a one-off charge for this service.
German phone line bills
Payment for your landline is usually in the form of a monthly direct debit that is deducted automatically from your bank account. You will sometimes also receive monthly bills that detail your phone usage and outline any additional charges, if applicable.
Changing your phone line provider
Swapping to a new fixed phone line provider in Germany is relatively straightforward: the easiest way is to let your new provider handle everything. When taking out a new contract, make it clear that you wish to change provider (Anbieter wechseln), rather than take out a new contract (Neuanschluss). The new company will then inform your previous provider and transfer your telephone number for you.
Note that it is not usually possible to cancel a contract midway through its term, except in special circumstances (e.g. if you are moving abroad permanently). If you are changing address, you can usually take your internet and phone line contracts with you.
Installing a landline for the first time
If you are installing a landline for the first time (e.g. if you are moving into a newly-built home), you will need to contact Telekom, who manage fixed phone lines in Germany. Installation costs around 800 euros. You can go to a Telekom shop, visit the website, or call 0800 33 01000.