I have a phone, and it has a UK phone number. Now before you start to query this, I have to explain.
Phone lines in Ireland are silly expensive. When I first started regularly talking to TDT, I was commenting on how it would be nice some nights to phone and not have to sit at the PC. I knew about Skype Out, a VOIP based system of Skype that allows you to receive incoming calls with a normal phone number. I was on the verge of buying a phone for such a purpose, when I came across an IP phone in Tesco, the most excellent S450IP. Now the phone was reduced to £55, and I was less than 2 months later to find out why. It was discontinued, and by the end of April it no longer worked. Not much good then, so I got a refund.
On my return I took over the cheaper but more general (not branded to Tesco) C475IP. I already had a VOIP number set up with my broadband, so I configured it to work with that. When you configure a number, it asks you were you'd like the number to be. I naturally put where I lived, and this means that I have a UK number. The details are still the same, and so when I configured the phone, this meant that I can keep the number, even though I'm no longer in the UK. This is a good thing. However, it means that I get asked repeatedly how I can have a UK number in Ireland.
It's simple enough to use however. It comes with a black box you plug into your router, and a phone with a charging base. The phone does everything like a normal phone, and a bit more (things like emails and messenger), but if you're downloading or using a lot of bandwidth then the line quality becomes choppy. But it's a lot better then some phone lines I know of.
I will also set up an Irish number. I came across a company called Blueface, who do basic VOIP services for as little as €10 a month. This means the one phone will have a UK and an Irish number. Confused, you will be! All in all, this system is a lot better then the land line system, but remember that if you have a limit on your broadband then this might not be a good option, especially if you make a lot of phone calls.
All in all, if you want to save yourself the bother of a land line and the associated costs, and already have broadband, then I'd seriously consider this. My phone cost £44, and will pay for itself many times over.
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