Mobile phones (called 'Handy' in German)

Since most Germans have a mobile phone, public pay-phones have become increasingly rare. The mobile phone network operators in Germany are T-Mobile, Vodafone and Telefónica. These operators have their own shops (T-Mobile is the mobile branch of Deutsche Telekom), where you can get further information. Additionally, you can look up rates and rate comparisons (also from discounters) online. There are huge differences in prices, rates, services and monthly charges, but generally speaking you can distinguish between:

  • Pre-Paid: no contract, no minimum contract period, no minimum monthly turnover
  • Contracts: duration of mostly 2 years (cannot be cancelled ahead of time!), sometimes with minimum monthly turnover

Private landline

As calling costs via mobile phones may be expensive, you can consider having a landline installed if you plan on staying in Germany for a longer period of time. When moving into a new flat it is recommended to assume responsibility of the existing telephone line of the previous tenant, as you would have to pay a fee and might have to wait for a few weeks to have a new line installed.

Alternatively, you could set up your private landline using certain mobile network operators or TV/cable providers. Be sure to look into the existing possibilities in your area.