Digital Voice is BT’s next-generation home phone service. It gives you better quality phone calls and features like advanced spam call blocking.

In the UK, BT is currently in the process of rolling out Digital Voice. This is their next-generation home phone service with HD-quality calls and with improved features such as advanced spam call blocking, voicemail and 3-way phone calls.

At present, Digital Voice is available to BT full fibre customers who take their home phone service together with full fibre broadband. It will be rolled out to all BT customers by the end of 2025, as part of an industry-wide change that’ll see the old analogue phone network switched off.

In this article, we’ll look at BT’s Digital Voice service and how it compares to a traditional analogue phone line. We’ll also look at the Digital Voice phones that are available from BT, including the Essential Digital Home Phone and the Advanced Digital Home Phone with Alexa built-in. Finally, we’ll look at the best BT Broadband deals, with a Digital Voice service if it’s available at your address.

What is BT Digital Voice?

In the UK, BT is currently in the process of upgrading their landline phone network to utilise Digital Voice technology for calling. This is ahead of an industry-wide change that’ll see the old analogue phone network being switched off in 2025.

There are four major benefits when upgrading to Digital Voice technology:

  • You can get HD-quality phone calls. If you’re using a compatible phone, you can get ‘crystal clear’ HD quality phone calls. Digital Voice technology carries a wider range of audio frequencies so you’ll get more natural sounding audio with less background noise when you’re talking on the phone.
  • Free Digital Voice calling features. You’ll get lots of advanced Digital Voice calling features at no extra cost. This includes voicemail, call protect, caller display, call divert, call waiting and 3-way calling. You can also choose to permanently withhold your number and make multiple phone calls at the same time on a Digital Home phone.
  • Digital Voice works with full fibre (FTTP) technology. It isn’t possible to use an analogue phone line on the latest full fibre (FTTP) connections. This is because the analogue phone network relies on old copper wires which were never really designed for the ultrafast broadband services of today. With full fibre, you can benefit from faster download speeds and a more reliable broadband service alongside Digital Voice.
  • Digital Voice works with your existing phone, or you can get a new Digital Home Phone. You can use your existing phone by plugging it in to your Smart Hub 2 router or in to a Digital Voice Adapter. Alternatively, you can get a new Digital Home Phone such as the Advanced handset with Alexa built-in.

Behind the scenes, Digital Voice makes use of voice-over-IP technology (also known as VoIP technology). This means your BT fibre broadband connection is used in the background to carry your phone calls.

Getting Digital Voice

If you’re new to BT, you might be offered the Digital Voice service when you sign up for your deal online. You’ll be shown the following message at the checkout if Digital Voice is available at your address:

You’re getting Digital Voice, our next generation home phone service giving you better quality calls.

You’ll also be able to choose between 1 x Advanced Digital Phone with Alexa built-in or 2 x Essential Digital Phones at no extra cost.

If you’re an existing BT customer, you’ll be offered a free upgrade to Digital Voice over the next few years. Once you’ve been invited to the service, you can follow BT’s guide on moving to Digital Voice.

Before you move to the Digital Voice service, it’s worth being aware of two things:

  1. You won’t be able to use Digital Voice if there’s a power cut. If there’s a power cut, you won’t be able to use Digital Voice. For this reason, you should have an alternative way to make emergency phone calls (e.g. using a mobile phone). If you don’t have another way to make emergency calls, you should get in touch with BT as it might be possible to get a Battery Backup Unit (BBU). This can keep the service online for a short amount of time if your power goes down.
  2. Some older telecare systems and monitored burglar alarms may not be compatible. If you have a special service device, you’ll need to check with your provider to see if it’s compatible with Digital Voice. There’s also a list of compatible services on the BT website.

Digital Voice Phones

When you sign up to BT’s Digital Voice service, you’ll be able to choose from the following handset options at no extra cost:

  • 1x Advanced Digital Home Phone with Alexa built-in
  • 2x Essential Digital Home Phone
  • Keep your existing phone

In the following section, we’ll look at each of these handset options in more detail. Alternatively, you can compare the two Digital Home Phones at-a-glance in the table below:

Advanced Digital Phone with Alexa Essential Digital Phone
 
Handsets Provided: 1 handset provided on all plans 2 handsets provided on all plans
Display: 2.0-inch colour display 1.8-inch black and white display
Alexa Button: Yes No
Handset Features
HD Calling: Yes Yes
Phone Book: Yes, up to 500 saved numbers Yes, up to 500 saved numbers
Hands-Free Calling: Yes Yes
Caller Display: Yes Yes
Call Waiting Indicator: Yes Yes
Voicemail Button: Yes Yes
One-Touch Calling: Yes, using Alexa button No
Accessibility Options: Yes, includes:
Ringer Volume Boost
Large Text
No
Other: Control smart home devices
Check news & weather
Stream music (using Alexa)
Handset Connectivity
Cordless: Yes (uses DECT) Yes (uses DECT)
Wireless Range: Up to 50m indoors
Up to 300m outdoors
Up to 50m indoors
Up to 300m outdoors
Requires Smart Hub 2: Yes Yes
Other
Battery Life: Up to 12h talktime
Up to 180h standby
Up to 12h talktime
Up to 240h standby
Handset Dimensions: 19.1 x 5.1 x 3.9 cm 19.1 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm
Charger Dimensions: 2.7 x 7.3 x 7.2 cm 4.2 x 8.0 x 7.6cm
Weight: 151g handset, 67g charger 151g handset, 67g charger
More Information: BT Advanced Digital Phone Webpage BT Essential Digital Phone Webpage

BT recommends that you stick to one type of phone instead of mixing the two different types of phone.

Advanced Digital Home Phone with Alexa

The Advanced Digital Home Phone with Alexa built-in is BT’s latest and most advanced Digital Home Phone. It has full support for the Digital Voice service, including HD-quality calls and all of the Digital Voice features. On top of that, you’ll get a colour display and a one-touch button for Alexa, allowing for things like one-touch dialling and controlling your other smart home devices.

The Advanced Digital Home Phone also has a wider range of accessibility options such as Ringer Volume Boost and Large Text.

The Advanced Digital Home Phone with Alexa built-in is a cordless device so it connects wirelessly to your Smart Hub 2 router. Because of this, you can use it pretty much anywhere in your home. According to BT, the phone has a 50m range indoors and a 300m range outdoors.

If you choose the Advanced Digital Home Phone with Alexa built-in, you’ll get one handset provided. If you want another, you can buy one for £44.98 at the BT Shop.

Essential Digital Home Phone

If you choose BT’s Essential Digital Home Phone, you’ll still get full support for the Digital Voice service. This includes HD-quality calls and all of the Digital Voice features. However, compared to the Advanced Home Phone, you’ll get a slightly smaller screen that’s in black-and-white rather than full colour. You also won’t get the Alexa button which is only found on the Advanced Home Phone.

The main advantage to choosing the Essential Digital Home Phone is the fact you’ll get 2 phones provided at no extra cost. As they’re cordless, you can use them both pretty much anywhere in your home (with a range of 50m indoors and 300m outdoors). If you need additional handsets, they’re available for £29.98 at the BT Shop. In total, you can have up to five handsets at one time.

Keep Your Existing Phone

If you like, you can also use your existing phone with BT’s Digital Voice service. However, you may not get the benefits of HD-quality calls unless your phone is already compatible with the HD Voice feature.

The easiest way to use your existing home phone with Digital Voice is to simply plug it in to the back of your BT Smart Hub 2 router (either the phone itself, or the hub if you have a cordless device).

If you want your phone in a different place to your Smart Hub 2 router, this is possible with a Digital Voice adapter. You’ll need one Digital Voice adapter for a cordless system, or one adapter per corded phone if you’re using a corded system.

BT Broadband & Digital Voice Deals

At present, BT offers a choice of fibre broadband deals from £29.99 per month:

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
(may rise during contract)
BT
Fibre 1
50Mbps download24 month contract£0£29.99/month
with £50 reward card
BT
Full Fibre 100
150Mbps download24 month contract£0£29.99/month
with £50 reward card
BT
Fibre Essential
36Mbps download24 month contract£31.99£33.99/month
BT
Full Fibre 500
500Mbps download24 month contract£0£34.99/month
with £50 reward card
BT
Fibre 2
67Mbps download24 month contract£31.99£36.99/month
with £50 reward card
BT
Full Fibre 300
300Mbps download24 month contract£31.99£44.99/month
with £50 reward card
BT
Full Fibre 900
910Mbps download24 month contract£31.99£59.99/month
with £50 reward card

Once you’ve chosen your plan, you can choose the “Broadband & phone” option. If it’s available at your address, you’ll get your home phone service on Digital Voice. Otherwise, you’ll get a traditional phone line to begin with and you’ll be invited to Digital Voice over the next few years.

It costs £5 per month extra for a home phone service with Pay As You Go calls. Alternatively, it’s a £8 per month for a home phone service with 700 monthly minutes, or £18 per month for a home phone service with unlimited minutes included.

See all BT Broadband & Phone Deals →

Switching to BT

If you’re switching from another home phone or broadband provider, it’s easy switching your service over to BT. You can also keep your current phone number when you move to BT’s Digital Voice service.

Start by ordering your new broadband and home phone service from BT’s website. You’ll be given the option to keep your current phone number when you order. It normally takes up to two weeks to switch your service to BT.

Whilst you’re waiting for your new BT Broadband service to go live, you’ll continue getting broadband from your old provider. In the meantime, BT will send you a new Smart Hub 2 router, along with any Digital Phones you’ve ordered. On the switchover date, you can then plug in your new Smart Hub 2 router and set up your Digital Voice phones.

In most cases, it won’t be necessary for you to separately cancel your old broadband service. This is because BT will normally do it for you automatically. The exception to this if you’re a Virgin Media customer, or a customer of another provider that doesn’t use the Openreach network. If this is the case, you’ll need to contact your old provider to cancel the old service for when BT Broadband goes live.

For step-by-step instructions on how to switch to BT Broadband, please select your current provider from the dropdown menu below:

Switch to BT Broadband
Your step-by-step guide to switching

Select your current broadband provider:

More Options

You can also read our in-depth guide to switching home broadband providers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BT Digital Voice?
Digital Voice is BT’s next-generation home phone service. It uses your BT Broadband connection to carry the phone call. This gives you benefits such as HD-quality calling, along with extra features such as voicemail, call waiting and call divert. Digital Voice is also compatible with the latest full fibre (FTTP) broadband connections.
What is the BT Advanced Digital Phone?
The Advanced Digital Home Phone is BT’s latest and most advanced Digital Voice phone. It has a 2.0-inch colour display, along with an Alexa button for one touch dialling and more. You can choose to get one Advanced Digital Home Phone at no extra cost when you sign up to the Digital Voice service.
What is the BT Essential Digital Phone?
The Essential Digital Home Phone is a more basic Digital Voice handset. It still supports HD phone calls and all of the Digital Voice features. However, you’ll get a slightly smaller 1.8-inch display (black-and-white) and there’s no Alexa button included. You can choose to get two Essential Digital Home Phones at no extra cost with the Digital Voice service.
How much does BT Digital Voice cost?
BT currently offers a range of fibre broadband deals from £29.99 per month. You can add a home phone service from £5 per month extra, depending on the plan you choose. You’ll either be offered a Digital Voice service or a traditional phone line, depending on what is available in your area.

More Information

For more information about Digital Voice, please see BT’s official website.

Your Comments 131 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 131 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Free digital phones from BT not possible anymore.
    You have to buy your own from the EE website.
    However still quite cheap/ discounted at about £25 each.
    Main issue with FFTH is that the OTp has to be on an outside wall, so the router may well have to be the corner of your front room , rather than more central. So the router has to be there ( not ideal for Wi-Fi) and the phone if you use an existing phone. ( hence why I have bought new digital phone )

  • Hi Ken, switching off phone lines would never have happened during the Thatcher years because broadband was only available on compatible phone lines then. We’ve still got the same lines, we don’t all have broadband.
    My mother is 81. She doesn’t leave things plugged in to the mains electric permanently. Even the telly and video recorder is switched off every night. The electric socket is nowhere near the BT socket. Most people’s phones are in hallways. They don’t have electric sockets nearby.
    Does the actual Digital Voice phone also need to be plugged n to the mains, as well as the router? If so that’s 2 sockets, which are normally used for the telly and video.
    The DV phone has to be stretched across the room from the mains socket, to which it is attached, to the BT socket and router on the other side of the room. That’s ridiculous. Does that mean many houses will have to be rewired by the electrical companies to add electric sockets near the BT sockets? That’s madness! Has anyone even thought about all this.
    Not everyone has a broadband connection through their phone line – they won’t – they haven’t signed up to BT Broadband. How is it going to work? We don’t have a broadband connection. The whole thing is madness. Not all phones lines work with broadband. Lots of phone lines would need to be changed. This wouldn’t have happened in the Thatcher years.

  • I’m very worried about the phone line switch off in 2025 because my phone line doesn’t work with broadband. It is aluminium, rather than copper, it is underground under fields and doesn’t get a broadband connection whatsoever.
    So my question is: when phone lines are switched off what will happen to my phone line which doesn’t work with broadband? Will Openreach give my a new digital line or a complementary fibre optic line to the house? Apparently I am in the 3% of BT customers who have a landline but no broadband connection. I don’t want telephone lines switched off. Do I have any rights?

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