O2 customers whose lives would be complete if only they could also make landline calls need fret no more. From March, they'll be able to do exactly that with O2's twin Home Phone packages, which we think offer a pretty spiffing deal.
The £9.50 'Evening & Weekend' package lets you make unlimited free calls to UK homes on -- you guessed it -- evenings and weekends, while the £12.50 'Anytime' package lets you throw caution to the wind and ring UK homes for free at any moment you damn well like.
With Anytime, you can also make free calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers,
and landlines in over 20 countries, including the Vatican, just in
case you need to make an urgent midnight confession to the Pope. Line rental is included in the price of the packages, and calls to mobiles cost between 12p and 7p depending on which option you go for and whether it's daytime or evening.
Roll in O2's standard 8Mbps broadband package (£7.50 for O2 mobile customers -- everyone else pays £5 more) and you're looking at a total cost of £17 with the Evening & Weekend package and £20 with the Anytime package. "Pas mauvais," as they say in France. We've lifted assorted charts from O2's Web site and pasted them below for your leisured perusal.
We dropped O2 a line to find out whether the company would be blocking override providers (for potentially even cheaper calls) but we haven't yet heard back.
Update: O2 has confirmed that it won't block override providers. The operator also says on its Web site that you'll "almost certainly" be able to keep your current phone number when you switch to Home Phone. Finally, there's a page giving more details on the company's broadband offerings here.