Virgin Media has dangled a carrot to encourage customers to keep their home landline by launching a new app that offers free calls over Wi-Fi.
So, for example, if the customer has unlimited evening and weekend calls attached to the landline plan, they can route all mobile calls through the SmartCall app, proving they're on a Wi-Fi network.
Users can be on any mobile network and, because the app runs on Wi-Fi, can use their minutes from anywhere in the world; meaning free calls home.
Keeping home phone's relavent
Graeme Oxby, Virgin Media's executive director of mobile and home phone, said the new service was all about stretching the home telephone chord.
He said: "SmartCall will stretch the home telephone cord all the way to wherever you might be, whether in a coffee shop in Cornwall or on a beach in Bali. All you need is a home phone from us, a smartphone and a WiFi connection.
"This groundbreaking service will give customers even more fantastic value from their phones and is also another example of how technology can make our lives easier. Virgin Media is best placed to provide the greatest value converged telephone services as the distinction between staying connected in and out of the home blurs and as we look for more ways to give our customers more."
The app will be rolled out to some users later this year before becoming available to the rest of the Virgin Phone customer base in 2013.
Virgin has also announced a new landline called plan that includes free, unlimited calls to mobile phones in the UK as the landline industry battles to stay relevant to smartphone users.