Losing the landline is a big step for some people. Until recently, home telephone service was delivered through a complicated global spiderweb of copper wires owned by communications companies. Then the telecoms began a slow shift to fiber optic cable. Traditional landlines are losing support, and a three-year-old FCC order may speed up the phase-out. Here are some pros and cons to consider.
A landline is a regular telephone that relies on copper wires to transmit voice calls. It’s a different concept than a wireless phone, which uses radio waves to connect to cell towers. Many businesses are moving to a cellphone-only strategy. A survey of hourly employees conducted by the Credit Union Times found that 75 percent of hospitality and 66 percent of healthcare workers want to use their cell phones for business calls.
This approach can save the company money on business-phone plans and streamline paperwork and bill paying. Another cost saving is the reduction in telemarketing calls. While marketers are legally allowed to ring landlines, they’re prohibited from calling cell phones, so the number of unsolicited calls on business-related cells is significantly lower. Plus, VOIP services offer conference calling, that’s more convenient than a cell phone. It also gives you more flexibility to work remotely, as your business calls can travel wherever you go.
Although cell phone technology has improved and VoIP and free calling apps are improving, landlines still have a certain reliability that makes them appealing to businesses and seniors. They are not subject to the same vulnerabilities as cellular phones, which can experience problems with poor weather conditions and spotty service.
As a result, the trend towards losing landlines creates an unintended consequence for those who depend on them. Telephone companies are cutting back on supporting these wirelines in favor of the more profitable cellular networks. Ir will lead to less reliable service, as the network is neglected. Fortunately, a landline alternative to the traditional home landline will save money and provide superior call quality.
If you’ve been paying for landline phone service and other bills and services that no longer make sense, eliminating them can free up money that can be better used elsewhere. Also, getting rid of a home phone could stop unwanted calls – telemarketers can legally ring landline phones, while cell phones must be on the National Do Not Call registry and have spam-blocking apps to prevent unsolicited rings.
As the traditional landline telephone loses support and investment, landline alternatives are gaining traction. These include VoIP services, PC-based voice-over-IP, workarounds, and free communication options. Many of these alternatives can be bundled with other services, such as internet and cable, to save money over standard landline costs. In addition, some offer 911 connectivity, calling to overseas destinations, and location tracking for internet-based calls. These services can be a great alternative to a landline but don’t offer the same reliability as a home phone.
The way individuals communicate has changed along with cell phone technology. The result has been a massive shift away from landline phones. In areas with spotty cellular coverage, harsh weather conditions or a tendency for neighbors to drop out of earshot, a landline may still be your best option. And for those needing greater mobility, a mobile phone offers the freedom to move from room to room without worrying about losing a call.
A landline number is connected via physical wires, whereas a cell phone uses radio waves to transfer calls over an internet connection. As a result, a landline phone is less likely to be picked up by neighbors or hackers and could offer an extra layer of privacy. Another benefit of a landline is increased mobility — many VOIP services now offer texting capabilities, making it easier to stay in touch when you’re on the move. If you’re running a business, you can continue connecting with your customers even when your internet or phone service is out.