Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Cellular Revolution

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This is just anecdotal, but I’ve been hearing more and more people I know talk about getting rid of their home “land line” phones and exclusively using their cell phones. Right now it's still mostly talk but I thnink many are soon going to pull the trigger on the idea.

It really makes sense at this point as land lines are largely redundant given that most of us carry cell phones or have them nearby wherever we are (and there’s text messaging and voice mail if we aren’t near our cell phone). Long distance calling is usually unlimited with our cells and you don’t have to worry about someone else in your house tying up the phone when you want to use it.

So why do so many of us continue to have land lines? Isn’t it just a wasteful expense? I think a lot of it has to do with us old folk (over 30) who grew up with phones being hardwired objects in our homes. Call it tradition or just something we’re comfortable with (or more precisely something we’d be uncomfortable without.)

There are some practical advantages to land lines such as 911 service and caller ID for numbers not in our cell phone address book. At our house we have a network of phones that also function as intercoms. But those are about the only advantages I can see to land lines. I suppose you could include that fact that land lines don’t have batteries that go dead cutting you off comply until recharges. Although even a cordless phone left off its base can have that problem.

So what do you think, land lines will be largely gone from homes in s 10 years? 20years? I see them sticking around for business but the home phone appears to be headed the way of cassette tapes and cathode ray tube TVs.

3 comments:

Will said...

I haven't had a land line for years. Its a waste of money as a duplicative service, especially since I was moving around so much. My cell phone is cheaper than the long distance charges and monthly fees I was paying to the regular phone company. Most of my friends in their 20's are the same way.
It will take a long while before home land lines are a thing of the past. Baby boomers will hold onto them.

Dave said...

Will,

Most of the people I hear talking about yanking the land lines are Boomers. Younger people may already have pulled the plug on their home phones but I don’t think the rest of us are going to hold out forever. We currently have Vonage as our land carrier. With taxes and unlimited long distance it’s only like $31 a month. Vonage, is internet based but even traditional phone companies are offing similar packages for $50 + taxes. So while that may indeed be a waste, it’s many times cheaper than it would have been even ten years ago. Hell, ten years ago there’s no way you could have gotten unlimited long distance. Even the old school phone services now have to adjust to compete.

Anonymous said...

It is a well known fact that when there are large areas of power outages and/or high use during any sort of emergencies, the cell phones can be totally useless while the landlines are still working.