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Author Topic: Going Cell Phone Only  (Read 1055 times)
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ATB
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« on: May 28, 2010, 01:17:28 PM »

We're thinking of dropping our landline and going cell phone only. Anyone here done that?

Drawbacks?  Things to consider?
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Harkonis
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2010, 01:20:08 PM »

not an option here since DSL here requires a landline and is the only option.  However I also don't really like the idea of no landline for 911 type emergencies.  Cell phone coverage can be flaky.
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Booner
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2010, 01:24:31 PM »

I dropped my land-line 4 years ago and am thrilled not to have that extra bill every month.

As long as you have good reception, and a decent cell plan...there's nothing to consider.

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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 01:55:12 PM »

Dropped our landline about 4 years ago as well. I would say one thing to consider is whether you are the type that remembers to switch your cellphone modes. For example, I switch my phone to vibrate mode when I'm at martial arts practice or in the library. I sometimes forget to switch it back to audible mode when I get home, so I'll miss calls that way. Could be something to think about if you're concerned about missing calls.

On the plus side I definitely do not miss phone solicitors. I get more unsolicited phone calls on the work landline than I do on my personal cell phone.
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2010, 01:56:26 PM »

We dropped the land line around 3 years ago, and added a 3rd line with a basic free phone (only $10 extra to our normal bill).  That third line has all the "emergency" numbers programed in and is kept charged for babysitters, "where's my phone?" moments, and a number to give for paperwork and other stuff where we don't want people calling our direct cells.
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2010, 02:02:17 PM »

I didnt think allot of people still had them, except in broadband/cable TV bundles..

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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2010, 02:12:04 PM »

Quote from: Morgul on May 28, 2010, 02:02:17 PM

I didnt think allot of people still had them, except in broadband/cable TV bundles..

Exactly how I have mine. It has no long distance, no call waiting, no nothing. For $10 a month (and technically less as it's part of a package) I consider it worth having as a backup.
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2010, 02:12:40 PM »

I went without landline for almost 5 years back in the US and I didn't notice any difference. Granted I didn't get a lot of calls to begin with so my transition was very seamless.

If you need a "landline" you can always go with Skype or Vonage.
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mytocles
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2010, 02:22:45 PM »

I've been a-skeered to do it, though I have several friends who have made the transition - and they are absolutely fine with it.  Bear in mind that those folks are all "20/30+-something" in age, and grew up with cell phone technology, whereas I... well, let's just say, I didn't! 

I would check out what it would cost you to re-up on your current land line service - if you changed your mind, and if not prohibitive (and you have good cell service, as noted) - I'd say Go For It, even if only to test the waters.

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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2010, 02:32:15 PM »

ditched the landline back in 2003 haven't missed it since.
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2010, 02:42:21 PM »

Was in the San Jose airport when a strong earthquake hit a few years back. Couldn't get a cell phone call out for an hour, but walked over to a payphone and was able to easily connect to a local family member's land line to make sure all was well.

Had a friend whose city was without power for a week. Cell phone connectivity was spotty, and you had to find someone with a generator or buy those battery-based chargers just to keep it powered. Land lines worked fine on their own power supply.

Land lines are good to keep around. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2010, 03:15:09 PM »

We dropped our land line a couple of years ago. I don't miss it at all. We have Verizon and have great access. Only thing I think about is an emergency. Will 911 find me okay if I can dial but not speak my location. Cell phone gps should handle this but in the back of my mind will it delay response.

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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2010, 03:17:06 PM »

I'd like to drop our land line, but the wife isn't comfortable with doing so.  Besides, dropping the landline would jack up our DSL price (we're already paying the bare minimum possible for the landline), so the savings would be minimal.
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2010, 03:18:02 PM »

Five years w/o one here... I do not miss it.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2010, 03:18:37 PM »

Enhanced 911 covers location tracking for emergency calls.

Quote
Wireless network operators must provide the latitude and longitude of callers within 300 meters, within six minutes of a request by a PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). Accuracy rates must meet FCC standards on average within any given participating PSAP service area by September 11, 2012
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2010, 03:25:00 PM »

My only issue with cell phones is that in a major emergency they have consistently failed. 9/11 that bridge falling in Mass. I think. Every time something major has happened everyone calling there family at the same time brings the cell towers to there knees. The towers just can't handle that many people calling at the same time. If you are in an area that probably won't have a major catastrophe then it doesn't really matter.

I would recommend something for emergencies to be able to power up your phone in a worst case scenario but that's about it really.
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2010, 03:27:03 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on May 28, 2010, 03:18:37 PM

Enhanced 911 covers location tracking for emergency calls.

Quote
Wireless network operators must provide the latitude and longitude of callers within 300 meters, within six minutes of a request by a PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). Accuracy rates must meet FCC standards on average within any given participating PSAP service area by September 11, 2012

300 meters is a big freaking area to search 6 minutes after I call when I need help here and now.
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2010, 04:11:54 PM »

While not a failsafe,  I have a monitored alarm system and a two way communicator through it so I keep a landline for that reason.  But of course there now options for that to be wireless as well.
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Caine
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2010, 04:38:40 PM »

Quote from: coopasonic on May 28, 2010, 03:27:03 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on May 28, 2010, 03:18:37 PM

Enhanced 911 covers location tracking for emergency calls.

Quote
Wireless network operators must provide the latitude and longitude of callers within 300 meters, within six minutes of a request by a PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). Accuracy rates must meet FCC standards on average within any given participating PSAP service area by September 11, 2012

300 meters is a big freaking area to search 6 minutes after I call when I need help here and now.

two thousand feet (300 meters in any direction from the lat/long) in a residential neighborhood coves a pretty wide area, that's for sure.  you better hope the cops have good observation skills at long distance or you are just one house in dozens. 

yeah, land line is critical if you have any concern over wide or long lasting power outages and are pretty much the only thing working after a quake or major disaster. 
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2010, 05:23:44 PM »

I'm considering maybe switching to my cable provider's phone service (which seems reliable and cheaper, with more predictable bills than my landline). If I end up getting an iPhone later, I might even consider a cellphone-only world.

I guess the only thing I'd caution is that the friends I have locally that have switched to cellphone-only never seem to have their phone on, and never seem to check their messages (and no, not just from me, I hear this from others trying to reach them). So if you really want to get away from people, maybe it's the thing to do.  smirk

I have a friend in Boston who only has a cellphone now, but the problem is certain parts of his basement apartment can't get a signal from Verizon.

You might consider one of these newer cordless phones that connect to cell service via Bluetooth at home (to give you a "landline style" handset to use at home).

I guess I'd also consider what happens in a power outage when you've let your cellphone battery run dry, or some other worst case scenario (though landlines have their own problems there, I've learned firsthand). As BP has learned, it's always a good idea to plan for a worst-case scenario, no matter how unlikely.  Roll Eyes

And of course the jury's not totally in on what endless exposure to cellphone electromagnetic radiation does to you. Do you grow a 3rd ear? Does it cause Alzheimer's, brain tumors, ear cancer? Does it turn you into Carrot Top?  paranoid
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« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2010, 05:42:05 PM »

I don't personally own a cell phone, but if I did I would not give up my land line.  Where I live there is no such thing as good coverage and I cringe whenever I have to call someone who only has a cell phone.  Nothing like having a conversation and only being able to hear half the words they say.
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ATB
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« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2010, 05:49:44 PM »

Power outages aren't really a concern as I can always charge it in my car.

I'm going to get one of those phone to cell type phones so I can use a regular phone thing rather than holding a cell phone to my ear.

For signal strength, we get spotty reception in the house, but I'm thinking of getting one of those network extender boxes for 200.00.  Of course this makes us almost entirely rely upon having electricity...

As for the concerns about reaching people in emergencies, that's the one drawback.  We could keep the basic line and see what that costs...

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« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2010, 06:29:27 PM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on May 28, 2010, 05:49:44 PM

Power outages aren't really a concern as I can always charge it in my car.
Can you charge a cell phone tower via your car too?
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2010, 06:34:16 PM »

No, but cell companies usually have truckloads of generators either on site or ready to deploy.  In the unlikely event that towers are damaged, there are COLTs and COWs to deploy to affected areas, which were deployed after Katrina.

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« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2010, 07:01:31 PM »

Have been with cell phone only since 2007 when I moved. With only having a cell phone, there's no worry about if you move or go on vacation missing your calls - it goes where you go. I haven't changed my number since I got it and I've lived in several different cities (and area codes) since. I've never been in an area without coverage, and the one time it was spotty it jumped to roaming and I got full bars again anyway.

With upcoming phones like the Sprint EVO 4G and their mobile hotspot capabilities, you can almost replace your home internet with mobile broadband.
Personally I use Sprint Mobile Broadband (on 3G though) have an unlimited data plan, and am fine at playing games online with it. Just like the cell phone, my mobile broadband card goes wherever I need it, so if I go on a road trip, I have internet everywhere I go. Or if I move, no need to sign a new contract or find a new ISP, my internet and phone are everywhere I go.
That's IMO, one of the biggest advantages of going mobile only.

And if you really need DSL (Comcast cable internet is easy to get without a landline if that's available) CenturyLink (formerly Embarq) offers their "PURE" broadband, which is DSL without a phone line. It's $5 more a month than if you had the phone line. I had it for a while, $34.99 a month with no landline. But was too hard to justify paying for Embarq and Sprint Mobile Broadband at the same time, so I cancelled it.

With Verizon going LTE and Sprint going WiMax for their 4g networks, I think we are getting much closer to having a much more realistic replacement for fixed broadband. Even on the 3g networks, you often get speeds of DSL.. and I know in my case, while I'd of course love faster speeds, I'm still getting unlimited data, and it hasn't effected my ability to play my PC or PS3 online. With a cradlepoint router, all you have to do is put your mobile broadband modem into it and it automatically creates a hotspot for all your wifi devices.
I don't see the need to ever waste money on a landline bill again.. and I think statistics are showing that more and more people are going wireless only as it proves to be that much more of a convience.

And if you MUST have a landline, there's a company available at Best Buy that offers landline service for something like $5-$10 a year (yes, a year!) it's similiar to the way Magic Jack works, just a lot cheaper.
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« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2010, 07:09:42 PM »

Been without a land line for years and years.  It's been just fine. 
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« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2010, 07:26:42 PM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on May 28, 2010, 07:01:31 PM

And if you MUST have a landline, there's a company available at Best Buy that offers landline service for something like $5-$10 a year (yes, a year!) it's similiar to the way Magic Jack works, just a lot cheaper.

Hopefully a lot less scammier.
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« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2010, 07:31:54 PM »

Cellphone only here for a few years now and have had no issues (other then when I switched providers last fall and had no service at all for a few days.)  I even have wireless internet, so I don't need a landline for that either.

The tendency of cell systems to fail during emergencies or natural disasters does concern me, though.
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« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2010, 07:40:20 PM »

In the event that there's an emergency event likely to cause a crippling of the cell network, it's highly likely that emergency services are going to be so backlogged with high priority calls that you're likely to be on your own unless you're directly involved in some associated catastrophe destined to make things worse like a chemical plant on fire or dark-clad aliens from another dimension.
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« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2010, 09:03:40 PM »

Quote from: Biyobi on May 28, 2010, 06:29:27 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on May 28, 2010, 05:49:44 PM

Power outages aren't really a concern as I can always charge it in my car.
Can you charge a cell phone tower via your car too?

Why yes I can.

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« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2010, 09:41:29 PM »

I haven't had a land line in 5 years or so, and can't say I miss it.
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