Cutting the Landline

March 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Just another sign of the tumbling economy: people needing to cut down on expenses are hanging up on their landlines at home.The results of the C.D.C.'s study are surprising. The state of Oklahoma leads the country with over 26-percent of households that rely solely on cell phones. California is on the opposite end of the spectrum with less than 10-percent of homes without landlines.

While landlines aren't obsolete. Getting rid of them has become a popular way to save money.

Kimberly Carrey is a working, single woman who uses her cell phone for all telecommunication. "I don't need a landline because I have a cell phone"

She's one of the growing number of people who don't feel they need a landline.

"I work and I travel... And that's the easiest thing for me. A land line would just be an added expense."

Jessi Coletti is ridding her household of their landline as well. "Because of the cost I think it's silly to pay for a land phone and two cell phones."

She and her husband mainly communicate on their cell phones, rarely using their home phone. "Just to save. To save up and get a good savings going and pay off student loans."

Consumer Reports says going completely wireless can be a good way to cut your monthly phone bills. But one common problem: many people's cell phones don't have good reception at home. A new breed of cordless phones can help; ones that wirelessly connect to your cell phone.

Consumer Reports tested three from AT&T, G-E, and Panasonic.

"You can leave your cell phone where it works. That way, when a cell call does come in, you answer it on a cordless phone. No more missed cell calls and you may be able to save some money by eliminating some of the redundancies in your phone services," said Mike Gikas with Consumer Reports.

The phone systems need to be "paired" - connected wirelessly - with the cordless phone's base near the cell phone. Testers recommend this AT&T cordless system with Bluetooth technology. While it only has one handset, at $100 dollars it's a good deal.

Be aware, you can't use these cordless phones to access cell-phone features like web surfing, speed dial, or text messaging.

Other options to replace your landline at home include VOIP--voice over internet protocol--or Wi-Fi like t-mobile's hot-spot at home.



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