As unbelievable as it may sound to the Bluetooth®/earbud generation, there was a time when every telephone service subscriber needed a landline. With the rise of mobile communications such as wireless PDAs and cell phones, however, the question of whether or not you need a landline does become a consideration. The answer lies primarily on your personal and professional needs and preferred lifestyle. Some people may still need one to act as a computer or fax machine modem, while others could easily run their entire lives from their cell phones.
One consideration is the overall cost of maintaining both a landline and a cell phone. Some cellular phone service providers are associated with traditional phone companies, but a landline bill and a cell phone bill are generally two separate contracts, each with their own terms of service. You may not need a landline if you use your cell phone almost exclusively and you can hold off on making long distance phone calls until the rates are lower. If you tend to hold long phone conversations during the day, however, you may still want a landline to avoid burning off too many "anytime" minutes on your cell phone.
If you have a number of electronic devices such as an Internet-ready computer, fax machine or business credit card reader, you'll need a landline to handle them. A laptop computer might be adapted for wireless service, but some personal PCs connect to the Internet through the landline. There are online fax services available, but many people still prefer to use the traditional method of sending documents over a reliable traditional phone line. If you need a stable communication system for a home business, it may be best to have a landline in addition to your cell phone service.
If you do not have a need for modems or interactive credit card readers, then you might not even need a landline to get through an average day. The advantage of not being tied down to a traditional landline is definitely appealing to many cell phone customers. If you spend most of your time away from your office or home, a cell phone may indeed eliminate the need for a landline completely. If there are others who depend on reliable telephone service, however, you may still want a landline to accommodate their needs. An elderly parent may need the services of a medical hotline, for instance, or someone may need to reach a phone in order to call 911. Cell phones may be difficult to locate in an emergency, and there is always the possibility the batteries may be too drained to place an emergency call.
If your personal and professional needs are completely met by a reliable and cost-efficient cell phone plan, then there is probably no need to have a landline too. It is possible, however, to maintain a basic landline account for emergency use and use your cell phone as your primary contact number. Some people function very well with only cell phone service, while others view their traditional telephone service as a reliable back-up when their cell phone is not readily available.