With the advent of cell phones, and their increased penetration into the market, many people have abandoned their landline in order to rely only on their cell phone. Years ago, it was actually predicted that the majority of people get rid of their home phones, leading to a world built almost entirely on cell phones. In practice, this hasn’t actually come to pass, because there remain a number of substantial advantages to having a landline, even for people who have a cell phone to supplement it.
One of the most obvious benefits to a landline is an almost guaranteed service fidelity. While cell phone service has improved drastically in recent years, reception still remains spotty in some areas, including some people’s homes. Moreover, cell phone coverage is sometimes intermittent, so that a house that one day has perfect cell phone reception may not get service at all the next. On a day-to-day level this may occur infrequently enough that it isn’t a huge deal, but when an important business call needs to be made, or a call drops out in the middle of a heart-to-heart with a long-lost friend, a person might find herself wishing for more stability.
Battery life is another factor in considering retaining a landline, even after getting a cell phone. While battery life is getting better on cell phones, it is still quite limited on most when actively talking. For normal conversations, this can be fine, but for wanting to sit around talking to a best friend all night and into the early morning, having the phone drop out from a dead battery can be unacceptable. While many people use cordless phones with their landline, they tend to have better battery life, and this type of phone service always offers the option of using a corded phone.
It also offers a possible advantage over the cell phone in the event of an emergency. While many cell phones include GPS capabilities now, a landline allows the emergency services to immediately locate where the call is originating from. This may only save a few seconds, but in the case of a true emergency, those few seconds can matter immensely.
Many people may also want to appear in a local phone directory, especially if they are running a business from that phone number. While cell phone directories do exist, there is nothing like the localization of yellow pages. Of course, some people like the anonymity of having only an unlisted number, in which case a cell phone may be just as good.
Generally, unlimited long distance packages with a landline are significantly cheaper than unlimited minutes packages with cell phone providers, if they offer them at all. So for people who find themselves going over their monthly minute allowance with their cell phone, a landline might offer a good savings. Of course, it doesn’t allow for the same sort of flexibility as a cell phone, since the user have to be home to talk, but for some people, it can be a perfect solution.
Ultimately, the decision to keep a landline or rely exclusively on a cell phone comes down to a person’s individual circumstances. For someone who lives in an area with good cell reception, who has a phone with a good battery, and who doesn’t talk to extended periods of time, the extra phone may not be necessary. For others, however, it can make a great backup for those times when the cell phone doesn’t work.