Cell Phones Make Another Move On The Landline

from the getting-there dept

The shift away from landline phones to mobile phones has been growing for several years, as many people find landline service redundant. Fixed-line operators have done very little to update landlines and keep them relevant, preferring instead to rely on inertia to maintain subscriptions, alongside forcing landlines into bundles or making them a requirement for DSL. This has worked, to some extent, especially as landlines still did hold some benefit for families, or in situations where people wanted to call a place as opposed to a particular person. But mobile operators are innovating and narrowing this gap. For instance, MetroPCS has announced a new "family line" product, which gives families a single number alongside their additional phone number. When this number is called, all the family members' individual handsets ring, and anybody who answers gets placed into conference with the caller, mimicking a landline with multiple extensions. The number can also be used within the family to enable easy conference calls. It's not a huge technological breakthrough, and it's also not a service that's likely to be a big deal to tons of users -- but it does illustrate how even with as old a product as voice, the mobile side of the telecom business is trying to push forward, while landline voice remains largely stagnant.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 7:02pm

    Between this and T-Mobile's @home product(which is basically like Vonage but for $10), this could become a big selling point for these smaller carriers as Verizon and AT&T would be canibalizing their landline business if they tried to provide a similar service.

    I am wondering why Sprint hasn't developed a similar product yet since they no longer have landlines?

     

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  2.  
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    The infamous Joe, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 7:14pm

    My car warranty is about to expire.

    In related news, spammers rejoice.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 7:26pm

    Re:

    They did, it's called the Airrave.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Re:

    From what I can tell, Airave is something completely different as it doesn't appear to provide a separate phone line/number.

     

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  5.  
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    VlogHog, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 9:18pm

    Not only are land lines redundant they're overtaxed, rigid, and overregulated.

     

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  6.  
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    one of many, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 9:24pm

    so they stole this idea from google voice?? :)

     

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  7.  
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    Kontra, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Cheaper

    ...and cheaper.

     

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  8.  
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    jFiveNYC, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 10:59pm

    Ummm taxes

    Have you looked at your wireless bill late. I'm in NYC and between the fed taxes and the state and the local taxes, I have about $20 in tax every month. Well I guess Obama has to get his money from somewhere to fund his retarded projects.

     

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  9.  
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    Chargone, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 11:13pm

    it's interesting to look at comparative situations.

    here, it's the mobile companies that are gouging the customers for every cent they can, while the land lines are actually [so far as i can tell, I'm not the one paying for it here :D] fairly cheap. free local calling for residential customers on the land lines too. side effect of [intelligent] regulation of the old phone company based on the fact that it became a monopoly, if only by default, when it stopped being part of the government owned post office and became a separate company.

    also, New Zealand does not have cable television [or, at least, didn't until very recently, when it was provided as part of an upgrade to the land line phone/DSL system, and is basically a clone of the satellite tv available here], so there's no cable companies involved. instead, the phone companies have always provided the internet access. you don't get the land line as part of the internet deal, you get the DSL as part of the landline deal. interestingly, there's not much competition for the phone companies, but there's a Lot of competition in the retail sector for internet access. [wholesale internet is still basically under monopoly control by the aforementioned telephone company, because none of it's competitors have a Complete national network yet.]

    that said, i have a friend in Finland, apparently it's really uncommon to find a landline there at all :S. most people i know here have cell phones, and the younger people use them for text messaging and the like, but most people seem to look at the 'mobile' part of the name [cellular phones, abbreviated to 'mobile'. go figure.] and think 'right, if i'm at home, people can call me there, so i don't need the mobile on draining it's battery'.
    again, free local residential calling may have something to do with it, as might stupidly high mobile charges. it gets better though: they charge even More to call a mobile from a landline.

    be a long time before the mobile replaces the landline completely here, especially as the cables are being upgraded from the old copper lines to fiber optics over the next couple of years.

    that said, it's always nice to see nifty features like that. wonder how many people will actually bother using it?

     

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  10.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 9th, 2009 @ 6:18am

    Re: Ummm taxes

    Doubt it.
    Most of those are probably just names tossed on funny hidden fees and slapped on your bill under the "taxes" section.
    While I do not doubt you would love to bash Obama, I somehow doubt these taxes mystically first appeared after he took office.
    Try calling up your phone company and actually calling them out on this shit. They really do just place random technical sounding fees under the taxes section in order to charge you more without looking like they're evil.
    When you ask them about it, be sure they send you the actual information on the law and everything. Don't let them get away with a simple "the law says so". They are ripping you off. And your only response is to blame Obama. Sad.

     

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  11.  
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    Danny, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 6:55am

    If it wasn't for DSL...

    I would have ditched landline about 3 years ago. My cell phone bill is about $40/month and my landline is about $30/month (both before taxes, fees, charges, "taxes", "fees", and "charges").

     

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  12.  
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    Danny, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 7:04am

    If it wasn't for DSL...

    I would have ditched landline about 3 years ago. My cell phone bill is about $40/month and my landline is about $30/month (both before taxes, fees, charges, "taxes", "fees", and "charges").

     

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  13.  
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    tommyg, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 8:29am

    Re: Ummm taxes

    I take it obama is funding you then. saving the american economy is retarded but you aren't..........

     

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  14.  
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    Steven Leach, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 9:09am

    Dell Phones Don't Work Where I Live

    I live an hour drive outside of Sacramento, California. I Live less than 30 minutes form Roseville, California, And less than 20 minutes from Auburn, California. But I still have no cell phone reception in my house! My son's cell phone only works in the small cities that exist in this area, while the thousands of outlying houses have no cell phone reception. I have tried to use the 100 dollar cell amplifiers, like ZBoost personal etc, but all have failed. I have neighbors that have bought boosters that cost 300 dollars, and some still have little or not cell phone reception. I have had DSL, from AT&T and no one else for 5 years !! Still no cell phone reception!!

     

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  15.  
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    Javarod, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 11:43am

    Hmmm, so i take it its some manner of forwarded number? I know when we had Verizon i asked about the possibility of having two lines to the same phone, and was told that the phone could have access to one line at a given time, rather i'd need two phones if i wanted to numbers.

     

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  16.  
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    jFiveNYC, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    taxed to death

    Well I thought Obama was going to LOWER taxes? I still see them on my bill. And thank god he fixed the economy. Whew...glad we're out of the rough. Thanks big guy.

     

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  17.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Apr 9th, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    Re: taxed to death

    You're still an idiot.
    See my above reply.

     

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  18.  
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    hegemon13, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 3:17pm

    Brialliant service

    This is an awesome service and a brilliant innovation. My wife and I would definitely use this. I have family who complain about us not having a landline because they have to try two numbers to get us, and they can't talk to us both. This would solve both. I sure hope T-Mobile rolls this out.

     

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  19.  
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    jFiveNYC, Apr 9th, 2009 @ 5:21pm

    dangerous Tofu

    You must be the recipient of Obama's handouts. I'm sure you A)Live in your parents basement or B) live in public housing. So take Obama's divine rod out of your hands and go read a book or some Thomas Jefferson. Grrrr evil rich people.

     

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  20.  
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    Mark, Apr 15th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

    Re: dangerous Tofu

    jFiveNYC, you're an idiot if you think Obama has anything to do with your cell phone taxes. Moron.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 10:56am

    hhhhhh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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