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Should You Cancel Your Home Phone Service, Only Use Your Cell Phone?

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Question: Should You Cancel Your Home Phone Service, Only Use Your Cell Phone?
With the ever-growing popularity of cell phones and the ever-stagnating use of landline phones at home, this FAQ article is in response to a prescient question submitted by About.com cell phones reader TTB about whether to cancel your home phone service.
Answer: While the answer to this question is always dependent on the unique situation of each individual, deactivating your home phone service and using a cell phone exclusively is undoubtedly a growing trend.

The tendency to consolidate two phone bills into one is not only an attractive financial decision but also an alluring choice for the purposes of simplicity. In making the decision to potentially cut off his home phone line, TTB specifically asked why he shouldn’t make the move. Here are a few factors to consider.

Signal Strength:

When you’re at home, you’re not mobile. This means you’ll likely always have similar signal reception unless you change your cell phone carrier or they significantly enhance their network to improve a dead zone.

If your cell phone signal is weak at home either because your carrier provides inadequate service there or because the architectural structure of your home weakens your cell phone’s signal, deactivating your landline might seem like a poor decision.

The alternative is huddling up in a particular corner of your home that likes your cell phone and sitting as still as you would while receiving an X-ray in order to avert having a dropped call. Of course, this is not ideal.

While signal reception has improved vastly over time, it’s still not as reliable as a traditional, copper-based telephone line. Even if you do have a quality cell phone signal at home but you feel you need rock-solid phone reliability there, relying on your cell phone exclusively might also not make you comfortable.

Price:

When you analyze how much you’re spending on your cell phone bill as compared to your landline bill, does it make financial sense for you to cut your home phone and rely only on your cell phone? Might you have to increase your cell phone’s minutes in order to accommodate the switch?

Due to the continued explosion of cell phone use and the trend of people dropping a landline in favor of their cell phone, companies offering landline phone service have been seeing their revenues erode. As such, they’ve modified their pricing plans to remain competitive and attractive.

If the call quality with your cell phone at home works for you, make sure the money factor ends up saving you money and not costing you more.

Backup:

If your cell phone dies at home because you’ve run your battery dry, a landline can serve as an important backup especially in the case of an emergency. Even if your cell phone dies, of course, you can still begin the recharging process and immediately place a call.

On the other hand, if your cell phone actually has a hardware malfunction and literally dies, relying it on exclusively will leave you without a phone. Still having a landline may serve as important backup and peace of mind.

Copper Phone Service vs. VoIP:

These days, the big question about having home phone service is whether to use traditional copper-based technology or switch to VoIP (voice over Internet protocol).

VoIP phone calling at home runs over the Internet rather than using your traditional, copper-based phone line. The service often ends up costing you less and often comes with unlimited minutes. Companies like Vonage have made VoIP popular.

Still, why should you pay for VoIP at home and not rely exclusively on your cell phone?

If you find the price to be cheaper with only paying your cell phone bill, if you find the quality to be satisfactory while you’re at home and if you’re attracted to the convenience of only paying one phone bill, those may be reasons enough to cut the phone cord at home.

Poll: Would you ditch your home phone for your cell phone? Answer here.

Your Two Cents: Have a comment or another question related to FAQ? Chime in on the forums!
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