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Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-29-2005, 02:59 PM   #1
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Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

I'm thinking about getting rid of the regular phone and going with a cell phone.

There is a privacy/safety issue involved that I won't go into (well, ok, I used to work for an outfit back in Chicago and they don't like people taking ER).

We have an unlisted phone but still people are able to get hold of us!
My understanding about cell phones is that it's not easy to look the number up and trace us and kill us. True?

Right now I have DSL through my telephone line.
How to get DSL without having a telephone number?
I use DISH so I don't want to use cable.


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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-29-2005, 03:52 PM   #2
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
I'm thinking about getting rid of the regular phone and going with a cell phone.

There is a safety issue involved that I won't go into
There sure is.* Land-line phones have a completely separate & redundant power supply than the residential electrical grid.* When the lights go out, frequently so does your cell phone network, which makes it kinda difficult to call in the power outage.* But your telephone lines will still be working, and we keep an ancient Bell telephone around the house for just those times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
We have an unlisted phone but still people are able to get hold of us!
No different with a cell phone.* Talented spammers marketers once crashed an entire cell-phone network with their text-message pleas for enhanced virility.* They got the phone numbers from war-dialers that started with all U.S. area codes & prefixes and then just dialed all 10,000 combinations of the numbers under each AC/prefix.* ("Can you hear me now?* Gooood.")

And while phreaking PBXs was quite the geek sport during Steve Jobs' high-school daze, most home phones are highly resistant to computer hacking.* (Social hacking is another issue.)* Cell phones, however, are considered to be unexpectedly vulnerable to viruses and other hacker attacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
Right now I have DSL through my telephone line.
How to get DSL without having a telephone number?
Just tell your phone company that you want to go DSL-only.* They'll make the dial tone inaccessible to your house (by taking away your landline phone number and eventually giving it to someone else) but you'll still have broadband.* Of course your visitors & house guests will have to make their own dialing arrangements.* In our family that would be quite an inconvenience.

I guess that if there's a power outage, you could still plug a laptop into your DSL modem for a VOIP call to the electric company... but good luck with 911 service in that configuration.

Edited, as pointed out by Wab, to reflect that when the power goes out the DSL modem loses power too. Bummer.

While that additional risk would save me approx $325/year, I'm not sure it's worth the cell-phone cost to replicate it.* But then we have no need for a cell phone and we use a calling card instead of home direct long-distance dialing.

TH, am I describing the laptop/DSL/VOIP connection correctly?* Does it really work that well way?
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-29-2005, 04:14 PM   #3
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien
I'm thinking about getting rid of the regular phone and going with a cell phone.


My understanding about cell phones is that it's not easy to look the number up and trace us and kill us. True?

Right now I have DSL through my telephone line.
How to get DSL without having a telephone number?
I use DISH so I don't want to use cable.


Dan: A few months back we got rid of our land line, and purchased a second phone on our Verison contract. Almost all the annoying "Do ya wanna buy" calls have stopped at two rings. I believe there's a rule that as soon as 'they' know it's a cell phone they have to hang up. We do get pestered by the state Firemen's Fund, but they have our old number (which I transfered to the new phone.

I'll have Martha respond to your "kill us" question when she returns.

We have a cable internet hook up at $50/mo. which I'm not happy about. Next summer Verison says they'll have a National Access tower near our home. Supposedly the modem rates will be about 140Kmegagigs/whatever, about three time faster than dial up. The Cities already has National Access towers. You would need to use your cell phone hooked up to your computer to access that way, but the additional access plan should be significantly cheaper than a stand alone DSL or cable connection. Talk to your cell phone provider. I've heard stories : that The Cities has or will have wireless service up and running at a cheap/free rate. Talk to a local computer geek about when and where. Or talk to a neighbor with a home wireless setup and see if you can piggyback onto his/her service--It might only cost you a bottle of wine/year. Good Luck

--Greg

I feel like we lost nothing when we gave up the land line.
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-29-2005, 04:32 PM   #4
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
Dan: A few months back we got rid of our land line, and purchased a second phone on our Verison contract. Almost all the annoying "Do ya wanna buy" calls have stopped at two rings. I believe there's a rule that as soon as 'they' know it's a cell phone they have to hang up.
I'll have Martha respond to your "kill us" question when she returns.

I've heard stories : that The Cities has or will have wireless service up and running at a cheap/free rate. Good Luck.
--Greg

I feel like we lost nothing when we gave up the land line.
Thanks Greg. That would be an added benefit to not get annoying calls. ...cool to tap into cheap/free city-wide internet...Is the information secure though?

Nords -
As far as calling in a power outage, have never done that.
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-29-2005, 04:37 PM   #5
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

Greg - Minneapolis is mentioned for city-wide Wi-Fi. Still moving to the cities?


San Francisco's plan to blanket the city with wireless Internet access at little or no cost to users might bring a smile to the face of residents who would like to save money.

But an array of entrenched telecommunications interests, including Internet service providers and telephone and cable television companies, are far from beaming.

Wireless Internet access, called Wi-Fi, threatens to rearrange the telecommunications landscape. Companies such as SBC and Comcast could potentially lose big chunks of their Internet subscription businesses as users defect to cheaper citywide Wi-Fi alternatives now in the planning stages in such cities as Sacramento, Philadelphia and Minneapolis.

The pain to established telecom firms could become even more acute a few years down the road when analysts expect the next generation of wireless Internet technology to take off. That version, called WiMax, offers faster connections, making it easier to offer more data-intensive services.

Imagine downloading video wirelessly for free. Cable television companies would not be enthused. And imagine making mobile telephone calls over the Internet, also for free. Cell phone companies could be left out in the cold.

In fact, free or low-cost Wi-Fi could help speed up what's already a gathering trend -- the movement of all kinds of voice traffic to the Internet -- undercutting traditional telephone companies too.

"Free is very difficult to compete with," said David Garrity, research director for Investec Inc., an investment bank. "Certainly, life has become more interesting and challenging for the telecom companies."

San Francisco officials are examining 24 proposals from companies including Google, the Mountain View search engine, to offer Wi-Fi service throughout the city. Sometime next year, officials expect the network will be up and running, allowing anyone with a Wi-Fi-enabled computer to go online whether at home, in a park or in a cafe.

Mayor Gavin Newsom's hopes the availability of Wi-Fi will help keep San Francisco a technology leader and help bridge the digital divide of Internet haves and have-nots.

But he also acknowledges stiff opposition and potential lawsuits, especially from telecommunications companies.

David McClure, chief executive of the U.S. Internet Industry Association, a trade group that represents Internet service providers, argued that San Francisco's Wi-Fi initiative is unnecessary because city residents already have a high level of broadband adoption. Furthermore, he said, the plan could significantly hurt businesses that provide Internet service.

McClure said he believes that Mayor Newsom's attitude is: "By the way, thanks phone company for investing $1 billion in your system over the past couple years. Now we are going to put you out of business. And thanks cable company for putting in all the upgrades. Now we're going to put you out of business.

"That's just a bad message," McClure said.

Spokesmen for SBC and Comcast said that they believe their companies will do well against a Wi-Fi competitor, even if it is free, as Google has proposed. They argued that their wire-based broadband Internet services are faster and more reliable than a Wi-Fi network.

Andy Castonguay, an analyst for the research firm Yankee Group, said the risk to telecommunications companies depends largely on the wireless network they are competing against. During the dot-com boom, several Internet service providers offered free wire-based connections but failed because of poor service, he said.

Many telecommunications companies have prepared for the rise of Wi-Fi by starting their own initiatives in the high-speed wireless broadband field. But they charge users, something that could make them vulnerable to a free or cheap city-organized model.

Verizon has created a national broadband wireless network that costs around $60 per month, for example. Comcast is close to unveiling a Wi-Fi network at a major Northern California university.

"We are always looking for ways to expand the natural part of our business," said Andrew Johnson, a Comcast spokesman. "But our core business is going to be based on the core cable business."

Telecommunications companies are also diversifying into new areas. Analysts say they will increasingly charge for online content, such as pay-per-view video programming, even if they are traditionally in the telephone business.

"When you look at the whole industry, everyone is looking at ways to expand their business model so they don't have their eggs in one basket," said Castonguay.
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-29-2005, 04:39 PM   #6
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
am I describing the laptop/DSL/VOIP connection correctly?
Some VOIP equipment is stand-alone, so you wouldn't need a lappy. * But when we lose power, the telco equipment that handles DSL also loses power, so we have a phone line, but no internet connectiviity during an outage.
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-30-2005, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

Some points:

You can use a battery backup on your dsl/cable modem to keep it going for a while.

Many cell phone towers, telephone CO's and cable substations have battery backup or some power generation capabilities.

Many cable/DSL providers use powered repeaters that stop working when local power goes out.

Most cell phone 911 calls go to a PSAP instead of the usual 24 hour 911. PSAP's in your area might be 8-5 deals in your area. Check it out.

Cell phone 911 calls dont necessarily identify your exact location while an E911 call from a landline does. If you cant talk or a child makes the call, they might not be able to find you.

"Naked DSL" offered without a home phone line is not available in all areas. When it is, its sometimes more expensive than a local line with regular DSL service.

If you dont have an old fashioned phone that doesnt require power to operate (IE, an old corded phone) you wont be able to call 911 if the power fails anyhow, as your powered phone wont work. A lot of people hesitate to do a cell phone/voip setup fail this basic hurdle.

We have cable modem, voip box, both hooked to a battery backup that provides about an hour of service to those units. It did work fine during a recent half hour power outage. We have three cell phones on different carriers that work off of different cell towers in the area. All three worked during the power outage. I've programmed direct 24x7 police/fire emergency local numbers into all of the phones in case 911 goes to nowhere useful.

Theres no way i'm paying 20-something a month just for a landline I dont use, nor am I interested in participating in any of SBC's many lucrative long distance plans...

Got interesting when I signed up for directv, where all the receivers want a local phone line. However I ran some telco wire to all the receivers and hooked that up with a splitter to the VOIP box along with the phone, and with some tweaking they make data calls over the VOIP network without a problem.

By the way, for VOIP I went with AT&T callvantage. They offer rate centers in almost every area code/local code and I was able to port my number from SBC to them, whereas vonage and packet8 wanted me to use a number in another area code about 50 miles away and couldnt port my number. More expensive, but they have some extra features that vonage/packet8 dont have, and in my opinion superior call sound quality.

For bozo's calling your numbers (and soon they'll be allowed to call your cell phones to ask for donations and surveys and whatnot), go here https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx and register your home and cell phones.

Callvantage has a cool feature called 'do not disturb' that routes incoming calls to a message you record but allows people to dial through in case of an emergency. If you call my number, you get a message to leave a voicemail...all my friends and family know that pressing '2' during this message causes their call to ring through if thats what they want. Everyone else goes to voicemail hell without a single ring of our phone.

Secondary benefit is that friends and family can call and leave a voicemail at odd hours without ringing the phone.
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-30-2005, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

With all this phone/technical talk, I'm reminded of an old Dave Barry column where he complained about those new fangled answering machines. He said he didn't need one because he liked the current system: When someone called, he picked up the phone; When he got a 'busy signal,' he knew someone was home and he should try again later; when no one answered, he knew no one was home. All the information he needed or cared about.

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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-30-2005, 09:49 PM   #9
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
With all this phone/technical talk, I'm reminded of an old Dave Barry column where he complained about those new fangled answering machines.* He said he didn't need one because he liked the current system:* When someone called, he picked up the phone; When he got a 'busy signal,' he knew someone was home and he should try again later; when no one answered, he knew no one was home.* All the information he needed or cared about.

--Greg
I can go along with that. Our answering machine died about a year ago and we've been perfectly happy not to replace it.
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 10-31-2005, 02:43 PM   #10
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

I graduated from school last year, and never got a land line in any of the 3 apartments I've lived in since then. 100% cell phone...no problems so far. And I'm not the only one from my graduating class who eschews land lines. I don't see this changing any time in the near future...and I think it will become a sizeable trend that the baby bells have to deal with in the next 10 years.

I don't know about other places, but the two phone companies I called won't sell you DSL unless you already have a regular POTS line. So that made the decision pretty clear from a cost basis, to just go with a cable modem.
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 11-01-2005, 01:01 PM   #11
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan
I don't see this changing any time in the near future...and I think it will become a sizeable trend that the baby bells have to deal with in the next 10 years.
In your situation I'd be doing the same thing, but just wait until you have a baby bell of your own...
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 11-04-2005, 02:42 PM   #12
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

I have a cell with unlimited minutes thru ALLTEL. why have a home phone? It woked during the blackout 2 summers ago that knocked out the ENTIRE EASTERN HALF OF THE COUNTRY

Also, DSL isnt offered in my area WITHOUT aregular line too.



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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone
Old 11-04-2005, 07:12 PM   #13
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Re: Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone

I've been cell only for the past 3 years.* Happily, my firm pays for the phone, so all my phoning is free!

There are some real advantages to being a cell-only type. I don't need a cordless phone at home, I don't need to spend money on a landline that I would rarely use (realistically at least $25, more if you have a long distance plan), I don't have multiple phone numbers to give people, and I don't get any telephone solicitors anymore.* Really.* None.

Drawbacks:* the connection, as we all know, sounds a lot better on a landline.* And every once in a while my phone may inexplicably "drop" a call, causing no small amount of cursing. These are definitely bummers, but since I'm not a talkaholic, I can handle them.

For internet, I use a cable modem.* Costs a lot, but cheaper if you combine it with TV.* I pay $60/month for cable TV and broadband internet, and they say the internet is a lot faster than DSL.
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