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Old 03-19-2013, 11:10 AM   #21
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I have a Samsung Epic SII smartphone through Sprint. For whatever reason, I noticed that the cell phone sound quality diminished when making calls to/from my house right about the time I got the smartphone (Jan. 2012). I live in a suburb of a major metro area, so it's not like I live out in the sticks. Sprint then gave me their AirRave (in-home signal booster) for free, which helps, but still the cell phone sound quality does not come close to matching what I get on the landline phone.
We're in a distant burb from Chicago. Hopefully things have changed but that was definitely a consideration for us dropping our landline. DW got a cellphone before me through Verizon. She basically had no reception inside our house, had to go outside to make calls (winter brrrrrrrr...).

Within a year we both got mobile phones on the AT&T network and reception inside (and everywhere else we go) is excellent. Then we dropped our landline. Poor coverage was NOT the mobile phone, it was definitely the network.

Again, I assume reception/coverage on all networks has only improved over the years, though we're still on the AT&T network, so I don't know for sure.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:38 AM   #22
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I have not read what others have already stated but I use a free landline (through internet). I have a google voice number, hooked up to a landline through OBi 100 device. Of course, your internet down, phone down but if you are going to have unlimited cell phone service, this will not apply to you.
If you include other VoIP providers, they do offer 911 facility at a modest price of $2/month.

Secondly, it also depends on health of your households. In case of emergency, any kind, health, natural disaster or fire, you may not be able to take care of yourself, I would suggest you keep a copper line landline (not internet phone). You are the best judge of your condition.

Should you drop your landline and the cable company jacks up your rate, tell them that you got a Roku box and Hulu Plus subscription, with Amazon prime subscription so you would like to get rid of TV too and just want internet. Haggle the price down to your comfortable level. I reduced my bill from $120/month to $58/month for basic TV and internet (I have a Roku box).
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:52 AM   #23
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When DH retired in 2010 we were using Vonage for a home phone. We had the Basic plan and never used more that the plan number of minutes. But the price kept creeping up and was about $27/mo with all the gotcha fees. So we tried a Magicjack free trial for a month. Vonage was a great service but Magicjack is just as good. In 2010 we couldn't keep our phone number (which was traumatic) and you had to keep a computer on all the time to have Magicjack phone service. We ran an ethernet line down to a shelf in the basement and set up a computer just for the Magicjack. Then we ran a phone line to the kitchen wall phone jack and hooked up a multiple handset cordless phone system with answering machine. So we had what looked and operated just like a home phone landline with extensions everywhere we needed them.

Last spring Magicjack came out with a unit that can be connected directly to your router, you can keep your number and you don't have to attach it to a computer that's left on all the time. We did the changeover and it's just perfect.

The best part is NO MONTHLY BILL. The worst part is that during the last election no politicians could find us and in order to learn the truth about candidates we had to find obscure commercials on TV.

Neither of us have smartphones, we each have a pre-paid cell phone with a really cheap legacy plan.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:57 AM   #24
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One of the things I do not like is the quality of the cell phone...

I can talk to people who have a land line and get good to great quality all the time... when I talk to my sister who only has cell, I get OK to crappy voice quality...

Even at work I can tell when someone is on a cell or on a land line... I would never go to cell only until they get better...

Now, I put VOIP in the landline category as that is what we have at work.....
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:24 PM   #25
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One of the things I do not like is the quality of the cell phone...
A lot of old people cell phones, especially the cheap ones, have lousy voice qualities.

We recently got new HTC android phones indistinguishable from land line voice quality unless we get a bad connection, which happens occasionally, even on land lines...
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #26
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Has anyone here used a wireless gateway so that the cell phone hooks into the wired (and handsfree) phones already installed?

That's what we're thinking of doing. Porting our landline to a cell number, then connecting that cell, via bluetooth, to one of these (or similar)

Amazon.com: Xlink-cell Bluetooth Gateway: Cell Phones & Accessories

That way we can still pick up, anywhere in the house. And we keep a "family" phone number. The only thing we lose is the ability to fax... not a big deal.
We bought a Panasonic dect.6 plus wireless group of 4 phones and chargers so we can have phones all over. It hooks up via bluetooth to our cell phones, so we can answer the cells on the wireless handsets. It does work, but there is a delay when we first pickup a handset as it handles the cell-to-handset translation. Both our cellphones (I believe) send over the house phone rather than using the cell network. Our home phone is Ooma, so diddly for cost.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:18 PM   #27
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We choose to keep our landline (don't like to give the cell phone number out to commercial parties and a few other significant issues) but use a much less expensive plan than you've chosen. ATT offers a plan called "Consumer's Choice Basic" which costs $9.50/mo plus taxes. Unfortunately the taxes and other fees bump the $9.50 up to $17.11/mo but still much, much less than the $50 you're saddled with.

Why don't you just switch to a cheaper landline plan?
Sadly, Consumer's Choice Basic is only available in Illinois, as it was negotiatied by the Illinois Citizen's Utility Board.

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Old 03-19-2013, 01:30 PM   #28
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We're in a distant burb from Chicago. Hopefully things have changed but that was definitely a consideration for us dropping our landline. DW got a cellphone before me through Verizon. She basically had no reception inside our house, had to go outside to make calls (winter brrrrrrrr...).

Within a year we both got mobile phones on the AT&T network and reception inside (and everywhere else we go) is excellent. Then we dropped our landline. Poor coverage was NOT the mobile phone, it was definitely the network.

Again, I assume reception/coverage on all networks has only improved over the years, though we're still on the AT&T network, so I don't know for sure.
After I got my Android smart phone and noticed the poor reception issues, I went on Sprint's forum. Many posters there (often they were salepeople who are using their phones on the road all the time) claimed that Sprint had actually degraded their network in late 2011. I dunno. But that's where I learned about the free AiRave. Not a complete solution, but an improvement.

BTW, at my sister's condo in Naples, FL I had to step outside to be able to make/receive a call. The weather there is not usually an issue, but I really don't care to have the neighbors listening to my every word. Her cheapo Verizon cell phone works just fine indoors there.

FWIW, the data/e-mail portion of my smart phone worked just fine indoors at her condo.

I wonder if designers of smart phones are focussing so much on text/data that the voice/talk part of their phones is being ignored? OR are cell pohone towers simply better at data/text transmission vs voice?

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Old 03-19-2013, 01:57 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
A lot of old people cell phones, especially the cheap ones, have lousy voice qualities.

We recently got new HTC android phones indistinguishable from land line voice quality unless we get a bad connection, which happens occasionally, even on land lines...

My son wasted $400 on a google phone... and the voice quality is horrible... and he seems not to be able to hear me from my old man cell nor our house land line... (even when he calls me)....
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:29 PM   #30
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We got rid of our home phone about a year before ER and have never missed it. We use Skype for outgoing calls when our minute-allowance was smaller, but now, we don't feel we need to - it is still an option for us, but we pay by the minute when needed.

We only had basic cable, but dropped that too about a year or 2 ago. You may not save much by doing that because your internet bill may go up (we use comcast). Over-the-air programming along with a netflix account meets our needs quite well.

We also have a PC connected to our TV (it acts as a DVR & DVD player) and a very small wireless keyboard. We use that to get Jon Stewart and other internet streaming content onto the TV.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:23 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Has anyone here used a wireless gateway so that the cell phone hooks into the wired (and handsfree) phones already installed?

That's what we're thinking of doing. Porting our landline to a cell number, then connecting that cell, via bluetooth, to one of these (or similar)

Amazon.com: Xlink-cell Bluetooth Gateway: Cell Phones & Accessories

That way we can still pick up, anywhere in the house. And we keep a "family" phone number. The only thing we lose is the ability to fax... not a big deal.
A neighbor has something similar but slightly different. It is a box that uses the cellphone network and they you can plug a cordless phone system into the box. His is AT&T and ~$20 a month as I recall. Better than $50 a month but not as cheap as an internet based solution like Ooma.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:18 PM   #32
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we have charter for cable tv/internet. we recently got charter phone but the strangest thing is it is not internet phone. it uses the cable to the cable company then uses regular phone lines. 20 dollars per month-all features included. uses all current phones and same phone number.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:09 PM   #33
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Ooma! Having a "house phone" enables you to easily call 911 if needed, as you aren't searching the house for your mobile phone. Basic Ooma costs about $3.50/month, so it is a no brainer for me.
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