Is it time to ditch your landline?
Although costs are now pretty steady, many people are deciding the traditional phone that has been their lifeline for years is no longer worth the expense, especially if they spend most of their time reaching for their cell phone to make or receive calls.
Thanks to better competition and lower pricing south of the border, the rate at which Canadians are going wireless is considerably behind the United States, which is at about 25 per cent of households, according to the Centres for Disease Control.
In Canada, roughly one out of every six families has now cut the cord on their landline. But that number is clearly growing, particularly as Skype and its competitors beome more popular. Most offer free calling within their systems — assuming both people on the call are members — and are fairly inexpensive otherewise.
If you’re thinking of ditching your landline, here are a few considerations, courtesy of GeckoBeach.
- Since your cellular phone will be on more often, consider purchasing a spare battery just in case you do end up talking for a few hours one night and drain the primary battery.
- If you’re in the market for a new cell phone, consider purchasing one that sits in a charging cradle while not in use at home (like a cordless phone) to ensure a full charge.
- If a provider offers more than one cellular frequency then consider purchasing a phone that is dual frequency. In some areas 1900 MHz phones have poorer reception than 800/850 MHz phones and ideally your phone would lock onto the higher quality frequency.
- If you live in an apartment then you can likely leave the phone in one spot and hear it from anywhere, but if you live in a large house then you'll have to remember to carry the phone with you from room to room if you want to make or receive calls.
- If you still like the idea of having several extensions with your landline, then there are systems you can buy that use your existing landline phones with your residential cellular line. When at home you place your cellular phone into a cradle and then incoming and outgoing calls can be made from any of the landline extensions through your cellular phone.
Would you ditch your home phone for a cell phone? Have you already made the switch? How are things working out?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.