As mobile phone plans are becoming cheaper and cheaper, consumers are thinking whether to ditch their home phone and just go for an unlimited cell phone plan. So, is a land line based home phone really necessary? Here is a comparison between the two phone services.
911 Emergency Calls: Land lines are most important when it comes to making 911 calls. A call placed through a land line gives the emergency department the exact address of the caller. The address includes floor and apartment number as well. On the other hand, calls placed through a cell phone will only give the location of the caller on the map which is also not 100% accurate. The location does not include floor and apartment number of the caller. Exact address is very important in an emergency when the person in need of care is unable to speak.
Power Outage: Corded land line phones are independent of regular power consumption and thus withstand prolonged power outage. A cell phone is dependent on power to charge itself and thus may need a power source like the car to keep functioning. Besides cordless phones, land line based corded phones don’t need to be charged. Cell phones require charging regularly and thus will raise electricity consumption. But the energy used is not significant.
Voice Clarity and Dropped Calls: Land lines provide better voice quality compared to cell phones. In addition, land lines don’t suffer low signal reception areas as cell phones do. Thus, if an individual lives in an area where cellular coverage is of low quality then he will face frequent dropped and failed calls.
Features: Cell phone plans provide more features for the money compared to land line home phones. Most cell phone companies include voice mail, call display, call waiting, long distance minutes, texting, etc with the plan. These essential features are charged extra by the land line phone companies.
Health Concerns: Though the studies are not confirmed yet, the radiation released by mobile phones may have adverse effect in human health. Excess use of cell phones may increase the risk of cancer. Anyone planning to ditch their land line home phone may wish to invest in a cell phone docking station that allows the cell phone to connect to a regular corded phone which can be used as the device for conversation.
Choice of Phones: Compared to home phones cell phones offer more functionalities. Home phones are limited to simple calling features whereas cell phones, specially smartphones, can offer mobile computing capabilities. However, the cost for cell phones are much higher than home phones.
Mobility: One of the advantages of having a cell phone is that the user can be contacted anywhere. Home phones are limited to home use and cannot be carried along.
Lost and Found: Home phones are fixed in place and have lesser chance of being lost. On the other hand, cell phones are carried along whereever the user goes and have higher chance of being lost or stolen. Moreover, cell phones are more prone to being damaged physically and electronically. Once damaged, the user is left without a communcation method until the phone is fixed or replaced.
DSL Internet: Land lines are required for DSL high speed Internet connections. Otherwise, a dry loop connection has to be purchased from local telephone company like Bell. This charge is extra and ranges from $7 to $10 per month.