Landline Advantages:
We’re all aware incumbent wireline operators steadily are losing residential landline voice customers. AT&T Inc. reported 1 million phone line losses in the third quarter this year and Verizon Communications Inc. reported a 12 percent loss in wireline customers over the third quarter last year. In addition, the J.D. Power and Associates ’08 U.S. Wireless Customer Satisfaction Index showed that more than 25 percent of wireless phone customers dumped their landlines and went exclusively wireless. And the overall economic climate seems perfectly poised to accelerate this shift.
Roughly 20 percent of U.S. residents live in what the U.S. Census Bureau calls rural areas. In other words, places where you don’t get good enough wireless coverage to “cut your cord.” Granted, the United States is an urbanized nation, and wireless footprints will expand; however, I’m not sure we’ll ever see ubiquitous wireless coverage. Therefore, unless those 20 percent of rural Americans move to, or at least closer to, the big city, they’re going to need a landline telephone service. And, in addition to those rural dwellers, there’s yet another group of us that live in the “burbs” but don’t get quality wireless coverage. I live in a town of about 30,000 people, approximately 30 minutes from Boston. And guess what? My particular neighborhood has terrible wireless coverage. I won’t say who my provider is, but they’re one of the big ones.

According to a survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, at the end of 2007, nearly one in six homes were cell-only and, of those homes that had landlines, one in eight only received calls on their cells.external image panny_phone.jpg

For years now, that home phone on the counter near the refrigerator has been called the landline, and that may be as good an indicator as any about the future. Landline sounds like something ancient, almost prehistoric. Or something that's about to blow up. And, according to most experts, landlines are indeed headed the way of the dinosaurs.

The numbers tell most of the story. In the last half of 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a full 20 percent of the households in the country did not have landlines. That 2008 survey saw the percentage of homes without desk phones increased by nearly 3 percent, the largest six-month jump since experts monitored those figures..

The CellPhone and its Advantages
The culprit, for the most part, is the cell phone, according to officials. According to a phone trade group, the number of cell phones has exploded during the decade. There were an estimated 110 million cell phones in 2000, compared to 270 million by December, 2008.external image iphone_mockups.jpg

Experts say more and more Americans are deciding to ditch their landline at home to save money. While there are still many people -- about 60 percent, according to the CDC -- the desk phone at home is slowly disappearing. The end of year 2008 survey by the CDC marked the first that the number of people who only used cellphones outnumbered the number of people who only relied on landlines. Why are People Ditching Their Landline? Money is the main reason, experts said. Keeping a landline and a cell phone means paying two phone bills. Factor in the effects of the most serious recession in more than a generation and it's clear that more and more people are letting their landlines go to save money. Convenience. Throwing out the landline means only having to remember one telephone number and one telephone bill. also cellphones can come around town with you and allow you to call people while you are on the road.