Landlines vs. Cellphones:

You No Longer Have to Choose

Landlines vs. Cellphones: You No Longer Have to Choose

You know we've become a nation that insists on being "connected" at all times when even your grandmother is texting. Phones ... email ... the Internet. We want it all, and we want it now.

But with consumers jittery about spending on anything but the basics, the question naturally arises: Do you really need a landline phone if you also own a cellphone?

Here are four reasons against pulling the plug:

* Better 9-1-1 location tracking. Dispatch centers can find the exact address where landline calls originated. However, with wireless phones, emergency responders can only pinpoint an approximate latitude and longitude of wireless phones -- not exactly comforting if, say, you're having a heart attack in an apartment building. "Even if we nail your [cellphone] location, we don't know what floor you are on," says Steve Marzolf, president of the National Association of State 911 Administrators in a recent (now article.

* Higher reliability. "Frustrating" may be the nicest word to describe the feeling of having an important cellphone call dropped, mid-sentence, due to a poor wireless signal.

* No need to constantly recharge. In what may be the strangest example of the perils of forgetting to recharge a mobile phone, the Washington Post recently reported that police in Silver Spring, Md., tracked down a serial burglar after he left his cell phone plugged in at the scene of his last crime. His own home, it turned out, had lost power in a storm. (See "Higher reliability.")

* Sweetheart deals. The cost of maintaining a landline is actually plummeting in places where cable companies are offering great deals on phone, TV and Internet.

In fact, price may be spurring many to rethink cutting the cord. But thanks to the convergence of landlines and cellphones, consumers don't have to answer the "either-or" question. For example, the new VTech DS6521-2 phone with "Connect to Cell" technology is the answer for anyone who wants the best of both worlds (

You can make and receive both cell and landline calls on this stylish, two-handset cordless phone system. Its one-button pairing feature makes set-up easy.

For those cell phone users who opted for frugality and are now suffering from "Cord Cutters Remorse Syndrome," you're in luck. You don't even need a landline to use it, and outbound calls can be made using cellular minutes while at home -- even if your cellular phone is charging.

So, if you're someone who is entertaining the idea of going solely mobile, just remember that it may not be time to cut the landline cord just yet.

Home Button