The End Of The Landline

by : Dusty Sage

T-Mobile has announced a new service which allows home users to abandon their expensive home phone services without losing their phone numbers. Is the end of wired line home phone service soon to be a thing of the past?

The offering gives the customer a wireless router for a one time charge of $50 and a monthly fee of just $10 per month for unlimited nationwide calling over the WiFi internet connection. Customers simply plug their touch tone or wireless home phone into the new router and will then be able to make and receive calls as they once did on their landline (customer needs a broadband connection).

T-Mobile has been trying to get customers to "Cut the cord" and switch to cellular phones. But this service is also aimed at eliminating the competitive advantage that its big rivals AT&T and Sprint have had in the wired services. With "T-Mobile @Home service", customers may finally have the financial incentive to get rid of their landlines once and for all. To the consumer, the service is essentially the same as what they had before, only much less expensive.

The T-Mobile @Home service is very similar to what Vonage has been offering for years as "Voice Over IP". Customers have been slow to adopt the new technology, but as major carriers such as T-Mobile begin to offer these new services in a more main stream way, momentum for low cost home service replacement is sure to rise.

T-Mobile has begun marketing their new service. The deep pockets of T-Mobile and others may just be enough to push VoIP to a new level of consumer acceptance. The other big factor which may help VoIP is the sagging economy. As consumer pockets are pinched, lower cost solutions, like VoIP, become more and more attractive. If the price of gas continues to rise right along with T-Mobile's advertising budget, this could be the perfect storm for a whole new world of telecommunications.

Business users have been switching to VoIP and its sister, SIP, for many years. But only the earliest adopters and the technically savvy have done so in the residential market. That looks to change very soon. As consumers realize that VoIP offers all the same functionality as their landline phone but with additional options at much lower prices, the future becomes more and more obvious.

AT&T and Sprint gave up on saving their landline business years ago. Both now focus on cellular phones as their primary consumer product, along with broadband internet connections. But they would be wise to pump up the excitement for the true landline replacement, VoIP, as well. It is only a matter of time.

The phone is dead! Long live the phone!