Home Phone Service: Cancel It or Keep It?

Is it time to cancel the landline and rely on your mobile phone service?

An image of people talking on both landline phones and cellphones.

Getty Images 

While the answer to this question is dependent on each individual's unique situation, deactivating your home phone service and using a cellphone exclusively is an increasingly popular option. The tendency to consolidate two phone bills into one is not only an attractive financial decision but also an alluring choice for the purposes of simplicity. Here are a few factors to consider.

Landlines Offer Consistent Signal Strength

When you’re at home, you’re not mobile. This means you’ll likely always have similar signal reception unless you change your cellphone carrier or they significantly enhance their network to improve a dead zone.

If your cellphone signal is weak at home either because your carrier provides inadequate service there or because the architectural structure of your home weakens your cellphone’s signal, deactivating your landline might seem like a poor decision.

The alternative is huddling up in a particular corner of your home that likes your cellphone and sitting as still as you would while receiving an X-ray in order to avert having a dropped call. Of course, this is not ideal.

While signal reception has improved vastly over time, it’s still not as reliable as a traditional, copper-based telephone line. Even if you do have a quality cellphone signal at home but you feel you need rock-solid phone reliability there, relying on your cellphone exclusively might also not make you comfortable.

Consider the Price of Both Services

When you analyze how much you’re spending on your cellphone bill as compared to your landline bill, does it make financial sense for you to cut your landline and rely only on your cellphone? Might you have to increase your cellphone’s minutes in order to accommodate the switch?

Due to the continued explosion of cellphone use and the trend of people dropping a landline in favor of their cellphone, companies offering landline phone service have been seeing their revenues erode. As such, they’ve modified their pricing plans to remain competitive and attractive. If the call quality with your cellphone at home works for you, make sure the money factor ends up saving you money and not costing you more.

Landlines Provide Great Backup

If your cellphone dies at home because you’ve run your battery dry, a landline can serve as an important backup especially in the case of an emergency. Even if your cellphone dies, of course, you can still begin the recharging process and immediately place a call.

On the other hand, if your cellphone actually has a hardware malfunction and literally dies, relying it on exclusively will leave you without a phone. Still having a landline may serve as important backup and peace of mind.

Copper Phone Service vs. VoIP

These days, the big question about having home phone service is whether to use traditional copper-based technology or switch to VoIP (voice over Internet protocol). VoIP service runs over the Internet rather than using your traditional, copper-based phone line. The service often ends up costing you less and often comes with unlimited minutes. Companies like Vonage have made VoIP popular.

Still, why should you pay for VoIP at home and not rely exclusively on your cellphone?

If you find the price to be cheaper with only paying your cellphone bill if you find the quality to be satisfactory while you’re at home and if you’re attracted to the convenience of only paying one phone bill, those may be reasons enough to cut the phone cord at home.