Should You Communicate Only With Your Smartphone

Replacing Your Home Phone With Your Smartphone

Smartphone Replacing Landline
Melissa Ross / Moment / Getty

We are in the era of the smartphone, which not only is much more than a simple mobile phone but also adds a lot of power to telephony. Smartphones have brought people to be less frequent in using their landline PSTN phone and even their computers. Is it a good idea to ditch your landline phone and your computer's communication functionalities and rely solely on the smartphone for communication? As in most cases, the definitive answer comes only based on the context and circumstances.

So let's see the reasons for and against. 

Reasons for using the smartphone exclusively 

1. Cheaper or free. Your smartphone allows you to save a lot of money on communication. In fact, in some specific cases, calling can be reduced to being completely free. All this thanks to Voice over IP apps and services that allow you to save considerable amounts of money on communication, among other benefits. 

2. Accessibility. It is portable and therefore almost always with you, wherever you are. This eliminates, or considerably reduces, the possibility of missing calls from important callers. It also puts you in a position of being better connected and 'present' for a more fluid communication. 

3. Features. Your smartphone offers a richer communication experience, with the numerous features that come along, inexistent in landline phones. Consider things like visual voicemail, easy to manage contact lists, texting, the ability to share multimedia and productivity files, to name just a few of the features.

 

4. International calls. With Voice over IP services and apps, you can make calls freely to most people using your smartphone and for very cheap to other landlines and cell phones. Thus, your contacts become more accessible, through different modes of communication. 

5. More than voice. You can communicate not only through voice but also through video with video chats even in conferencing mode with a number of other participants.

Video chats over the Internet through WiFi and 2G or 4G, as well as voice chats, are free with most VoIP apps like Skype and Viber. 

6. Collaboration. Your conversation can easily turn into a collaboration session where you can seamlessly share multimedia files and documents along with text messages and while still talking. Your smartphone can also make you more productive by making links between your communication tools and your productivity tools like your calendar and group discussion. 

7. No need for PC. Internet calling that was popular on the computer during the last decade has now shifted to smartphones, so everything you used to do at home on your computer with communication apps can now be done on your smartphone. This allows you to get rid of the cumbersome PC hardware. 

Reasons for keeping your landline phone

1. More expensive calls to other landlines. Landline numbers are still very much à la mode. Eliminating the plain old telephone line can eliminate heavy phone bills, but can also increase your mobile expenses if you frequently call landline numbers. A call from landline to landline costs much cheaper than one between a landline and a mobile phone. At times, the price may be as much as threefold.

So it is better to keep the landline phone to call other landline numbers. Unless of course, you are within the US and Canada, in which you can give free calls through VoIP on your smartphone from services that offer unlimited calling to any destination within the United States and Canada. 

2. 911. While emergency calls are possible with your smartphone, they are not as reliable as they are with landline phones. 

3. Call quality is different. The landline phone remains so far unmatched in terms of call quality. Smartphones, especially with VoIP calls, offer different levels of call quality depending on a number of factors, namely the quality of the connection, the codec used by the call service, among others.

With smartphones and Internet calling, you often get dropped calls and audio problems.

4. Privacy and security. VoIP comes with tremendous possibilities but also with challenges in security and privacy. Your data is centrally controlled by service providers and operators and you actually don't know for sure how they are being dealt with and disposed of. Unified communications and ubiquitous presence make your data even more vulnerable to privacy threats. 

Bottom Line

We use our smartphones heavily for communication, collaboration, and productivity, but we also have our home landline phones. We believe it should be the case for most people within the basic configuration of a normal resident. The landline always comes handy with calls to other landlines with good sound quality. It also is a line that almost unfailingly links you to a permanent address.