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With the widespread acceptance and usage of cellular phones, it is more and more rare for homes and businesses to rely on traditional telephone line. After all, now that more than 90% of Americans own a cellphone, many people have no need for a landline.
Indeed, landlines — those conventional, telecommunications cables strung across telephone poles or buried underground — are becoming obsolete. Today, a quarter of American homeowners have already disconnected from their landlines, with about 700,000 additional homes dropping the service every year. Some predict that U.S. landlines will be completely out of use by 2025. Furthermore, with 3.7 million American employees working from home at least half of the time, cellphones are more commonly used for work, and employers are frequently routing calls to their employees’ cell phones.
Since a landline can be expensive, especially for a small business, cell phone usage is becoming the preferred option for all phone calls. However, cell coverage can be spotty in rural areas, old buildings, or basement offices. Employees might find themselves leaving their desks to walk near a window or outside the building to get a better cell signal to make or take their calls, and this isn’t always practical.
When deciding whether or not to keep a landline in your building, consider your staff’s primary methods of communication, internet reliability and security, and overall ease of use. Three primary alternatives for making calls include VOIP, Google Voice, and using cell phones exclusively with the help of a cell signal booster.
One potential alternative is Voice-Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP. This service allows people to connect with voice communications over the internet. Services like Skype and GoToMeeting are common examples of VOIP services, which employers appreciate for their low cost and ready accessibility.
However, problems can arise when the wireless internet (WiFi) signal experiences interference, range or bandwidth limitations, or poor connectivity. These types of roadblocks can result in poor audio quality and dropped calls. On top of that, public WiFi networks are typically less secure than cell phone connections, so anyone transmitting or discussing sensitive information may be wary of relying solely on VOIP.
Another alternative to using a landline is Google Voice, Google’s call management service. Users sign up for Google Voice for features like voicemail message management, voice-to-text transcription, and free calls and texts within the United States and Canada — regardless of phone or carrier.
Google Voice works by letting users choose a single number which can connect to your home phone, work phone, cell phone, or all three, with the ability to control which phones ring depending on the caller and the time of day. Google Voice also lets users listen in on their voicemail messages before answering, as well as read transcripts of their messages on their smartphone app or computer. It’s also easy to block unknown or unwanted callers.
Case Study: Learn how a prominent NYC retailer optimizes cellular coverage with a WilsonPro booster system.
This type of service can be helpful for those who want a better way of managing their current phone communications with a fully mobile system. However, there are some disadvantages to Google Voice. For one, it does not currently let users dial extensions, so it can be difficult to forward work-related calls. Additionally, since Google Voice relies on an internet connection, phone service will drop if there is no WiFi. Finally, Google Voice does not allow calls to 911, which can be a safety concern for many users or businesses.
Cell signal boosters
Another option is to go mobile-only, with a cell phone booster to ensure a strong, reliable signal is always available in your building. A booster works by locating the existing cell signal outside a building, amplifying it, and then retransmitting it inside the building for an improvement of up to 32 times what it was before.
This means that areas with poor signal — especially inside aging buildings, basements, or rooms enclosed in brick or concrete walls — will experience consistently improved voice quality and data coverage on all cell phone carriers. The results are fewer dropped calls, better connections, faster data downloads, and greater reliability overall.
Boosters present an effective solution for companies that need reliable voice and data coverage inside their office or commercial structure. The benefits include improved cellular connectivity for voice and data use across all carriers, easier call routing for remote or in-office employees, and even improved experiences on smartphone apps.
Paying for an outdated landline is no longer your only option. With the right connectivity, installing a cell signal booster can be more efficient and cost-effective, and with greater security than WiFi alone, resulting in improved cell signal quality for all users across the board.
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