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The cellular phone, now used as the one and only phone by 14% of American adults, and Voice Over Internet (VoIP) phones, used by 1 in 7 American adults, are making the landline telephone a thing of the past.
Voice Over Internet, more commonly known by its acronym VoIP, has one major benefit over traditional phone service… price. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Vonage all offer service for around $25: roughly half the cost of many traditional landlines with the same features.
T-Mobile recently lowered the bar by introducing a service for $10 a month. You do have to be a T-Mobile subscriber, sign a two year contract and pay for a $50 router, but this could be the first shot in a VoIP price war sure to make landlines crumble.
Still, before you considering dropping your landline phone, there are a few drawbacks of VoIP you should be aware of. VoIP requires electricity, so if your power’s out, so is your phone. Also, depending on your Internet usage and bandwidth (speed), you may run into problems like bad audio quality or potentially dropped calls.
But for many consumers, VoIP’s record as a powerful, less expensive option to landline phones is having a dramatic effect on the price considered acceptable for a telephone.