Tuesday (6/3/08) 6:53pm - ... wherein Peter ponders telecommunications.
Right now, I have both a cell phone and a landline. My current cordless phone is going batty. I was shopping for a new cordless phone, and I speculated for the nth time about just ditching the landline.
My Current Situation:
Cell phone: $25/month for 60 minutes, + ~$3/month for my (limited) SMS usage (=twitter)
Local phone: $28/month + $5/month for long-distance calls
My total phone usage is about 150 minutes a month, with maybe twenty minutes of that on the cell phone.
I do see some advantages to this setup, oddly enough.
1. I don't have to carry a cell phone around. I can leave it in the car (where I can use it in emergencies) and then use the land-line at home. It's one less thing I have to worry about losing or misplacing, and one less thing I have to fuss with when entering/leaving the house.
2. Cordless phones (when they're not going batshit) have better sound quality than cell phones.
3. Inertia, of course. If I keep this setup, I don't have to do much.
1. Cost. I'm paying for two lines plus long distance. Replacing it with a single cell-phone plan whose total monthly bill is significantly less than $60/month would save me some money.
2. Confusion over multiple phone numbers. Granted, this one mostly stopped biting me in the ass once I put a "DON'T LEAVE MESSAGES HERE I DON'T CHECK IT" message on my cell phone voice mail... but some (okay, "all") of my friends find that a bit antisocial.
3. My old brick phone
has very few features.
Features that might be useful on a better phone:
1. Media: video, audio, text.
2. GPS or equivalent.
3. Access to the Internet.
4. More specifically, access to AIM and email.
5. A camera.
Granted, most of these features don't fill much of a need in my current lifestyle. (1) The 'I wish I had access to media' thing only comes up during the rare times I'm stuck waiting in line or something; these days, I address that by stashing a book in my backpack. (2) I already have a GPS device for my car -- granted, I feel a bit dorky if I take it with me on foot, but it gets the job done. (4) is mostly the same thing as (1) -- just wishing I had some distraction when I'm waiting to get to the counter at the DMV or something. And (5) is mitigated by the fact that I usually have a real camera stashed in my backpack. Like (2), it could be more convenient
to have that built into a phone, but there's no pressing need there.
I think (3) is the only one that really matters, because I do occasionally hit situations where I'm just screwed. I don't have my laptop with me, or I do but there's no free WiFi, and I need to look up some crucial bit of information. It's a rare thing -- maybe once every month or two -- but it does happen.
Possible Plans of Action:
As far as I can tell, here are my options:1. Keep the landline, buy a new cordless phone. This one
is $25.2. Ditch the landline.
I'd have to upgrade my cell-phone plan by at least $10, which means I'd save a maximum of $23/month. If I switched to an iPhone (no way I'd do that until *after* the impending WWDC keynote), I think I'd actually be spending *more* than I am now.
Questions for the F-List:
I'm sure I sound like I'm talking myself out of both dropping the landline and getting a better cell phone. I imagine that's true to some extent. But also I'm curious about other people's usage, because people do find their iPhones (for example) very useful. I must be overlooking something.
What cell-phone features & apps do you wind up finding the most useful?
curious · Music: