Number of cell phone only homes growing

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More and more of us are cutting the cord, and, ironically, it's the poor economy that is advancing a major technological advance.

For the first time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of households that have only cell phones has surpassed the number of households that have only landlines.

During the last half of 2008, 20 percent of American homes had only cell phones, and 17 percent had only landlines but no cells.

But it doesn't end there.

The survey found thatt 15 percent of the households that have both landlines and cell phones take few or no calls on their landlines, often because they are wired into computers.

Taken together, that means more than one in three households are reachable only on cell phones.

The CDC found that people who live in homes with only wireless service tend to be disproportionately low-income, young, renters and Hispanics, more likely to be pressured into dropping landlines by a downturn in the economy.

It isn't hard to understand the attraction to cell phones -- landlines don't generally handle text, photos or Internet in themselves.

And the quality and coverage of cell service has improved exponentially with the advent of more towers and digital services.

But that same digital service can result in dropped calls and big bills, if consumers aren't careful with their contracts and usage.

And, when you just need a break, it's hard to convince your callers that you're away from the phone.

Poll question:

What kind telephone service do you have?

 Landline telephone only.
 Landline and cell phone.
 Cell phone only.
 No phone service.

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  • This is not a surprise at all!

    I dumped my land line last year and now have only a cell phone. But I went a step further and got a Tracfone and pay upfront for use. It's much more cost-effective and the service is fine.

    The only reason I'd kept my landline was to send faxes but I do that on the Internet now, so who needs a landline?

    Plus I have no contract anymore for my phone and the quality is great.

    -- Posted by cheap chick on Thu, May 7, 2009, at 5:34 PM
  • I also dropped my landline last year and certainly do not miss it that much. I really got more telemarketing calls on it than anything else. The NET10 prepaid cell I use now has excellent reception at home and around town so I feel quite safe not having a landline. The cost of the NET10 phone is also less than any other effective way to stay in contact with friends and family.

    -- Posted by Astrid on Sat, May 9, 2009, at 2:33 PM
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