Verizon has released a new product called Home Phone Connect. It is a cell base station that plugs directly into your corded OR cordless phone system and offers unlimited calling to the United States for $20/month. Or you add it to your existing plan as a family share line for $9.99.
You can get the unlimited plan as a standalone service, meaning you do not have to be a Verizon Wireless customer.
Unlike Magic Jack and other VOIP services, no broadband needed, no computer needed, just a Verizon cell signal and a telephone (corded or cordless).
Although it does have battery back-up, it is meant to be plugged into the wall. It does not have its own dial pad or screen, but for most operations except faxing, credit card machines and some home alarm systems, it will operate just like you current phone system. Features include caller id, call waiting etc. (Great for people who do not want to learn another technology but would like to reduce costs). The tax rate on this is computed at the cellular rate, meaning it will be lower than for a landline. Estimated total monthly bill including taxes should be close to $25.
We believe it has a better reception ability than traditional cell phones because it has a good sized antenna on it. It has an external antenna port, so it can be used with a rooftop antenna in marginal reception areas.
We are still thinking about the various applications of this device besides the replacement of the traditional residential landline service. One idea is to replace secondary business lines, or to provide an additional line for customers/guests to use without fear of them make toll calls or overseas calls (You must specifically authorize international direct dialing, which is blocked by default.) Another is to take it with you to a second home or a remote office location.