Business phone service, Cell vs Landline


My understanding is that consumer landline use is steadily dropping off, but I'm wondering for a business where emergency service is not required, customers getting a voicemail is okay, etc --why would a business need landline services?

Reasons I'm able to think of, though just ideas, not based on real research:

  • Device maintance cost (meaning mobile devices are not designed for a high number of calls)
  • Sound Quality, connection (copper/optic vs spectrum)
  • Sound Quality, device (mic sampling/connect)
  • Network reliablity
  • Call routing (onsite/offsite routing latency)

Clearly the service/carrier, device, location, etc. impact this; for example, I recall a story about iPhone service in NYC where ATT gave free mobile cell over IP devices to companies due to poor service, and clearly being out in the middle on nowhere would be problematic. That said, I'm wondering for the average small business with a high call volume if being pure mobile still does not make sense, and if so, why?

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asked Jan 4 '12 at 03:46
Blunders .
899 points
  • @vote-close: Value your opinion, though not commenting does allow me to address your concerns; including, but not limited to just deleting the question. That said, believe the question is on-topic, shows effort to research, and is of value to most startup companies. Please comment on you logic used for voting to close. Thanks! – Blunders . 12 years ago
  • This seems like a poll - not a real question that has a use/purpose. It is in essence a conversation - not a real problem someone is having with a business. Anwsers are subjective and will be localized based on where the business is and what market it is in and what the customers expect. There is no ONE answer to this - certainly no "right" answer. It may be an interesting thing to discuss but it is not really a good Q/A – Tim J 12 years ago

1 Answer


My business continues to use several landlines for the following reasons:

  1. Sound quality. No cell phone comes close to a landline in sound quality. We have had numerous calls from customers on cell phones that were completely unintelligible. It becomes tedious to ask them to repeat something over and over again. Many have had to call back on a landline.
  2. Pricing. Landlines are less expensive than cell phones for both the cost of service and the cost of the phones. In addition, tha average lifespan of a cell phone is around 2 years, while the average lifespan of a landline phone is over 10 years.
  3. Reliability. Landlines almost never fail, don't drop calls, and let you hook into numerous aftermarket products.
  4. Phone Directories Cell phones, by default are not listed in phone directories. If your business uses only a cell phone, how can customers look up your phone number?
answered Jan 4 '12 at 05:21
Gary E
12,510 points
  • #1 is simply untrue, in a technical sense. While it _is_ true that cell phone quality is often much lower than land line quality, it's _not_ true that *no cell phone comes close*. In optimal conditions (good signal, good hardware) a cell phone can easily surpass the quality of a land line. But then land lines don't set the bar very high. And land lines can also be subject to interference, and low-quality hardware. – Jonathan Hall 12 years ago
  • The **average** sound quality of the average cell phone call is abismal. When you have cell phone comapnies running ads where the catch line is, "Can you hear me now", you really don't need to say anything else. – Gary E 12 years ago
  • I've had my fair share of bad cell phone calls, and some on landlines, too. Generally, I do find that I tend to have more problems with cell phones; but I've also had many problems with land lines. But the bottom line is, such anecdotes (nor advertising campaigns) do _not_ a statistic make. If you can find a study that shows your claim to be true, I'll believe you. But I doubt you'll find such a claim. The truth is, people notice _bad_ performance far more often than they notice good performance, and thus the bad occurrences get over-reported. – Jonathan Hall 12 years ago
  • None of this is to say your advice is invalid; even if only 2.5% of cell phone calls are "low quality" versus, say, 0.5% of landline calls, that can be enough reason for one not to use a cellphone, even if the other 97.5% of cell phone calls are _higher_ quality than the sufficiently-high-quality landline calls. – Jonathan Hall 12 years ago
  • Flimzy, you seem to have the opposite experience to mine. I don't need studies to tell me whether cell phones lead to worse calls. To me, it's 99% of the time. I don't even need to track it. My context: US, suburbian (Silicon Valley). Hong Kong might be different and have indeed excellent call quality. – Alain Raynaud 12 years ago

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