The Fall of Landlines and Rise of Cell Phone-Only Households

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Here’s an interesting chart from Statista showing how landline telephones are slowly dying away and being replaced by cell phones only.


In 2004, more than 90 percent of households in the U.S. had an operational landline phone – now it’s (significantly) less than 50 percent.

We use our cell phones almost exclusively, but we technically have a home phone line (though not a landline). If you still want home phone service, consider purchasing an Obi200 VoIP box and use it with Google Voice to get free home phone service over your internet at the great price of $0 a month and no taxes. Setup takes under 15 minutes and you can use your existing landline phones.

We should be thankful that long distance phone calls no longer cost so much, as I still remember the days of calling cards and when 10 cents a minute was cheap. (I’m getting rather old…) Heck, we are only paying $6 a month for unlimited cell phone service this year.

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  1. we did the exact same thing: replaced our AT&T landline with google voice and obi200 and haven’t looked back.
    saved about $600/year on AT&T bills, and the best part no more robo and telemarketing calls. very easy to filter calls, so only people in your contacts get through.

  2. I finally cancelled my landline in 2011, but should have done so much earlier.

  3. I’m still more of a fan of a cordless landline phone than my iPhone for calls for cost savings as well as the feel in the hand. My original Ooma box is still working great and it’s been a huge savings on long phone calls. If the Ooma breaks I’ll probably switch to some Obihai box or similar. It’s so much nicer to give out a location-based (landline) phone number to local businesses who don’t care who they need to talk to in the house.

  4. Even at 2018, i would prefer calling over landline than smartphones,that feeling while talking in landline is irreplacable and saves cost.Thanks for throwback.

  5. havent had a landline since 2006… so i guess i was way ahead of the curve…
    never saw the point anyway … its a redundant thing since every member of the family now has a cellphone.

  6. I’ve been using Vonage for years, and have always wanted to move to a “free” option. Can you move your existing number to Google Talk, or would I have to create a new one? Also, since the main reason of keeping a landline is so my kid can use it if needed, can you sign up for any E911 service?

    • Yes, you can port numbers to Google Voice. I believe there is a one-time fee. Yes, you can sign up for e911 service. This also has a small recurring fee, depending on the provider you choose. It should all still be much cheaper than Vonage.

  7. to port landline to google voice you have to first port to cell phone first and then to google voice. Lots of info online how to do this. I ported to t-mobile prepaid for a few days and then to google voice.

  8. One landline ‘feature’ I don’t miss – Telemarketers. I am largely cell phone only (Still have legacy Ooma Hub thx to this blog 🙂 ). I only give out my Google Voice number now and don’t take calls from anyone not in my contacts list.

    Thank goodness for doing away with having pointless conversations with someone that I didn’t authorize to contact me!

  9. I love my landline and will keep it as long as possible. I ignore ALL telemarketer calls. I tolerate my cell phone. Downgraded to a pre-paid years ago. Best move I ever made phone-wise!

  10. I have a “home phone” through the use of Ooma. It’s less than $5/month in my area. For cell service, I have MintSIM. It’s $15 and change per month (prepaid a year in advance) for unlimited talk, text, and data (throttled at 2 GB).

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