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Ditch the Line, Keep the Number

I finally got around to following my own advice. I just put $300 a year in my pocket by getting rid of my landline. The economic analysis was simple: why pay $25 a month for a line that’s only used by family and a few close friends? That was easy. The tough part was the emotional component: It’s a “good” number that’s part of our family identity.

The work we had to do to keep the number alive was a major time suck and may not have held up to cost/benefit analysis. But we did it anyway. It’s a “process.” If you have an office that’s trying to decentralize for greater mobility, you can use the same process to send a call to the “office” to designated cell phones, and the people with those phones can relay the calls to the appropriate people or pick up voice mail. In that sense, you don’t need a physical office.

We hoped it could be a simple transfer to our Google Voice accounts so that it could ring on my cell phone or Danit’s. Google Voice is a VoIP service that gives you a phone number to make calls and send messages over the internet. It’s intended to be more of a backup instead of a primary system, and you need a US-based mobile number to make it work. It doesn’t allow you to port a landline number.

We tried using Optimum, one of our internet service providers, and found they could do it using Google Fi. However, it would cost more money than we wanted to pay. Google Fi is a cell phone carrier operated by Google. As a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), it uses the network infrastructure of another carrier (T-Mobile) to provide service.

Next, we tried Verizon Wireless, and with a few gyrations, we were able to make it work for $10 a month – a charge we could live with going back to Google Voice. Because I already have two numbers on my cell phone, the number had to be ported to Danit’s phone. Then we were able to port it to my phone, too.

Now, whenever someone calls our old landline number, it rings on both our cell phones. And, just as it used to happen, if nobody can pick it up, it goes to voice mail. The only concern is that you cannot use a Google Voice number for 911 emergency calls, but that really shouldn’t matter. You’re doing this to receive calls made to your old landline number on your cell phone. You’ll still make calls on your cell phone.

We can guide you through the process. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to set up an appointment.