I haven’t owned a landline phone since 2004. It seems like an expensive redundancy. I’m often away from home, and even when I’m not, there’s a smartphone in my pocket. The home phone line is as good as dead.
Still, there’s money to be made selling extra lines, so it’s no surprise seeing Verizon make one more last-ditch effort to save the genre. Today, the company announced an interesting new device called the Verizon 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice. It claims to be the first to combine a phone jack with 4G wireless connectivity, allowing the telemarketers who spam your landline the ability to contact you wherever you go.
The router links up with Verizon’s Share Everything plans, which means you’re probably not going to want to use this for data when you’re home or in the office. But when you’re on the road, the router allows you to make calls from your home phone line (assuming you choose to link it to the router) and use your laptop or tablet anywhere you get a wireless signal.
You’ll have to pay Verizon for the privilege, of course. A voice-only plan with unlimited talk costs $20, a data-only plan costs $20, and a voice-and-data plan will set you back $30. None of that counts the cost of the Share Everything data plan itself, so this new router can get pretty expensive quickly. It’s a very specific solution to a very specific problem few of us have.
The full retail price of the Verizon 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice is $200, though you can get the device for free if you sign up for a two-year service contract by the end of the month. You can find more about the device, currently available for purchase, at the Verizon website.