There are many low-cost Internet alternatives to landline home phone service these days, but if you want the convenience of multiple telephones ringing in multiple rooms around the house, a cellular terminal is the low-cost alternative to landline and VoIP (Voice-Over-Internet protocol) phone service that provides this option. Cellular terminals work anywhere there is a reliable cell phone signal, making them the perfect solution for homes without a full-time high-speed Internet connection, which is required by the Internet phone services. Cellular terminals can also be used with other equipment that requires a dial tone, such as freeze alarms, phone thermostats and most DIY security systems.
Here’s what you need to know about cellular terminals and how they can be used to eliminate expensive monthly landline phone bills.
What is a Cellular Terminal?
A cellular terminal is a piece of telecommunications equipment that provides instant connectivity to a cellular network. You can use a cellular terminal as an alternative to a landline phone connection to hook up any device that works through a phone line and requires a dial tone. Also called a “fixed cellular terminal” or FCT, a cellular terminal works anywhere there is a cell signal.
Are they Expensive?
A cellular terminal is a modest investment. The cost of the equipment starts at about $299. Activation usually costs about $10 a month by adding it to your current cell phone calling plan as another line.
When shopping for a cellular terminal, make sure that the model you select is compatible with the protocol used by your cellular carrier.The Home Connect, for instance, can be used on the Verizon Wireless network which uses CDMA technology. The Janus POTSwap is available as CDMA-compatible for use on the Verizon Wireless network or as GSM-compatible for use on the AT&T network. You can also pair a cell phone with an XLink Bluetooth Cell Phone Interface to provide a cellular connection to any device. The XLink is a great solution for rural locations not serviced by any of the major carriers.
Many Ways to Use a Cellular Terminal
1. Where there is no landline — In remote places where there is no landline phone service, such as a vacation home located in a rural area, a cellular terminal is the perfect solution for having access to a phone connection for making calls or hooking up a DIY phone-based security system or freeze alarm.
2. Instead of a landline – If you want to eliminate the monthly expense of landline phone service, you can replace your home’s landline service with a cellular terminal and add it to your current cellular calling plan as another line. More and more vacation homeowners are doing just this so they don’t have to pay for a landline phone that they use for only a few months a year.
3. On your RV or boat – Add a cellular terminal to your RV or boat and have a phone connection anywhere you go as long as there is cell service! If you are traveling with pets, the cellular terminal can be used with a heat alarm or freeze alarm to remotely monitor temperature extremes. And if you are worried about theft while you’re away, you can hook up a DIY phone-based security system to it as well.
4. To reduce cost of calling your kids – Did you know that it’s cheaper to call “cell phone-to-cell phone” than “landline-to-cell phone,” especially when both cell phones are through the same carrier? So if your school age children or college students have their own cell phone, you can save money by calling them from your home using a cellular terminal because your carrier will recognize it as another cell phone.
5. To make cell phone usage easier for the elderly – Many older folks want to substitute their landline service for cell service, but don’t want to give up the comfort of using a regular-size telephone handset. With a cellular terminal, their “POTS” (or Plain Old Telephone System handset) plugs right in so they can continue using that favorite handset while getting all of the benefits of cellular service.
6. For patients in a nursing home or assisted living facility — A cellular terminal is a great solution for anyone living in a facility who wants the convenience and familiarity of using their own telephone while they are away from home.
How to Choose a Cellular Terminal
Cellular terminals are very easy to install, configure and manage and can be hooked up to any device that works through a phone line and requires a dial tone, including regular telephone handsets, modems, freeze alarms and some home security systems. The most important considerations in choosing one are:
- Confirm that there is a cell signal where you plan to use the cellular terminal.
- Check that the equipment you select is compatible with your current cellular carrier and the protocol they use (e.g., GSM, CDMA, etc.).
- Contact the technical experts at DIYcontrols.com if you have any questions.