Wireless Home Phone Base from AT&T Inc.
$129.99 or free with a two-year service contract $19.99 a month for unlimited voice calls, at att.com.
For millions of us, our cell phone has become our primary home phone. But long conversations on those tiny handsets can get a little uncomfortable. Sometimes youíd rather grab hold of a big, old-fashioned telephone receiver. This little box from AT&T lets cellular callers do just that, while giving them a new way to cut their phone bills.
You can either purchase the Phone Base for its full price, or get it free with a two-year contract. The box transmits phone calls over the AT&T Wireless cell network, but it doesnít include a data plan for getting e-mail or other Internet services. If youíre already an AT&T customer, you can pay $9.99 a month and access your existing pool of talk minutes. Or you can sign up for an unlimited calling plan at $19.99 a month, and talk to anyone in the US, anytime you want.
Compared to standard landline phone rates, thatís a good deal. If you live in an area with a clear AT&T Wireless signal, the Phone Base might tempt you to drop your standard telephone service and go wireless, especially since you can keep your existing phone number. The box works with any standard telephone, corded or cordless. You even get a familiar dial tone when you lift the receiver. And the Phone Base has a backup battery to let it work for a few hours even if the electricity goes out.
The Phone Base lets you plug your old-school phone into the 21st century, and can save you a nice piece of change as well. Thatís my idea of progress.