A large number of people I know have got rid of the land line phones at their homes and replaced them with a mobile phone for each member of the family. So now, there is no “home number” and each member of the family has their own personal number. And from talking to some of these people, apparently the economics work out well – an uncle I know says that the combined bill out of the five mobile phones that his family members own is far less than the bill he had to pay back when he had a land line.
Now, the reason for this reduction bill is fairly intuitive – now, one can keep track of how much each of the family members talks. Earlier, even with itemized billing it would be difficult to track who made which call and who is contributing to the inflation in telephone bills. However, now, it is possible to keep track of how much each person spends. And even if the “family fund” is willing to pay 100% of everyone’s bills, people are now wary of inflating the bills since everyone will now know who has been responsible for the inflation. And that automatically causes people to speak less.
I have a landline phone. The main reason I keep it is that it comes along with the broadband connection, which is a must for me. Apart from this, I think it is important to have a “home phone” or a “family phone” even if everyone in the house has a mobile. This is especially useful to give to relatives, etc. And last but not the least the landline phone feels good to the ear and the cheek, and is comfortable to hold in the hand – compared to a mobile phone which is likely to give you a pain in the hand and ear in case of long conversations.
However, when people are concerned about cutting cost and don’t need a broadband connection, it is intuitive to personalize people’s bills and thus get rid of the landline. In fact, I think nowadays some companies do it too, where employees are expected to make their business calls through their personal mobiles and then get it espensed from the company, rather than using the common office phone.