Wouldn't it be great to have just one portable phone and phone number that followed you from home to office and on the road? Verizon's new ONE phone is a first step in that direction. America's largest phone service provider is testing the combination land-line/cellular phone in the Midwest with the intention of rolling the phone and service packages out state-by-state early next year. Resembling a large cell phone, ONE behaves like a cordless phone until you move out of range. Then, it switches to the Verizon Wireless network.
Similar to devices being developed by other carriers, ONE reflects the competitive melee in telecom and the strong trend toward wirelessness. Marketing information firm J.D. Power and Associatesreports that the number of Americans switching land-line carriers jumped 60 percent in the past 12 months, with households relying solely on cell phones growing 50 percent.
Americans are being lured by all-you-can-eat land-line/cellular bundles at killer prices, says Steve Kirkeby, senior director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates in Norwalk, Connecticut. Example: Verizon's Freedom bundle includes unlimited local and long-distance calls for about $50 monthly, with discounts for wireless and DSL add-ons. And, says Briana Gowing, media relations manager with Verizon, in-house surveys show customers want fewer phones and phone numbers.
Mike Hogan is Entrepreneur's technology editor. Write to him at email@example.com.