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One of a Kind

Land-line and cellular calls, unite!

By Mike Hogan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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.

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