By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Overland Park, Kan. – Sprint is getting into the cordless-handset business as part of its effort to encourage consumers to swap out higher-priced landline service for lower-cost home cellular service.
Two DECT cordless phones that connect to Sprint’s wireless network are available today in Sprint’s direct and indirect sales channels for a combined $49 with two-year service agreement for a Sprint Phone Connect wireless plan. The plan delivers unlimited local and domestic long-distance calling while on the Sprint network for $19.99/month.
The launch marks the first time that Sprint is offering a landline-replacement system that includes handsets, a spokesman said. A few years ago, the carrier began offering a fixed-wireless terminal that enables consumers to connect existing home-phone handsets to the cellular network. With the new product, “if the customer doesn't have handsets, the Phone Connect System includes everything they need in the box,” the spokesman said.
Sprint’s Phone Connect wireless service offers the features available from landline phone providers, including voicemail, call waiting, caller ID (though with phone number only unless contact is in the phone’s address book), call forwarding (additional charges might be required, three-way calling, and call restriction.
The company also targets its landline-replacement service to businesses that make frequent moves, construction companies that use temporary office locations for construction, retail operations or events companies.
“Sprint Phone Connect System includes everything a customer needs to activate service and makes it easy for them to take their home or office phone to a new location or set up a temporary office without losing valuable time waiting for the local telephone provider installation,” said David Owens, Sprint’s VP of product development.
Preliminary results from the “July–December 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)” show that about 40 percent of American households use only cellular phones, but a significant number of people still want a home or office phone in addition to a wireless phone, Sprint said.
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