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National Cellular has begun marketing the Waxess D-Mode-CT, a two-line combination cellular/landline phone, through second- and third-tier carriers to home and small business users, particularly in rural areas, as a way to improve cellular reception in the home.
The Waxess D-Mode-CT consists of a desktop cellular/cordless base station with corded handset. A cordless 2.4GHz DSS handset is included, and the system is expandable to four cordless handsets, which can be used within cordless range to make cellular calls from outside the house.
The base station has two watts of cellular-transmitting power, over three times as much as an ordinary mobile handset, to boost cellular reception, said Nelson Roberts, executive director of National Cellular. The phone's base station can be placed at a fixed spot in the home with the best reception.
Fifteen carriers have agreed to carry the Waxess phone to date, he noted. “Many of the smaller mobile operators are also telcos, so they view this as a good way of retaining a landline subscription alongside cellular,” Roberts pointed out.
The Waxess D-Mode-CT is a two-line phone, one for cellular and the other for landline calls. It will be available in both CDMA 800/1,900 1xRTT and GSM 850/1,900 GPRS versions at a suggested retail of $349.
Combination phones give consumers the cheaper calling plans associated with cellular alongside but with a landline for alarm systems and PVRs as well as phone service during blackouts, Roberts added. Some carriers can offer the Waxess as a new activation, while others can activate the device on an existing account as part of a family plan, he said.
The phone is a 2.4GHz DSS model with a corded base station. It ships with one additional handset and is expandable up to a total of four handsets. It offers distinctive ringtones for incoming landline and cellular calls and can conference cell calls with landline calls.
The handset also supports sending and receiving text messages and caller ID from both cellular and landline services.
Both the base and accessory handset are hearing aid compatible, and the base station features a speakerphone.
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