Skip to content

Fixed-position cell phone service

The Telular SX5T fixed wireless terminal

Because I’m a communications nerd, and because of the problems that go with being well wired when you live in the sticks, the communications devices I use are not typical. Though I could get an ordinary land-line telephone easily enough, I’m too far from the central office to get DSL, so I figured, why bother getting a land line and putting up with yet another ditch across my yard if I can’t get Internet service on it?

I’m very happy with my 10-pound Motorola M800 digital bag phone. It’s on the Verizon network, and for more than two years it has been my only telephone. Its audio quality is almost as good as a land line, and with its external antenna, etc., it will get a strong signal where more portable cell phones fail. But a 10-pound cell phone is not exactly convenient as a home phone. I have to run up and down the stairs to answer it. I also wanted a telephone that visitors can use that behaves exactly like an ordinary telephone. For safety, in my opinion, visitors ought to be able to dial 911 from a familiar phone. And of course I’d like to have telephone extensions in the kitchen, bedroom, and radio room.

A company named Telular makes excellent products for this, and I knew that the Telular SX5T was what I needed. The concept of how it works is simple enough. It’s a cell phone, with a good transmitter and a proper external antenna, but there’s no handset and no buttons. Instead, you plug it into your house’s telephone wiring system. The Telular SX5T then puts a dial tone onto your house wiring, and any phone in the house can then make and receive calls. It works just like a regular phone. You can even use it with fax machines. You can have up to five telephone extensions on the house wiring that the device plugs into.

I’ve kept my Motorola bag phone active. I “added a line” to my Verizon service, so the bag phone and house phone share minutes on a Verizon family plan.

The retail price of the Telular unit is $700 or more. However, they often can be bought on eBay at a very steep discount.

My vintage, cinnabar-colored Bell System telephone, which I used for many years in San Francisco, is now working again. It doesn’t even know that it’s now a cell phone.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *