dm2850's profile

Teacher

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57 Messages

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 11:14 PM

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Why did AT&T discontinue stand alone wireless home phone service?

Why doesn't AT&T offer wireless home phone any more?  I am currently grandfathered in and have AT&T wireless home phone for $20/month with a $10 off loyalty discount.  The unit is connected to my home phone wiring so there is a dial tone coming from all of my jacks.  I currently have 5 wired phones and 1 cordless connected.  My initial reason for getting it is that I moved and wanted to keep my same home phone number.  I was told that I was moving to a different central office and that this would be my only option for home phone if I wanted to keep the same number.

 

It is a great product.  The battery back up is much longer than digital phone and I really don't notice a difference with service quality or sound quality.  The only slight difference is that after you dial the last digit there is a lag for the call to connect.  On landlines, the calls connect immediately.  And also the caller ID shows number only not name.  But that's ok.  I am willing to live with that.  It has free US long distance, call waiting, call forwarding, 3 way calling but unfortunately no speed dial which is much more reliable than buy a phone with the feature built in. 

 

I was so impressed with the service that I recommended it to everyone who wanted a home phone.  A few years ago the post paid wireless home phone was discontinued.  Then a couple of years later, the prepaid wireless home phone was discontinued.  Then AT&T offered wireless home phone only with wireless internet, no longer stand alone, which was 3x the price.  And now I don't even see that option anymore.  There is a "work around" that you can do.  You can buy a regular AT&T SIM card or Tmobile SIM card (if your device is unlocked) and insert it into the Wireless Home Phone box.  But that's more expensive as AT&T no data plans start at $30.00.

 

And now, since AT&T no longer offers this product, it will only be available on Verizon Wireless.  T-Mobile never offered wireless home phone although my T-Mobile SIM works in the device.  Sprint does but since they just got bought out by T-Mobile, who knows if they'll offer it.  The only one that clearly offers it on their website right now is Verizon.  Now if AT&T wants to push everyone off of copper POTS why would they discontinue a wireless landline option that is actually really good service?  It can't be technology related since you can still insert a regular AT&T SIM card into the WHP device and it still works. 

 

Does it have to do with profits?  Does anyone know?  Is it being offered in areas where landlines are being phased out?  Although I have been hearing about the sunset on landlines since 2009 and they're still here with new orders being taken.  Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

Voyager

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19 Messages

3 years ago

Not sure that anyone will see this, as OP is over six months old, but AT&T still offers wireless home phone and internet.  I just got it for the first time. Still $20/month for phone service only.  Data plan is extra.

ACE - Expert

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24.1K Messages

4 years ago

AT&T's WHP uses the 850 or 1900 MHz frequencies to communicate to your local tower with. Both of those frequencies are within AT&T's 3G network which will be shutdown probably no later than Feb. 2022. The same is true for their MicroCell. Both technologies will cease to exist once AT&T moves away from 3G to 4G/LTE/5G exclusively and beyond.

 

No carrier wants to continue with POTS lines and would prefer to move all of their customers to VoIP or cellular. Some POTS lines will have to remain and be maintained in areas where cellular is not possible and VoIP is not an option.

 

I would start looking now at what your options are and plan accordingly.

Teacher

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57 Messages

4 years ago

The retirement of 2G and 3G are irrelevant because AT&T can offer wireless home phone service over 4G/LTE/5G if they chose.  The latest wireless home phone base from AT&T is 4G/LTE compatible.  So a 5G compatible wireless home phone base is not out of the question.  The questions is why aren't they offering the service anymore?

 

Verizon Wireless no longer activates 3G devices but their new wireless home phone base is already 4G/LTE and soon, 5G compatible.   So they must already be on 5G in some areas.   If AT&T is going to move their regular cellular customers over to 5G, why have they chosen not to do so with wireless home phone devices?  There must be a reason behind this.  

 

Personally, I don't care whether my home phone comes over copper, fiber or wireless but I should be able to get "stand alone" home phone service without having to bundle.  I am not going to be one of those people who has their cell phone with them all the time even at home or run around the house looking for it when it rings.

 

I am positive there will continue to be "work arounds" if I want to keep AT&T wireless for home phone service such as getting an unlocked 5G compatible wireless home phone base and inserting a regular AT&T SIM card into it.  But I am just wondering what AT&T's motives are here.

 

 

 

 

ACE - Expert

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24.1K Messages

4 years ago

Apparently AT&T's business model going forward does not include the WHP, which includes further development. Sounds like you should consider switching to Verizon.

Teacher

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57 Messages

4 years ago

Thanks.  I think you are right at least for now.  I spoke with AT&T today and even though I am grandfathered in, the Wireless Home Phone base will not work after 3G and 2G are shut off so unless they offer a new wireless terminal then I will have to change providers. 

 

There are currently 4G/5G wireless home phone terminals that are unlocked out there but AT&T doesn't really offer a no data plan anymore.   Otherwise, a regular SIM card would work in one of these devices, but it would be expensive. 

 

Verizon has a new Wireless Home Phone device that is 5G compatible.  It seems to have a lot more features than AT&T.  I am going to check it out.  Some of the wireless home phone devices even have conference calling and speed dial.  

ACE - Expert

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24.1K Messages

4 years ago

Good luck with Verizon.

Expert

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19.3K Messages

4 years ago

Their new wireless home phone is poorly rated. I have Verizon home phone, an older version and it works quite well, I won't be switching to the newer version though based on the reviews. 

Teacher

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57 Messages

3 years ago

Can you tell me how you did this?  Also, which specific device did you get?  It's not on their website nor does anyone know what it is at their 800 number.  Did you go into a store?  Do you know if they manually added your plan into the system? 

I have tried everything and no luck.  My current plan is grandfathered in and I have it for only $10 instead of $20.  However, a store manager did tell me that there are 4G/5G devices available from the time period they offered wireless data and that those boxes will support telephone only without data.

If it weren't for the fact that I only pay $10, I would switch to Verizon.  Even if I am grandfathered in with AT&T it's very inconvenient to have product that AT&T reps do not support and that no one at the call center knows about.

(edited)

Voyager

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19 Messages

3 years ago

I signed up in a store, where only one of the salespeople had ever heard of it.  I've read (in this forum) that salesperson knowledge is not widespread. Salesperson didn't mention that the device costs $6.67/month (in installments you could also buy for $199).

Current plan seems to be called "Wireless home phone unlimited."  You seem to be able to sign up for it online at this link, which is almost impossible to find: https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans/voice/sku7270510.html

As to support, I had one technical issue so far. The front line customer service rep was useless, but had heard of the service.  She transferred me to a technical "specialist" who was very helpful and took the time to fix the problem.

The device (IFWA-40) does support 4G as well as 3G. Link on AT&T website: https://www.att.com/buy/connected-devices-and-more/att-wireless-internet-black.html

Do you already have internet service at home (from Cable or phone company)?  If so, there are other options that might be less expensive and have more features.  (I'm thinking of VOIP service like OOMA.)

Expert

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19.3K Messages

3 years ago

I'm sure some of the problem is it's a wireless home phone, it's cell service to a device you plug a regular phone into.  So the reps when you say home phone assume it's traditional landline or digital service, they space out the wireless part.  What @mazeltov posted about being able to get it as a standalone phone service is the first I've heard that, I wasn't aware you could use it as a phone service without the data.   

I see the link provide also shows inside wire and protection plans, which were discontinued well over a year ago. 

(edited)

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