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MetroPCS adds landline-like feature

The convenience of having a landline, and the reason why so many people continue to pay monthly for one, is that it provides a single number where a caller can reach the entire family. You just can’t mimic that with a cell phone. Or can you? To this point the answer has been no, but a recent development by MetroPCS promises to change the game. They’ve introduced GroupLINE, a service which provides a family with a single number which rings all of their cell phones. This is on top of each individual’s cell phone number.

It works like this. Grandma wants to call and talk to her kids and grandkids. Mom’s home, but Dad is out at the Home Depot, little Cheryl is at her friend’s house, and Billy is romping at the park with his friends. When Grandma calls the main number, everyone’s cell phone rings. Even after the first person picks up, the other attached lines will have a few more rings so that they can pick up and listen in. If they miss the call and see it later, they can dial the family number and conference in. It’s like they’re all at home using different phones, just like the old days.

The best part is that customers, for the most part, can port their old landline number into MetroPCS for their GroupLINE number. So when Grandma calls the old house line, she’ll still hear familiar voices on the other end. It’s really just one less new number for everyone to remember — or put in their address books.

While the service won’t cause a mass exodus from traditional landline services, it should assuage the fears many have of ditching their landline services. Both privacy and a common way to reach the family rank among top reasons why people continue to pay their monthly landline bill. It seems like Metro’s program addresses both of those. Since the ported number will be a cellular one, it will be protected under cellular privacy regulations, while at the same time providing a common number.