How to handoff cell to land line
July 7, 2009 4:46 PM   Subscribe

I have two new iPhones. I also have a land line in my house. My cell signal in my house is poor at best. I like my land line so I'm going to keep it. I would like my cell phone to transfer to my land line when I'm home so I can get cell calls at home. I can't seem to find a product that will hand off my cell calls to my land line. Does such a thing exist?
posted by Thrillhouse to Technology (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
AT&T (assuming you are in the U.S.) has a service that does that - I think it's called Call Forwarding. It's easier if your landline is also AT&T. You should call their customer service center to see how it works.
posted by jabberjaw at 4:53 PM on July 7, 2009

It seems like call forwarding on the mobile phone will do what you need, although you'll need to turn it on every time you're home. It's possible that a phone that uses GPS to determine your location and automatically sets up call forwarding exists, but I've never seen a thing and it wouldn't be on the iPhone (which prevents apps from running in the background and would have to hook into the call forwarding API).
posted by meowzilla at 4:54 PM on July 7, 2009

Google Voice will do it, though I don't know if you can get an account currently (and you'd have to switch numbers). I also know that t-mobile has a type of service where your phone switches to wifi when it is near an access point, so perhaps something similar exists with iphones.
posted by alexei at 4:55 PM on July 7, 2009

If you are a Google Voice user, there is a free sort of workaround to accomplish what you want.

Instead of your cell/home numbers, tell everyone to call your GV phone number. Forward the calls to your cell and home phone (you can also decide just where to send certain calls on an individual basis). Or tell it to forward to your home phone only during the hours of "X to Y". If you're not a current user, they aim to open it up again soon.
posted by cmgonzalez at 4:57 PM on July 7, 2009

Just use GSM codes to forward to your house phone number instead of your voicemail.
posted by floam at 5:02 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]

Here's AT&T's call forwarding page: Call Forwarding and routing incoming calls
posted by meowzilla at 5:07 PM on July 7, 2009

hmm I just use call forwarding with my personal and work cell phones. I have a hotkey setup that changes how I receive calls when I pull up to my house. Hit that key, call forwards, end of that mess.

Unless I am not understanding what you are looking for of course.
posted by Gravitus at 5:10 PM on July 7, 2009

In your bone-stock shiny new iPhone, tap Settings: Phone: Call Forwarding. Turn call forwarding on. Type in your landline number.

Your phone will remember this number the next time you cycle call forwarding off and on. It's too bad that the iPhone doesn't have "profiles" (unless you jailbreak it), but there you are.
posted by adamrice at 5:12 PM on July 7, 2009

Keep in mind, I think this method is going to use mobile minutes while you receive forwarded calls on your landline.

If it does, something like Google Voice is going to be a much better idea if you use this often.
posted by floam at 6:40 PM on July 7, 2009

Hey guys, thanks for the ideas. Call forwarding is what I'm looking for. It would be nice to have a feature that auto forwards based on gps and/or signal strength. Maybe for now it's a manual setting but I guess I'd have to remember to turn it off when I leave home. I have a google voice account but don't want to give out another number. Maybe when their porting is up and running it might be different.
posted by Thrillhouse at 6:45 PM on July 7, 2009

Ooohhh good point, floam.
posted by Thrillhouse at 6:46 PM on July 7, 2009

GSM has feature codes that support this, I am pretty sure. Try this. If it doesn't work, undo it with the second code.

From your mobile phone, to redirect calls when your mobile is unreachable, dial


(Web protection: That's star, 6 1, star, ten digits of home number, star.)

To cancel, .


(Pound, pound, 6 2, pound.)

If that doesn't do what you expect, try '61' in place of '62' above. That is for unanswered calls, which may make voicemail stop working -- all missed calls go home instead -- for this common case.

Other readers: This works only for GSM users, AFAIK.
posted by cmiller at 7:32 AM on July 8, 2009

I understand that you are looking for a call forwarding feature, but I'd like to suggest another solution for you ...

1st step: drop your landline provider and get Vonage instead.

After you've got Vonage setup, configure Vonage's call forwarding to take advantage of their feature called "Simulring". Simulring simply forces all incoming calls to ring up to 5 different phone numbers at the same time. So a call comes in, and it will ring your "landline" (which is now Vonage) and the 2 iPhones. You can choose to answer the call with whichever phone you want.

2nd step: tell everybody that you have a new phone number and do away with giving anyone your cell numbers.

/of course the downside to this is that your home phone is going to ring with whatever call that comes in and if you've got other people in the house while you are gone that solution probably is not going to work.
posted by Dave. at 12:01 PM on July 8, 2009

Or - get a signal booster/repeater/amplifier and ditch the landline.
posted by jkaczor at 3:33 PM on July 8, 2009

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