We're aware of a few third-party products
that pull off this trick by connecting to your cellphone via Bluetooth, but Verizon's throwing weight behind its own system called Home Phone Connect that'll connect your home phone into its wireless network. The system -- which seems to be available only to residents of New York and Connecticut at the moment -- includes some sort of base station that connects to Verizon's network on one end and your existing landline on the other; T-Mobile's now-defunct @Home service
was similar, but used your internet connection to route the calls rather than the cellular airwaves. Subscribers pay $9.99 to add the landline to a Verizon family plan or $19.99 to grant it unlimited domestic minutes, which seems poised to cut into Verizon's legacy landline business just as much (if not more) than the unique Hub
unit that got killed off a while back. Hard to say when (or even if) Home Phone Connect will go national, but these trials are often set up to test the pricing model just as much as they are the underlying technology -- so the question becomes, would you pay $10 more on your Verizon Wireless bill to use your old-school Slimline?
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.