A combined radiotelephone and paging device (101), hereinafter the combined unit, normally operates as a radiotelephone. In response to a predetermined condition, the combined unit operates as a paging device. The predetermined conditions include low battery voltage and poor communication channel quality or a request signal from a remote transceiver (109) of the radiotelephone system. The paging system and the radiotelephone system may be independent communication systems or they may be a single communication system. The combined unit (101) and its unique switching characteristics allows the combined unit (101) to utilize the paging devices beneficial qualities of lower power consumption and broader service range to enhance the usefulness of a radiotelephone.