OpenBTS is software will let a standard GSM phone connect and place outgoing calls over Asterisk (an open source voip PBX). They set it up at Burning Man and people were able to place outgoing phone calls. I think there might be a way to use this in your house so you can place outgoing calls without incurring minutes from your cell phone provider. Their might be a problem with the spectrum license, but if it were low power enough, I think it would probably be legal because there are products like the Air Rave that will do this already.
OpenBTS is being used on the small island of Niue. With less than 2,000 residents, cellular companies aren’t interested in putting in service so they are doing it themselves. OpenBTS is also looking for ways to deploy to rural areas. Their goal is to make it possible to provide cell phone service for around $1 per phone per month.