Do We Need Pay Phones?

By: Dennis Jaylon

Pay phones have been around since the 19th century. In fact, within a few years of the invention of the telephone the pay phones made an appearance and made communication easier for the man on the street. The first coin operated pay phone was patented in 1889 by William Gray in Hartford, Connecticut. This first pay phone was installed for public use in a Hartford bank.

With the popularity and increasing use of cellular phones, pay phones have somehow lost their utility in the eyes of the common man. Cellular phones are portable and can be carried everywhere, hence people do not have to look for pay phones, in case they need to make an urgent telephone call while on the move.
Other telecommunication devices like VoIP phones and two way radios also help in the communication process, hence making the pay phones almost obsolete.

But, has the time really come when pay phones are no more needed? Despite the fact that cellular phones are very popular and have become common communication devices, but there are still many places that do not receive cellular phone receptions. People may have phones installed in their homes in these areas, but for someone who is outside is home, pay phones is the only way in which he can contact and communicate with the world.

In such a scenario, the utility of pay phones increases manifold. There are many such places and towns that have only one pay phone for miles. There is still a large section of the population that cannot afford a cellphone and do not have a landline connection as well. Pay phones are a boon for that section of the society, since the cost of the call using a pay phone is still minimal. In fact, a majority of pay phones still operate on coins. Hence, pay phones are still required by people and hence cannot be rendered obsolete

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