Mobiles Kill Off The Public Payphone


TeliaSonera Finland has decided to abandon its payphone business. TeliaSonera Finland has a little less than 2000 public telephones of which around two hundred in the region of Auria. Of the payphones over 1200 are indoors and the rest outdoors, for example on the outside walls of office buildings. At the moment Sonera’s payphones can still be found in 260 locations. The public phones will be phased out by April 30, 2006. It’s only a matter of time before other companies start phasing out pay phones.

“The net sales of the payphone business have dropped steadily from the peak years of the mid 1990’s. In Finland nearly everybody has a mobile phone and there has been no more enough use for public telephones. In 2004 the net sales of the payphone business were � 1.3 million. In addition, the production equipment, in other words telephones and the related software are obsolete. Manufacturing of the chip that is needed for the FIN phone card has been terminated and the cards in store will last out the spring 2006″, says director Juhani Tapiola, responsible for the payphone business in TeliaSonera Finland.

FIN phone cards transmitted by TeliaSonera Finland are valid after April 30, 2006 in the phones of the FIN cooperation partners until December 31, 2006. After this phone cards can no more be used. Phone cards have been available in the neighborhood of nearly every public telephone and nationwide in R kiosks and in most business locations of Matkahuolto.

The Communications Market Act does not impose an obligation to telecommunications companies to maintain public telephones. 15 telephone companies have already withdrawn from the payphone business.