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freitasm

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#296127 24-May-2022 10:51
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I saw this on Twitter (last NYC phone booth) last night, Spark comes with this release this morning:

 

 

Spark has today announced plans to evolve New Zealand’s network of public phone booths, by exploring options to invest in more modern technology and capability for booths in high foot traffic areas, and over a number of years gradually withdrawing poorly utilised booths as their hardware reaches end-of-life.

 

Spark Product Director, Tessa Tierney says: “Phone booths became part of Spark in our Telecom days of the 1980s, when we split from the New Zealand Post Office, and in 2013 we upgraded many of them to include WiFi hot spotting. But since that time a lot has changed in Aotearoa – the vast majority of New Zealanders now have mobile phones and free WiFi is more readily available. As a result, the use of phone booths has declined rapidly.

 

“Call volumes on the fixed-line phone booth network have declined by nearly 70% over the last four years, and approximately 90% of them are being used for an average of less than 3 minutes per day. The use of our WiFi hot spotting has followed a similar downward trajectory.

 

“At the same time, the technologies that make these phone booths work – copper wiring and the public switched telephone network (PSTN) – are both end-of-life and in the process of being retired gradually across the country. Some of the physical equipment is not even being manufactured anymore, and we’re running low on spare parts to use when there are faults, which leaves some booths non-operational. 

 

“As a result, we are investigating how we can maintain a more appropriate number of modern phone booths across the country, while removing those booths that are no longer fit-for-purpose and not being used as frequently as they once were."

 

The current fixed-line phone booths cannot be upgraded to more modern technologies such as fibre or wireless, which means future proofing the phone booth service will require replacing the booths with a new end-to-end solution. 

 

Tessa continued: “We’re currently exploring what a modern phone booth might look like in New Zealand. We’ve seen some pretty exciting examples overseas with features focused on delivering communities civic value alongside modern telecommunications services, and could include everything from wayfinding to in-built environmental sensors to localised news and content.” 

 

The withdrawal of low-use phone booths will start with a small number in Auckland’s North Shore, East Auckland, and Wellington South from June this year – in line with the gradual retirement of Spark’s PSTN and Chorus’s copper network.

 

“We anticipate that  the vast majority of New Zealanders won’t notice this change, given the very low levels of usage we see on phone booths these days. We do recognise, however, that for the small amount of people who still use phone booths, they may find this change unsettling – which is why we’ve been liaising with key community groups around New Zealand to identify and work through any concerns.

 

“Nowadays there are a range of low-cost mobile phones and plans available, that can be purchased for less than $40 and can be far more cost effective than making calls from a phone booth, while WIFI hotspots are also now readily available in public libraries as well as many local restaurants and public spaces such as shopping malls*. 

 

“We want to assure New Zealanders that this isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight. Both the retirement of low usage phone booths and any upgrading to more modern alternatives will take a number of years to complete.”

 





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nztim
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  #2917849 24-May-2022 11:06
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Hah I have not used once in like 5 years, last time was in the Able Tasman National park where there is no mobile service

freitasm

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  #2917850 24-May-2022 11:08
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I used the payphone in the Johnsonville mall, probably five years ago too. I had left my phone at home, so I used my credit card for that one call. 





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Nate001
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  #2917852 24-May-2022 11:15
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If you do come across a phone booth these days its most likely vandalised, well in Auckland Central anyway.




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  #2917853 24-May-2022 11:19
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I am in the US right now and they have completely removed them, even roaming is cheaper than using a payphone

wellygary
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  #2917856 24-May-2022 11:25
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I know the number to the one down our street, and occasionally when we are out for a walk with the kids I call it so it rings....

 

They (8 and 10) both think having a phone on the street is very odd....


alasta
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  #2917863 24-May-2022 11:43
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I had forgotten that payphones even exist, but reading this reminds me of when Telecom decided to change the colour of them from red to blue and the Christchurch Wizard repainted them back to red again! 😄

 

I think that must have been the late 80s or early 90s. 


nztim
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  #2917864 24-May-2022 11:48
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wellygary:

I know the number to the one down our street, and occasionally when we are out for a walk with the kids I call it so it rings....


They (8 and 10) both think having a phone on the street is very odd....



In the 90s (before they blocked incoming calls to pay phones) you could dial 1957 and get the phone number of them , we used to chat to drunk
people outside the Hamilton McDonalds



elpenguino
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  #2917865 24-May-2022 11:54
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It's the end of an era. Where are people going to go for a sly pish now?





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antoniosk
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  #2917866 24-May-2022 11:55
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One up the road from me in Wellington.... it's a target for taggers and nothing else





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Gurezaemon
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  #2917868 24-May-2022 11:57
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I remember feeling very clever as a kid in the 80s, saving the 6c call charge by furiously tapping the cradle the number of times needed to make 10. I.e. to call a 2, you tapped 8, to call 7, you tapped 3.

 

The spoilsports ruined this method after they got rid of the dial-type phones though. 😂





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nztim
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  #2917870 24-May-2022 12:06
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Gurezaemon:

I remember feeling very clever as a kid in the 80s, saving the 6c call charge by furiously tapping the cradle the number of times needed to make 10. I.e. to call a 2, you tapped 8, to call 7, you tapped 3.


The spoilsports ruined this method after they got rid of the dial-type phones though. 😂



Haha I had a recorded the DTMF tines with a walkman then played them back into the pay phone mic, (tapping was too much work)

When the new card phones came out in the early 90s that ended the free calls as the Mic wasn’t activated until the call connected and the billing started


Linux
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  #2917872 24-May-2022 12:09
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@Gurezaemon Those were the days! I remember calling Mum or Dad many times to come pick me up after tapping the Greenhithe phone box


cyril7
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  #2917873 24-May-2022 12:10
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nztim:
Gurezaemon:

 

I remember feeling very clever as a kid in the 80s, saving the 6c call charge by furiously tapping the cradle the number of times needed to make 10. I.e. to call a 2, you tapped 8, to call 7, you tapped 3.

 

 

 

The spoilsports ruined this method after they got rid of the dial-type phones though. 😂

 



Haha I had a recorded the DTMF tines with a walkman then played them back into the pay phone mic, (tapping was too much work)

When the new card phones came out in the early 90s that ended the free calls as the Mic wasn’t activated until the call connected and the billing started

 

Please no comments on hacking on the forum, its a family show 😀


wellygary
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  #2917874 24-May-2022 12:11
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Gurezaemon:

 

I remember feeling very clever as a kid in the 80s, saving the 6c call charge by furiously tapping the cradle the number of times needed to make 10. I.e. to call a 2, you tapped 8, to call 7, you tapped 3.

 

 

Pulse dialling FTW, 


wellygary
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  #2917875 24-May-2022 12:14
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Linux:

 

@Gurezaemon Those were the days! I remember calling Mum or Dad many times to come pick me up after tapping the Greenhithe phone box

 

 

Then there was the good old trick of ringing and quickly hanging up a couple of times to let the folk know you needed picking up off the train... 

 

The 6 cents went back in the pocket for next time


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