Czech Republic says farewell to phone booths

Czech Republic says farewell to phone booths

News reports from the Czech Republic press indicate that underuse of the country’s phone booths means that they will be dismantled or repurposed by 2020.

Mobile phone operator O2 has announced plans to terminate the operation of mobile phones in much of the country by the end of the year. Small villages, where the operation of public payphones is required by law, will keep their phones.

It’s quite a reversal for public telephone booths in the country. In 2000 there were an estimated 30,000 public telephone booths in the Czech Republic. Mobile phones changed all that – notably a 4G mobile phone network that now currently covers 96.9 percent of the country’s territory, according to an O2 spokesperson.

Today there only about 4,500 phone booths in the country and some are used less than once a month. This underuse, along with vandalism and outlay on maintenance and operation, has meant that cost usually outweighs income from the booths.

It’s not going to be terminal for old-style public communications, however. The Czech Republic press reports that some of the old phone booths will be converted into miniature libraries – places where anyone can borrow and return books. 

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.