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10/24/2012

The still-ubiquitous pay phone

PayphoneRemember these? Your kids soon won’t.

Roll in to a gas station in the United States or Canada, and odds are that the phone booth will be a hollowed out shell. As the cell phone prevails, pay phones are vanishing (though, believe it or not, there are still some 500,000).

It's different in Mexico. As I took my daughter to the bus stop this morning, I counted the pay phones. Every corner at her intersection had multiple pay phones. In fact, within a one-block radius, I counted 26 pay phones. They are part of the landscape. But none were in usage.

Used to be that one would see lines of Mexicans waiting to use the pay phones. No longer. According to this website, pay phone usage has collapsed here, too. Cell phone usage has hit 85 percent, that is to say 85 of every 100 people have one.

So it won’t be long before the pay phones in Mexico begin to vanish as well.

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hana

Much to Sr. Slim's glee given the exorbitant cost of his cell phone plans.

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Tim

This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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