The demise of payphones in the MTR (and elsewhere) – the writing is literally on the wall

James Chan: Ten years ago any shop in Hong Kong would have had a landline which you could use, and for free… then quite quickly the number decreased. As one of the few people in Hong Kong without a mobile phone I came to rely on any MTR station to be able to phone on the odd occasion when something was urgent.

Phone payphones, 29.12.15

No longer…Hong Kong Free Press posted this article on 29th December 2015 written by Kris Cheng:

Four hundred public payphones located in MTR stations will soon be removed as the service provider’s contract with the public transport company nears expiration.

A photograph posted to social media on Monday showed a notice near exit A of Tsuen Wan Station that read: “As advised by Shinetown Telecom they will be removing all station payphones as their contract with MTR is expiring.”

A spokesperson for Shinetown Telecom, which operates the 400 payphones, told HKFP that the phones will be removed in around two months.

“As there are ten million mobile phones in use in Hong Kong, there were fewer people using the payphones,” the spokesperson said. Although their absence might inconvenience tourists and some other groups, it was the MTR Corporation’s job to follow up on this, he added.

Source: Hong Kong Free Press – ‘The end of an era’: MTR says goodbye to hundreds of station payphones


Hong Kong’s public payphones are dying out but still hanging on – SCMP 3rd January 2016

Should Hong Kong say goodbye to public phone booths when more than half of them earn less than HK$1 a day? SCMP 19th January 2019

This article was first posted on 28th May 2016.

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