Surviving Spanish phonebooths

Juan.dieg0 gallery on Flickr

In Spain we still have around 60.000 phonebooths all around the country. They are all managed by the biggest Telcom in Spain and Latam: Telefónica. In their effort to make them useful, some ideas have come around like using them as pseudo-ATM´s or even as Wi-Fi hotspots (just as an idea, not implemented).

During my last visit to Finland I saw not a single working phonebooth all around Helsinki city. They´re all gone. Some fo them just remain as a symbol of a by-gone era:

Hugovk gallery on Flickr

Finland realized that this kind of urban furniture had arrived to the end and, instead of making efforts figuring out how to still make profit from them, they decided to impulse even more mobile phones´usage.

On dec 2008, you can get a quite confortable flat rate in your mobile phone at the price of €20 maximum. And, at the same time, you also get a mobile internet flat rate for €10 more. I coudln´t believe it when I heard this. They just assumed people are going to use mobile phones much more in the future and decided to offer rates at a decent/affordable/human price.

I don´t consider myself mobile phone-addicted, but I can perfectly pay around €40-€50/month, and this is excluding mobile internet conection… I have no idea about how much Telefónica expends every year trying to maintain this urban pieces, but I would bet that the money they could save throwing away this boxes could be reused to provide a better experience with mobile devices in terms of rates (still far away from satisfactory…).

Considering that in 2008 Spain was the leading country in Europe using 3G mobile internet (19.5% of Spaniards use mobile internet against the 6.9% of the rest of the EU) I think this is more than a good reason to change…

Repeat with me: To change! Come on, everybody: To change!