Batelco to remove rarely-used phone booths

Increasing mobile penetration makes phone booths redundent
Muna Al Hashimi said that increased mobile penetration had led to a decline in use of phone booths.
Muna Al Hashimi said that increased mobile penetration had led to a decline in use of phone booths.

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Batelco, Bahrain’s incumbent operator, is planning to remove 431 payphones across the country as growing mobile use continues to make the humble phone booth redundant.

Batelco has requested feedback from its customers regarding the payphones that have been selected for removal.

“A number of older payphones which are rarely or never used by the public have been chosen for possible removal. These payphones have been marked with stickers and Batelco asks customers to contact them within 60 days of the date of this announcement with any objection they may have to the removal of these specific phones,” Batelco said in a statement.

Muna Al Hashimi, general manager consumer division, Batelco, said that the operator will be left with some 600 phone booths following the removal of the redundant booths.

“For now Batelco will be keeping the remaining 600-plus payphones subject to customers’ demand noting that with the high penetration of mobile phones in the kingdom, there are payphones with almost no usage and barely any demand by the public,” Al Hashimi said.

“Customer demand for such service is diminishing as time goes by, largely due to the high penetration of mobile handsets in Bahrain and also due to the affordable prices for all mobile services as a result of a very competitive market environment,” she added.

Last year, Batelco removed about 200 phone booths that it said were rarely used.

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