BT says no to internet kiosks in place of phones

By Justin Mann on January 16, 2006, 7:22 PM
Embracing the future isn't always easy, or profitable. UK-Based telco BT has canceled plans for the introduction of multimedia kiosks in the place of traditional payphones. With over 1000 already in place, another 28,000 won't see the light of day due to the poor profitability of the ones already in place. Whether it was poor location or poor market reception isn't detailed, but sometimes newer tech comes along just a tad too early. Most people I know are leery even of internet cafes, which are behind closed doors, much less a public kiosk that everyone can get their mitts on. The new-age payphones are essentially internet kiosks that offer a wider variety of service, and you can often find similar setups in malls in the U.S. They aren't too common, though, but with time perhaps they will be given another shot.

User Comments: 11

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cyrax said:
Going to have to say that good old payphones still do their fair share of work. Perhaps in the next 2 years it will reach atech level where these new phones will deliver the same.
Need_a_Dell said:
Sounds like a good idea, but it isn't yet applicable in today's modern society. We aren't in an age yet, where needing to see something on the internet is a HUGE necessity. Give it some time, and we may see some need for an invention like this.
otmakus said:
The pay phone's future isn't very bright either. More and more people own mobile phones now, that my friends and I haven't even used a payphone for years. So is this multimedia kiosk's future too. Nowadays mobile phone is becoming more and more like a computer, with internet access and multimedia features. Those multimedia kiosks will become obsolete before people even know about them.
Race said:
The multimedia kiosk may be a bit ahead of it's time, but I believe there will be a demand for them at some point.It's true that cell phones will do it all, but I would think there will always be those who can't afford all of the costs associated with using one, and may need a viable, cost effective alternative while on the go.For instance, one possible scenario.....would it be cheaper to make a VOIP call....without the hassle and expense of pumping more coins in a pay phone just because it's a different local area code, or you've gone beyond the 3 minute time limit.
Eko said:
At this hour, there is a free tool with which you can talk to virtually everybody on the Internet. Without having to pay a huge amount of money. I'm talking of Skype. As long as it remains free, you can do your talking at any hour, and it's comfortable,too!The VOIP is the future. That's clear. But, in my personal opinion, the cost for the mobile telephones (and calls) will also fall. The "old" telephony will rise it's price, and then disappear completely, 'cause they won't face the mobiles and the VOIP.
asphix said:
It really needs to offer something unique when you can pretty much get most of what you need done on a good cell phone. With cell phones being so popular, I really dont see the need for any sort of pay phone services outside emergency situations. Certainly not anything within a contest related to profit!I remember the days when everyone was using pagers and huddling around pay phones all day. And the ever fashionable chain for your pager.. oh man what were we thinking!
barfarf said:
Pagers are for drug dealers or yuppie kids in my high school Asphix. Yes those chains were ever so cool. =) Those kiosks seem way to complex and most likey have a high maintence cost. Pay phones are cheap, durable and do the job even if they are slowly dieing. I mean have you ever broken a pay phone by banging it against the crade when you get negative news. That smashing is the best feature of the pay phone IMHO. The only time i use pay phones is when i am overseas and my cell phone doesnt work. I think i used one in the states a few years ago at an airport when my cell was dead.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
I've seen some multimedia / Internet kiosks, mostly on big railway stations. They work fine in providing information about the city, public transport schedules and other things like that, but I don't think it would work if people would just get to browse any website they like.On the other hand, libraries have computers for that, too.
Cartz said:
Appears to me to be a case of leaping before they looked... Who needs an multimedia/internet kiosk in the center of a shopping mall? Or even in a train station? A simple feasability study would have immediately shown that nobody really needs this technology, that is why it isn't used. People want to get where they're going, and then check their email. They'll wait to get to their hotel before getting maps and directions for the city they've just arrived in. I can't think of a single good reason I'd need to sully up to an internet kiosk, not one.Can anyone here think of an occasion they'd need/want to use one?
MonkeyMan said:
New technology has to be released at the right time, or the product will fail. The UK, is speeding up the process too rapidly, and they need to slow it down. They should gradually move the kiosks into place. And by that, I mean put some here, and there, and see how it does. Everyone loves new technology, but the world has to be ready for it.
mentaljedi said:
[b]Originally posted by Need_a_Dell:[/b][quote]Sounds like a good idea, but it isn't yet applicable in today's modern society. We aren't in an age yet, where needing to see something on the internet is a HUGE necessity. Give it some time, and we may see some need for an invention like this.[/quote]Yes i see where your getting at. I think that BT is actually right on this but should put it on hold for another 10 years. At least they're trying...
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