There are almost 10.000 public payphones in New York City. Almost everybody owns a mobile phone nowadays, so the need for such a vast communication infrastructure is dying. But the only thing changing will be the shape of technology, not the role of it. New York’s municipality plans to give a new meaning for almost 10.000 phone booth. Right now, providing free Wi-Fi through hotspots is the best option for the New York payphones.
New York’ municipality is quite trendy. The telecommunication market prepares for the Internet of Things era. There are already several coalitions formed to provide a standard wireless communication platform for the future devices.
The municipality organized an informational meeting in May on the topic. On Monday the 21st of July, the 50 participating companies are expected to submit the final proposals regarding the new role of public telephones. In October, an agreement with 10 companies operating the public phones will end. From then on, New York City wants to maintain the basic function while updating it with useful communication features.
New York payphones to offer Wi-Fi signals, Bloomberg’s idea
New York’s former mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is the one who initiated the project and Bill de Blasio, the present mayor, will continue it. New York’s municipality wants to provide the masses with free internet. Turning the phone boots into hotspots is more than offering another utility. Some of the most important companies in the field are interested in getting the contract. Google, Samsung, Cisco and IBM are expected to submit their applications. Google wants people to stay online as much as possible, because the company makes lots of money out of ads. Moreover, this project might be an ideal exercise for Google. The company intends to provide, as much as possible, extended internet access all over the world. Android ONE, the future Android program presented at this year’s Google I/O, targets low-income regions.
The companies who will undertake the project of revamping the public phones can charge customers for telephone calls, but internet access must be provided for everyone for free. The New York payphones will still have to offer free of charge access to emergency numbers, of course. What good is such a vast network of Wi-Fi hotspots if it does not increase the mobility of internet accessibility? The municipality has the question in mind and asks the future company to allow the users to only sign in once, after which they should be able to surf the internet seamlessly around the city.