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Mobile Phones Cause Surge in Payphone Usage in Belize

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Whilst most countries have seen the rise of mobile phones lead to a corresponding reduction in the use of public payphones the Central American country of Beize has cited mobile phones as a reason for increasing its payphone numbers. Belize Telemedia has now announced the installation of its 1,000th payphone.

Payphones were first introduced to Belize in the early 1970's. At that time they could only be used by customers to access operator services and to call local destinations using coins. Since that date the service has evolved, with customers now able to make local, national and direct dialed international calls, using prepaid cards, or calling collect through the operator.

The introduction of cellular phones which have more than doubled over the past five years, has caused payphone usage to decrease dramatically over that period as mobile phone users receive increasing calls from payphone users.

The 1,000th payphone will be installed at St. Joseph Primary School in Belize City. A special ceremony will be held on the school with the Minister of Home Affairs, Public Utilities and Housing, Hon. Ralph Fonseca delivering the keynote address and making the first official call.

Belize Telemedia is the country's largest phone network, with 66% of the market according to figures from the Mobile World subscriber database. The company ended last September with 130,000 GSM subscribers - compared to an estimated 65,000 CDMA subscribers for rival operator, Speednet.

Map of Belize

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Tags: school  payphone  Belize