What’s a man to do?

Got the word this morning that AT&T is getting out of the pay phone business.


AT&T to Stop Providing Payphone Services

USA based, AT&T has announced plans to exit the shrinking payphone business by the end of 2008. AT&T’s Public Communications unit has continued to experience significant pressure from reduced payphone usage, primarily as a result of the growth of mobile phones.

he company plans to phase out both public pay phones and phones provided under contracts at government correctional facilities through the end of next year. All customers will receive advance notification of specific plans as well as information on other potential providers and product options.

The move affects AT&T pay phones in the company’s traditional 13-state service area only. BellSouth, which was acquired by AT&T in late 2006, had previously exited the pay phone business in its nine-state service area. AT&T’s wholesale pay phone services are not affected.

“This is the right time for us to take this step on behalf of our customers, employees and stockholders,” said David Huntley, senior vice president for Customer Information Services. “We expect that independent providers will pick up much of this business, and, as we exit the business, we will be able to refocus our resources to areas that offer stronger growth potential and greater opportunity for the company.”

Payphones in the United States have declined across the industry from about 2.6 million phones in 1998 to an estimated 1 million phones today.