SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of public pay phones across the country will be reduced by around 50 percent by 2020, the government said Friday, as most everyone in South Korea owns a cell phone.
Between 30,000 and 40,000 public phones will be left across the country by that year, compared with some 70,000 phone booths currently set up, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said.
“The usage of public phones has rapidly decreased as more people use their individual phones,” said Yoo Kyung-tae, a ministry official. “The plan is to more effectively run the service so that phones are installed at places where they are most needed.”
The public phones will mostly be found at public transportation spots, government office buildings and other welfare health care facilities, ministry officials said.
The plan is part of the government’s way to reduce the losses incurred by one of three mobile carriers, KT Corp., which operates the public phones.