They have had their days – It’s time to say goodbye

They have had their days – It’s time to say goodbye

They have had their days

The fall of the phone booth

Telephone booths have not only served as superman’s change room but, for years, have been the only source for people to connect with their loves ones. But with more and more people using mobile phones and the internet, payphones are declining in use and popularity.

The telephone booths was not failed technology under any circumstance. It just became obsolete with the popularity of cell phones and internet communication services.

It’s time to say goodbye

At their peak, at the start of the 1980s, there were about 44,000 phone booths in Sweden. The first Swedish phone booth appeared in Stockholm in the 1890s, but their usage dropped dramatically with the advent of affordable mobile telephony in the 1990s.

In the mid-2000s Telia began installing wireless broadband routers on phone kiosk roofs to integrate them into its nationwide Wi-Fi network, but this did not slow down the decline in usage of the booths.

Now the last of Sweden’s remaining 1,200 telephone booths will be removed. The era of the telephone booths is drawing to a close.

Disruption will continue

Moving into the future, disruption will continue. New, disruptive technologies can make existing products and industries irrelevant faster than ever before.

Companies around the globe face the possibility that not just their products, but also their industries can become irrelevant faster than ever. For example, while Eastman Kodak arguably first created a digital camera in the mid-1970s, it was able ignore the disruptive technology for decades before the hemorrhaging of its obsolete film business pushed the company into bankruptcy in 2012.

More recently, companies can get forced out much quicker, with video-rental giant Blockbuster filing for bankruptcy in 2010, just three years after rival Netflix introduced its streaming service.

Prehistoric mobile phone and mailbox from Denmark

Prehistoric mobile phone and mailbox from Denmark

What will be next? What will be the impact of the cord-cutting trend?

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom

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