In New York City, more than 7,000 payphones have either been offline or barely used by callers who prefer the modern convenience of smartphones and mobile apps such as Skype and WhatsApp, which take advantage of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for their more advanced features.
The Renovation of Phone Booth Technology
Thanks to Wi-Fi and VoIP technologies, phone booths across the five boroughs of New York City are getting a second chance. A project called LinkNYC will transform payphones into Links that pedestrians can use in exchange for advertising.
Essentially, New Yorkers can connect their mobile devices to a Link station via an encrypted wireless connection. Users must register with their email address to use the service, and they can even charge their smartphones and tablets if they have their USB cables.
How VoIP Technology Will Affect Local High Desert Businesses
The VoIP feature of the NYC links is the most interesting because it actually preserves the historic function of the phone booths. Each Link station is equipped with a rugged touchscreen that provides access to a VoIP mobile app. Voice calls in the United States are free, and users have a choice of a hands-free calling by means of a built-in speaker, but they can also connect their smartphones for privacy. Physical and virtual calling cards can also be used for international calls.
In cities such as Apple Valley and Victorville, phone booths are nowhere near as pervasive as in a pedestrian megacity such as New York. There may be a dozen payphones left in Victorville, mostly near places such as Tony Roma’s, Sizzler and outside of hotels. Still, the LinkNYC idea could be applied on a smaller scale
for the benefit of the High Desert business community.
Sonic Systems believes that free VoIP service along with a secure Wi-Fi hotspot could be a smart feature for businesses such as bars, restaurants and shopping centers. This could be offered as an attractive perk for customers, and it can be combined with an advertising or monetization strategy.
The LinkNYC system is currently in a pilot testing stage, but it has already been proven effective and profitable in Toronto. The key for business owners in Apple Valley and Victorville would be to pay attention to how the LinkNYC project develops before thinking about implementing a courtesy VoIP solution
for customers and prospects.