End of an era for Mallorca’s capital

Goodbye to Palma's telephone booths

Photo: Image of an outdated Spanish public telephone Credit: Joaquin Ossorio Castillo/Shutterstock.com

In a significant shift, the urban landscape of Palma is changing with the removal of telephone booths from its streets.

Public telephones, once an integral part of urban life across Spain, have been completely phased out in Palma, thanks to efforts by Telefonica and its subcontractor Circet, with support from Cort operators.

The change follows a year-long process initiated by Telefonica, highlighting a move towards modernisation and digitalisation.

The telephone booth’s decline started over two decades ago, with the advent of mobile phones. This technological shift made the public telephones obsolete, leading to their gradual disuse.

Recent years saw them become targets for vandalism and an obstacle to pedestrian traffic, further diminishing their value in the cityscape.

In contrast, some regions have repurposed these structures for community use, like in Vitoria-Gasteiz, where booths have been transformed into free bike repair stations.

This transformation reflects a broader trend of digital adoption, with a 2020 study by the National Markets and Competition Commission revealing that 88 per cent of Spaniards had never used a phone booth.

By 2019, only 1 per cent of the population had made a call from one, underscoring the rapid shift in communication habits.

For Mallorca, and particularly Palma, the removal of phone booths marks a significant moment in the city’s evolution. It underscores the island’s adaptation to digital trends and the changing needs of its residents and visitors.

While some may view this as the end of an era, it also opens up new possibilities for urban space utilisation and technological innovation, ensuring that Mallorca remains at the forefront of modern urban living.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.

Comments


    • Brian

      20 February 2024 • 13:57

      This might cause a raft of problems due to the incredibly pathetic wi-fi signal strength especially if you live out of town like we do without fibre-optic. Our mobiles stop working in the most surprising areas.

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