Great Idea from Brazil: Public Phones

In Europe and North America, we all waste a lot of money on our mobile phones (except me). We waste a lot of energy on carrying them around. We constantly have to recharge them. And we have to worry about losing or forgetting them.

In Brazil, I have seen a completely different solution: public phones. They are everywhere. In every little village there are a few of these funny-looking installations. In bigger cities, you find them every 50 or 100 meters. They are in shopping malls, at gas stations and on university campuses.


This is a great idea. Not only don’t you need to buy, carry and charge your own phone. The best thing is that you decide when you want to make a call or when you want to be called. Once you step away from the public phones (which is hard in big cities, admittedly, because they are everywhere), nobody can bother you anymore and disturb you. You have more control over your life instead of allowing a little gadget made by Chinese forced laborers to control your life.

Older people may tell you stories about how we also used to have public phones in Europe and North America in the 1970s and 1980s, but then phones were privatized. What a terrible idea this was. Once more, South America is showing us how to do things the clever way.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Brazil, Photography, Technology, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Great Idea from Brazil: Public Phones

  1. Great photo. Public phones in Canada and the US are older than the seventies and were always private. Vandalism as much as cellphones killed, still a few about.

  2. List of X says:

    Do these public phones have GPS?

  3. ChrisTine Bergin says:

    Sadly we in the UK have been loosing our public phones since what used to be owned by the public was privatised and sold off by the tory government of the 1980s. The system has been milked for profit and not for service so it fades from use and memory. Thank you for some memorable mind pictures by the way.

    • Although public phones are also getting out of fashion where they haven’t been privatized. I guess it’s more a question of mobile phones than of who owns them.

  4. wendy says:

    even if there are public phones every 50-100 meters, but the problem is we need to know the number of the phone in advance. How can you let the other party know THE phone booth and number where you are standing next to without knowing when and which public phone he/she is going to reach and use in a different area or even in another city? I hate to say that but cell phones exist for a reason. ;)

  5. Actually, these phones are abandoned and nobody cares about them with the exception of vandals.

  6. There aren’t almost anyone of these now. People do prefer whatsapp.

  7. We call it “Orelhão” or “Big ear” in english.

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