Phone booths are not dead, yet., a photo by kahunapulej on Flickr.
More to the point, when did you last actually use a telephone booth (or any public pay telephone)? Have you ever seen a pay phone in a rain forest?
Over 80% of the world’s population now has a mobile phone. There are over 5 billion mobile phones in the world, and over 1 billion of those are smart phones.
A friend of mine amazed me with a story of smart phone use in Papua New Guinea, on Manus Island. In that country, only about a tenth of the people have access to electrical power utilities. Mobile phone use was limited to a few cities until a few years ago. However, thanks to the government opening up mobile phone service to competition and rapid tower building by Digicel, much of the population now has access to mobile phone and Internet service, even in areas that never have had fixed line telephone service. As my friend was walking along a trail in the rain forest, he told a man he met there that the book of Genesis was available online in his language (Nali). The man took out his smart phone, and within minutes was reading Genesis aloud to those standing around him.