In view of the decreasing use of public pay telephones as more and more people opt for cellphones, Chunghwa Telecom will next month introduce a newly designed, more convenient public telephone.
The 3,500 new public telephones Chunghwa plans to install nationwide will accept coins and phone cards.
Increase in usage
Chunghwa engineer Yin Chun-tien (
The new integrated-chip (IC) card for the new telephones has memory functions that will allow users to set up three telephone numbers for quick dialing, he said.
The function will allow parents to set up home telephone numbers on the IC cards for their children so that the children would not be forced to memorize telephone numbers, but could insert the IC cards and push one button to reach their parents instead.
Yin, who admits to being fond of public telephones, recalled that pay telephones have been in use in Taiwan for more than 60 years and have been manufactured in more than 20 designs.
The 1970s and 1980s were the peak years of public telephone usage, with more than 150,000 public telephones in service nationwide, which earned Chunghwa revenue of more than NT$9 billion (US$27million) annually, he said.
In those days, owners of grocery stores, theaters and department stores requested to have the public telephones installed nearby to increase foot traffic.
However, with the rising popularity of cellphones, there are less than 100,000 public telephones still in service.
Yin said that he still vividly remembered how back then he would see solders stationed on the nation's outlying islands line up to wait their turn to use the public telephones to call home.
Yin also recalled that the telephones were also often the the target of vandals.
For instance, he said, some people would press the numbers with lighted cigarettes, while children sometimes used firecrackers to damage the handsets.
There were also frequent cases of emotional callers yanking the handset cord from its connection on the phone's body.
To prevent this from happening with the new pay telephones, Chunghwa has given the new public telephones more durable cords, Yin said.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,