Pay Phones Reincarnated as Cellphones
Local convenience store Mini Stop has started installing pay phones in some of its stores. Like those traditional units from PLDT, these are wall-mounted and coin-operated. The key differences: the new Mini Stop machines are built around on cellphones, and offer affordable voice calls at ₱5 for 5 minutes.
These new pay phones now join the Paid Cellphone Charging Stations that have been around for years now. On the machine are two black Samsung Guru E1080T cellphones which are secured in their own respective color-coded steel casings—yellow for Smart and white for Globe. Each E1080T also has its own cable connection to the unit, with both cables covered in the same steel sheath used in legacy pay phones.
To avail of the service, a users has to power on the phone, dial his intended recipient’s number, and put in a ₱5 coin when the call connects (No other coins are accepted, so hopefully Mini Stop keeps their stores’ cash registers full of them). Additional 5 peso coins can be put in to extend the call. Once time runs out, the machine cuts power to the phone. The phones do not support text messaging, and won’t connect the call if the dialed number is on a different network.
Spending ₱1 per minute of voice calls is quite cheap. But we’re not sure if Mini Stop Pay Cellphones will be a hit. You can get your own cellphone for less than ₱500 after all, and the telcos’ various unlimited promos make sub ₱1/min calls possible. On the other hand this would be great for emergencies, and those who can’t even afford the cheapest cellphone. Plus we’re betting this project is backed up by market research and profitability studies.
Oh and in case you’re wondering: The Samsung Guru E1080T was released early last year, with a launch price of around ₱1,000.
This entry was posted on Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 2:49 pm and is filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.