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You're at a phone booth far from home and want to call long distance. Presently you have just two options: pump coins into the telephone, or get an operator to charge the call. Either way is slow -- and more costly than direct-dial.

All that may change if an experiment in Buffalo, N.Y., is successful. The experiment, being conducted by American Telephone & Telegraph Company, allows a caller to dial direct by using an identification number. No operator is needed.

If all goes well, the new system should be in general use with four years.m

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