Pay phones still pulling in the coins

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Given the rise in cellphones and other wireless devices, one might guess that those old wired-down pay phones will soon become as obsolete as a drive-in movie theater.

Well, guess again.

While a staggering 61 percent of American households own cellphones, consumers will still place an estimated 16.6 billion calls this year on the more than 2 million pay phones that dot America's landscape.

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The American Public Communications Council in Fairfax, Va., says pay phones are still very much needed, given that 5.7 million people in the US have no residential phone service.

PayphonesUSA.net, a supplier of pay phones and accessories, says outdoor locations take in $200 to $400 per month. Pay phones in convenience stores average about $150 to $300 a month, while those in restaurants make $75 to $250 a month.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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