Dutch former monopoly KPN Telecom (or Royal KPN) has announced it is shutting down its public payphone business, arguing that the widespread availability of mobile phones has made them virtually redundant. In a statement released earlier this week, KPN said that the advertising group Hillenaar is teaming up with RBL Telecom to operate public phone booths in rural villages and other places which want to maintain such a service. Under local law KPN was obliged to provide one public payphone per 5,000 of the population until 2008. Since then, it has rapidly begun to decommission thousands of loss-making phone booths.
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