South America

Brazil Kiosks and Payphones
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On the Copacabana, Rio.
Public phone in the north Public phone in the north Public phone in the north
Public phone in the north of Brazil Public phone in the north of Brazil Public phone in the north of Brazil
Public phone in the south of Brazil Telephone booth in the south of Brazil
Public phone in the south of Brazil Telephone booth in the south of Brazil
Nearly all payphones require phone cards. Very few will accept tokens, and there are no more payphones that accept coins. Phone cards are available in units of 10, 20, 50 or 100 minutes from vendors, the phone company or from kiosks. The accessibility and number of payphones varies greatly depending on the area of Brazil.
Photo by Marcos Silviano for ipanema.com.  All rights reserved.  Todos os direitos reservados. There are public phones everywhere in Rio, and they are hard to miss. Orelh�o (ou-ray-lyaun) is how locals call them. Cariocas sometimes give funny names to things, and this one literally translates to "floppy ear".

Now that state-owned Telerj was privatized you no longer see the traditional orange cups. They have turned blue, and pop up in the most curious places. There are phones even on the sand of the beaches!

To use a public phone you need a calling card. They can be purchased at newsstands all over the city. Each card is good for a predetermined number of calls, usually 20 or 40. The digital display on the phone shows how many calls you have left. Regular phones in Rio have seven-digit numbers, and celular phones have 8.

Juan C. Camus on new ways to access the Internet
A public telephone capable of sending e-mail and SMS messages (seen at right) is making its arrival in Chile, thanks to collaboration between local engineers at Telefonica CTC-Chile and Marconi Interactive System. According to an article in e-zine Mouse.cl, there are 70 sets of the T-M@il with a digital screen and keyboard. They are installed at airports, malls, and universities in cities from the north to the south of Chile, and the to-do list for Telefonica (a subsidiary of the giant Spanish telco) is to install about 300 by the end of this year.

Coventry Firm Attack US$100M Brazil Market

GPT Payphone Systems a division of Coventry-based Marconi Communications, and DARUMA, Brazil's leading payphone supplier, have signed a collaboration agreement to enable them to attack the US$100m Brazilian payphone market and other opportunities in South America.

As part of a fixed network privatisation programme (PASTE), the Brazilian Government is set to double the number of payphones from 500,000 to over a million in a three year timescale. This represents over 100,000 payphones per year.

This collaboration agreement is the first in a series of agreements to be entered into over the next three months and is seen as a major breakthrough for GPT Payphone Systems in Brazil - the largest telecoms market in South America. GPT have already supplied nearly 200,000 payphones into Central and South America, but these have been to countries other than Brazil.

Mexico alone has nearly 70,000 GPT payphones, with Argentina, Venezuela, Chile and Colombia sharing over 50,000 between them.

"DARUMA are keen to develop a new payphone, to a specification not yet seen in Brazil, and with the market changes we face in the future an all-payment payphone is seen as the ideal solution"

said Paolo Villasco, Marketing Director at DARUMA.

"We believe GPT Payphone Systems and DARUMA have the expertise and capabilities to develop a payphone which will put DARUMA and GPT at the forefront of the Brazilian payphone market for many years to come".

DARUMA is the market leader in Brazil, with over 35% market share, and unique products to address the Brazilian market. GPT Payphone Systems has a complete portfolio of public payphones and management systems which they supply to customers all over the world. The two companies will jointly develop a total public payphone solution to meet the needs of the Brazilian market.

The GPT range of intelligent payphone solutions is designed to suit all market needs, in street, semi-supervised and fully supervised locations such as bars, restaurants, and hotels. The payphones are supported by a complete range of cashless calling and payphone management systems, giving customers the benefit of single source supply for all their requirements.

With over 100 customers in more than 80 countries, GPT Payphone Systems is one of the world's foremost suppliers of payphones, management systems, vending systems and cards.

GPT Payphone Systems is a division of Marconi Communications, world leader in smart broadband transmission and network integration. It was formed by the merger of GPT Limited, Marconi SpA, GEC Hong Kong and other businesses wholly owned by GEC, a global manufacturer of intelligent electronic systems.


DARUMA is Brazil's leading Public Payphone manufacturer and supplier. They have over 26 years of experience in the telecommunications markets of Latin America. The company became international during 1989 through an association with Italian company Urmet S.pA - Construzioni Elettro Telefoniche, a leading European telecommunications provider.

The Sapphire Payphone is the world's leading intelligent payphone. Its strengths are its strong robust modular structure and aesthetic design features. The Sapphire also stands out as being 'user friendly', with easy to follow instructions and a large display screen - and is available in three specifications.

Sapphire All-payment is a combined coin and Cardphone that can recognise up to 12 different coins and also accept the same cards as the Sapphire Card Payphone. For added convenience, different payment methods can be combined to pay for the same call.