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City envy: we want fancy new phone boxes like in New York

By Matt Breen
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Oh, the poor, forlorn telephone box: that thing you’d use, back in the distant annals of history, when you needed to call somebody while out and about. (After you dismounted your horse, obviously.) Now, over in New York, its twenty-first century successor is about to be unveiled. Meet the Link: a slick, gleaming, black slab of future that will offer high-speed wi-fi at a 150-foot radius to passers-by. Of course, wi-fi is something many of London’s phone boxes provide already – but the Links will also offer touchscreens for internet access, USB charging ports and, yes, for those who still need it, the chance to make free phone calls. The 7,500-strong fleet of Links will be first launched in a beta phase in the early 2016, giving New Yorkers the opportunity to feed back on this new addition to their sidewalks. Our big question is this – when are they making their way this side of the Atlantic?

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