Telstra has started a 10-week trial of Internet-enabled public payphones which allow consumers to send e-mails, text messages, picture and video messages.
The 10 payphones, to be trialled in Sydney's central business district, feature full-colour LCD touch screens and allow customers access to other services including video messaging via e-mail using the inbuilt Web camera.
Telstra's head of customer sales and service, John Rolland, said the trial was being conducted to "ensure that payphones introduced by Telstra in the future meet the changing needs of customers".
Rolland said up to one million phone calls are made through Telstra's public payphones each day making it "imperative" for the company to "keep up with the times and offer customers relevant everyday applications."
The launch of the trial payphones follows the recent upgrade to more than half of Telstra's existing 32,000 payphones to allow customers to send text messages. A further 21 payphones have been enabled with Wi-Fi technology so that customers can connect to the Internet wirelessly from their laptops when near the payphone.
The trial payphones are currently located at Uni Lodge Broadway, St. Vincents' Hospital in Darlinghurst, Central Railway Station, Mid City Centre in Pitt Street, Sydney Coach Terminal and Footprints Backpacker Hotel in Haymarket and Wynyard Station.
In the week ahead, the new payphones will also be located at Town Hall Square, Town Hall Station and the Queen Victoria Building.