It's the end of an era: New York has been without public payphones since Tuesday.

A crane tore the last city-operated phone booth off a sidewalk on Seventh Avenue near Times Square.

It will now be immediately converted into an exhibit and will be on display at the Museum of the City of New York.

There it will be part of the current special exhibition "Analog City", which revolves around life in the American metropolis before there were computers.

Roland Lindner

Business correspondent in New York.

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Phone booths were once ubiquitous in cities, but with the rise of cell phones and the proliferation of smartphones, they have become increasingly obsolete, largely unused and often targets of vandalism.

In 2015 there were still around 8,000 traditional payphones in New York, but they have gradually been dismantled in recent years.

Instead, there are kiosks with W-LAN

From 2015, on the initiative of then Mayor Bill de Blasio, Internet kiosks called "LinkNYC" were installed, which allow New Yorkers to access the Internet with their electronic devices via WLAN and to charge their batteries.

There are now around 2,000 of these in the metropolis, and the city is currently planning to build more kiosks that can work with the new 5G mobile communications standard.

City official Matthew Fraser, speaking of the removal of the Times Square phone booth, said: "Just as we have moved from horses and carriages to cars and from cars to planes, so has the digital evolution progressed from payphones to high-speed Wi-Fi kiosks to meet the demands of our rapidly changing daily communication needs.”

While the now-removed telephone system was the last official public payphone in the city, there are still a few privately owned payphones that can also be used by the public.

Four traditional booth phones that were spared from the demolition also survive on the Upper West Side.

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