Full Form of PCO :
Public Call Office
PCO Full Form is Public Call Office. PCO is a telephone facility offered in public places to facilitate the public in India. Though these have almost vanished from the streets of major cities, there are still certain places in the cities and small towns where PCOs are found. It is a coin operated pay phone system, which is automated or manned. BSNL is a public sector firm, which organized the largest installations of PCOs all over India. However, few private sector operations like Tata Indicom, Reliance, Idea, Airtel, etc. who have installed PCOs moderately in public areas. There are two kinds of PCOs – wireless and landlines. Wireless PCOs apply two major technologies such as GSM and CDMA. Tata Indicom and Reliance are pre-paid PCOs with CDMA technology. On the other hand, Idea, Hutch, and Airtel, are GSM based connections.
PCO Full Form – Additional Information
Talking about Public Call Office sure brings back memories from the time when cell phones were rare and every minute mattered. All of it would lead us to a Public Call Office, which will hereinafter be referred to as PCO throughout the article. PCO is a dear term; particularly dear to all those who have gone through the age of no cell phones and a palpable presence of communication gap. One would stand up in a long queue and wait for his or her turn to come. He or she would dial the number, hope for the call to be picked up, talk for that much time for which he or she could afford the money, and then goodbye. Such were those days when not everything was on the phone and a few seconds away.
To those who never used a PCO (or have hardly heard about, which I find surprising), a PCO is a telephone facility which is situated in a public area in countries such as Pakistan and India. PCO is commonly known as the public telephone box in the United Kingdom. In the United States of America, a payphone is a fashionable term for a PCO. PCOs were installed at the time when personal telephones were luxuries and middle and lower class people found telegram and letters too slow for communication. The working of PCOs has dramatically changed with time, however, with the advent of mobile phones and the incredible increase in their use; PCOs are now becoming things of the past. Nevertheless, they have a history and we shall discuss a few things about them because for many of us, they have been one of the most treasured gifts of technology. So, here are five points about PCOs that everyone should know about. Here we go!
PCOs and India
PCOs were immensely popular in India two decades ago. Now most of them have become defunct. In India, there are both manned and unmanned PCOs currently operational. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (abbreviated as BSNL) is a public sector corporation, which presently has the biggest installation of PCOs across the country. The credit for the introduction of PCOs in India goes to Mr. R. L. Dube, an officer of the department of telecom. As of the year 2006, there were in the neighborhood of 4.2 million PCOs operational in the country. This is as per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (abbreviated as TRAI).
Apart from public sector networks of PCOs, there are a few private sector telecom companies such as Tata Indicom, Idea, Airtel, and Reliance that have installed a considerable number of PCOs in the country. In the country, there are two categories of PCOs: wireless and landline. The wireless one uses two technologies, namely: Global System for Mobile Communication (abbreviated as GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (abbreviated as CDMA). Airtel and Idea are GSM based prepaid PCO providers. BSNL, MTNL, and Airtel have provided for fixed landline postpaid PCOs as well across the country.
PCOs and Pakistan
As mentioned earlier, PCOs were and are predominately found in India and Pakistan. In Pakistan, the PCOS are operated by the Pakistan Telecommunication Company (abbreviated as PCTL), Telecard, Diacom, and Worldcall. There are other telecom providers holding networks of PCOs across the country. All of the aforementioned companies provide for PCOs that have card based services for domestic and international calls.
PCOs and the United States of America
A handful of telecom companies manage networks of PCOs, also known as payphones, across the country. Such companies include SBC telecom and Verizon. The former operates PCOs which are credit card operated. In the country, there are both manned and unmanned phone booths, with later being more popular in use and establishment.
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