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Call Waiting

The fight for the phone booth of the future—powered by the sun, complete with Wi-Fi, and even, perhaps, cellphone-charging stations—is fraught. The problem is whether to award the contract to a single bidder or to several; currently, the city's 9,000 phone booths are operated by 10 different contractors. An RFP to take charge of the overhaul was issued in May, with lots of big names showing interest: Google; Samsung; IBM; Cisco. But picking just one winner after the July 21 deadline would leave companies like Telebeam Communications, which currently oversees 1,300 of the city's phones and whose rendering is pictured above, in the dust if they are not chosen, which could lead to lawsuits. [Crain's; previously]