From the text, we learn that in 1948 (according to Bell Telephone System) there were more telephones in New York City than in all of France:
There are more telephones in this country than in all the rest of the world put together. The United States has one telephone for about every four people, compared to one telephone for every ninety people for the rest of the world.
Sweden comes closest with one telephone for every eleven people. In Russia the estimate is about one in a hundred.
New York leads the world’s cities with the most telephones. It has 2,600,000―more than in all of France. In relation to population, San Francisco is on top with about one telephone for every two people. Washington ranks a close second.
And we’re still building and expanding at the fastest rate in history. The value of telephone service is increasing constantly.
Currently, what is increasing constantly is the price costumers have to pay to keep their landline telephone subscription. Some phone companies are contemplating the idea of terminating this service all together. The reason is the ever increasing number of cell phone and smartphone subscriptions. As of December 2012, 87% of American adults own a cell phone or a smart phone. More than a third of American homes only had wireless service during the first half of 2012 (no landline telephone). See the following resources for more detailed references:
Los Angeles Times: “Landline rates just going skyward” by David Lazarus, February 12, 2013.
USA Today: “Some phone companies seek to end landline service” by Marco Santana, March 30, 2013.
PEW Internet: “Pew Internet: Mobile” by Joanna Brenner, January 31, 2013.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: “Wireless Substitution: Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January–June 2012”, PDF.