With the outbreak of World War I, telephonization of the country stopped and the ensuing revolutionary events worsened telephone connections sharply.
After the revolution, construction and communications equipment were partially destroyed, businesses and factories were not working. The total number of subscribers on October 1, 1922 was 89,000 against 232,300 on January 1, 1917.
The whole telephone industry was then nationalized. Plants that produced telephone equipment combined with the State Electrotechnical Trust of low-current plants (GETZST). On July 13, 1918, Lenin signed a decree 'On the use of Moscow City Telephones'. Due to scarcity of technically sound lines, telephones were primarily provided to Soviet institutions and enterprises. An individual's apartment could only have a telephone in exceptional cases. The recovery process of urban communication structures was long and painful.
On November 11, 1918 the Panel of the People's Commissariat of Posts and Telegraphs (NKPiT) decided to establish two scientific-testing stations. The first was established in Moscow (Head M.M. Bozhko Stepanenko). The Central Research Institute of Communications (ZNIIS) was set up, which became a leading research organization in our country. The second station under the supervision of A. Azbukin was formed in Petrograd, upon which the Leningrad Industrial Research Institute of Communications (LONIIS) was established.
The first USSR-produced payphones appeared in the 1920s in USSR. Callers simply paid for a single connection. The payphone was usually installed on streets and in public places.