Northwestel Inc. has been given permission to dismantle its "manual mobile service" sites in the last six locations where it still offers the service, effective October 31. The CRTC approved the request to end the service, which allows users to make telephone calls on fixed or mobile radio equipment through an operator, on Friday. The decision follows a similar approval last year, when Northwestel asked to withdraw service in 19 out of 25 areas. The company said use of the service had significantly declined over the past 10 years, that “the equipment used to provide MMS was discontinued by the manufacturer nearly 20 years ago, and replacement parts are no longer produced,” and that alternatives based on more advanced technology are available, the CRTC said. Northwestel has promised to offer each MMS customer up to $2,000 toward establishing phone service that meets the CRTC's criteria of "basic service," $500 toward cellphone costs or $1,000 toward satellite phone costs. It said it would also “fully reimburse customers affected by the service withdrawal for the purchase of a new MMS radio telephone set, if that purchase was made between 1 February 2014 and 30 March 2015,” the CRTC added.