How International Prepaid Calling Cards Started

2007/08/17 09:54:58 by lets_j2top@yahoo.com of Lets jump top



There are millions of international prepaid calling cards being sold and used everyday. You may be wondering how it all began.

Although international prepaid calling cards have become a powerhouse technological system generating billions of dollars, you might be surprised to know that it was first developed three decades ago. The history of prepaid calling cards is as interesting and amusing as other modern invention stories that you may have heard before. The cards were originally made in Europe then reached America after a decade. Today, almost every nation in the world has a variety of international prepaid calling cards available.

The 70’s

In 1975 SIDA, a producer and distributor of vending machines in Italy began experimenting with the idea of making calling cards. The idea was to replace coins being used for payphones since medal coins were in shortage and theft and vandalism was rampant. The first batch of made prepaid calling cards were released into the market in 1976.

These were very slim cards from cardboards and got stuck on more than one occasion. They operated via a magnetic strip at the back of the card that can be scanned by new special phones upon insertion of the card. The idea of paying per minute was already incorporated in this pioneer batch.

In 1977, the popularity of the new prepaid calling cards rose after one year and nearby countries in Europe like Sweden, France, the United Kingdom and Austria also started using the system and manufacturing cards. The magnetic strip validation was the key trait of the cards. A year later, Nelson G. Bardini from Brazil used inductive technology to improve international prepaid calling cards. There are sequences of coils that identified how much is used up in the card.

The 80’s

The new cards using inductive technology was presented at the national inventors’ exhibition in 1982. Japan also began manufacturing prepaid calling cards which sold several thousands daily. The Nippon Telephone and Telegraph company was the first in Japan to adapt to the new system. In 1984, France developed the technology by using chip-based “smart cards”.

Three years later, World Telecom Group, Siemens and General Electric manufactured magstripe cards which contained information. This is the same technology used by credit cards today. In 1988, the first catalogue of telecards was released in England by Dr. Steve His*censored*s. In 1989, AT&T invested in the system as well producing several thousands of cards daily.

The 90’s

In 1990, the non-magstripe calling card was made by Regional Bell Operating Company in New York which involved dialing a toll-free access number. The caller would then input the Personal Identification Number or PIN. This new system started the rise of international prepaid calling cards since it was very versatile and allowed access to any phone in the world. By 1995, over six hundred million dollars in sales were made from international prepaid calling cards.

The 2000’s

Sales continued to soar well into the 21st century counting in the billions. The system replaced most collect call systems and coin payphones and continued to develop with other gadgets as well like cellular phones and the internet. With its continuous success, international prepaid calling cards are definitely here to stay.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

<a href="http://www.flatrateonline.net">http://www.flatrateonline.net</a>


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