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From voice network to data network

In telephony, technical development progressed in stages: the fully automated switch system 48 appeared in 1948 and was used throughout Austria until the early 1970s. The decision to introduce a digital telephone system in Austria was made in 1981. Kapsch’s Collaboration with the Canadian company Nortel began in 1982, and together the challenges of digitalization could be overcome. Kapsch continued to manufacture end devices by itself for quite some time. In 2001, the sector of telephone and data networks was moved to Kapsch CarrierCom AG (KCC).

 
Construction of the Liesing Telephone Exchange

1950

The Liesing telephone exchange was retrofitted with the new switch system 48 in 1950. The photograph shows cable harnesses being laid.


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Production of a Cable Harness

around 1950, Photograph

Individual wires were attached to or wrapped around nails, then bundled and finally combined as a complete cable harness.

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Manufacture of Two-Motion Switches

1950, Photograph

Here, a two-motion switch is wired and the protruding cable connections are cut at the solder joints.


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Motorized Rotary Dialer

1963

This dialer was powered by a specially designed motor. The actuating levers were only moved horizontally, creating the impression that the rotary selector would pass through evenly.


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Telephone Production at Factory II

around 1950, Photograph

Kapsch had a workforce of only around 200 employees in 1946 and grew rapidly to more than 1,000 by 1950. The telephony sector brought about most of the revenue growth.

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Telephone Production at Factory II

around 1950, Photograph

After the war production at Kapsch was centralized in factory II.

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Telephone Production

around 1950, Photograph

The functionality of telephones is being tested.


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Telephone Set

around 1955, Photograph

In 1947, Kapsch developed a telephone set that met the guidelines and technical specifications of the Austrian postal services. It was built for many years.

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Various Telephone Sets

around 1950

For the first time, a telephone set was made available in different colors: the device came in red, dark green, black and chamois.


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Telephone 1955

around 1955, Photograph

A special feature of switch system 48 was related to fee charging: subscribers themselves could dial their conversation partners for both local and long-distance calls.

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Mine Telephone

1955

Devices like this were constructed especially for mines at risk of firedamp and work sites at risk of explosions. Water, ammonia and gasoline could not harm this phone; it weighed nearly 30 kilograms.


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The Schillerplatz Telephone Exchange

around 1965, Photograph

The so-called overseas long-distance stations – also called ‘America Stations‘ – are pictured. Telephone subscribers could be connected to distant countries here.

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Company’s 75th Anniversary

1967, Photograph

On its 75th anniversary, Kapsch was able to look back at an impressive evolution: The workforce numbered 2,300 employees and sales amounted to over 300 million schillings. Profits on the other hand remained modest; the market for radios and television sets became increasingly tough.
In the photo, Dr. Karl Kapsch is sitting in the middle of the group.

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The Gänserndorf Factory

around 1970, Photograph

Large public investments in telecommunications exceeded Kapsch’s capacity to deliver – a new factory had to be opened in Gänserndorf.

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Telephone Type W 64

1964

A tabletop telephone set made out of plastic entered into production in 1964. This telephone featured a circuit board instead of a pure wired circuit.


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Telephone Type W 64

1975

This telephone melted during an apartment fire without entirely losing its shape.


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Circuit Board Production

1985, Photograph

An employee manually adds the designation to a circuit board layout. Kapsch began investing in in-house circuit board production in 1979. The push for this development came from the cooperation with Nortel (Northern Telecom), which had gained experience with digital communications since the 1960s.
Circuit board production commenced in 1980 – a prerequisite for many future business segments of the company.

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Thick Layer Hybrid Component

1986, Photograph

In 1986, factory II began manufacturing hybrid components – these were miniaturized circuitries for various electronic functions. In 1987, production had already reached 380,000 units.

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Telephone Exchange in Favoriten, Vienna

1986, Photograph

In 1987, the second telephone exchange based on digital technology began operations in Favoriten. The insertion of a circuit board is pictured here. The end of analog communication technology brought about serious changes for the company: labor-intensive components such as cable harnesses were replaced by electronic components; as a result, fewer, better qualified employees were needed.

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Szombathely Telephone Exchange

1989, Photograph

Shortly after the first digital telephone exchanges were installed in Austria, Kapsch became interested in the Eastern market. It was not until 1987 that Western high-technology was allowed to be delivered to the countries behind the Iron Curtain. The first stage of expansion of the digital telephone network in Hungary opened in 1989.

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Pushbutton Telephone W 80

around 1985

The assortment of telephone sets became much more colorful in the 1980s. The W 80 telephone was available in eight different colors: chamois, sand, yellow, orange, dark red, blue, moss green and dark brown.


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Telephone T 95

1995

This standard piece of equipment for the Austrian postal services in the 1990s featured a memory for ten telephone numbers as well as a handset amplifier and a redial function.

Extension Comfort Telephone ‘m-star‘

1997

Extension telephones were also created in the continuation of the design line T 95, such as ‘m-star‘, which featured 14 destination buttons for a total of 28 telephone numbers.

Telephone T 98

1998

The successor to the T 95 featured an additional four destination buttons. It was one of the last telephone sets manufactured by Kapsch.

4 Prepaid Telephone Cards

1993-1997

During the 1990s, Kapsch combined technology with art: artistically designed prepaid telephone cards were issued. Among the artists were Gerhard Sternheim, Moje Menhardt, Anneliese Neuwirth-Habel and Gerald Hasenauer.

VoIP Communication System

around 2010

Having completed the digitalization of the Austrian voice telephone network in 1999, Kapsch embarked on the further development of landline telephony in the direction of IP (Internet Protocol) technology. The technology transfer to voice-over-IP (VoIP) was successfully achieved with the in-house development AIPS (Advanced IP Softswitch). By 2014, the migration of the Austrian fixed line network to the new platform was completed. The entire network of three million subscribers could be converted to the new technology without experiencing a single outage.

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