Countries & Systems
Chip Cards

he diffusion of chip cards is growing more and more, and several Countries have already switched to a public telephone system using this technology. These cards have a silicon chip embedded in the card in which the units are stored. The units are read by the payphone and a call can be made. When a call is finished,

the number of units remaining are stored onto the card and next time it is inserted into the phone, this new number is registered by the phone: basically this process has remained unchanged since the first chip trials.
The chip is connected to a gold (or sometimes silver or nickel) contact above the chip which can be of various shapes according to the manufacturer of the card. Sometimes cards of the same design are supplied by different manufacturers and the cards are then seen as quite different from a collecting point of view, but each kind of chip has an identification code so

that it is easy to classify the cards.
Chip telephone cards were first utilized in France in 1984 and the first manufacturers were Bull CP8, Schlumberger and Solaic; most of the chip cards are actually manufactured by Schlumberger, Gemplus, Orga, GPT, but there are many more manufacturers all over the world, at least 27 now, using their own chip modules or those supplied by Philips, Siemens, Thomson, and other firms.
Over the last three years, we have started to see multifunctional cards, cards which utilise telephoning as just one of their functions. These 'smart' cards have larger chips with bigger and better memory capacities which allows them to be used in a variety of situations be it a telephone, ticketing machine, transport, banking, health or identification card.
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Vote for All Cards!